Case details

Isle of Wight Council (Appellant) v Platt (Respondent)

Case ID: UKSC 2016/0155

Case summary


Whether, on an information alleging a failure by a parent over a specified period to secure that his child attends school regularly contrary to s.444(1) of the Education Act 1996, the child's attendance outside the specified period is relevant to the question whether the offence has been committed.


The respondent requested permission to take his daughter out of school for a holiday. This request was refused by the daughter's head teacher. The respondent took his daughter out of school on holiday for 7 days. As a result, he was issued with a fixed penalty notice in respect of the absence. The respondent did not pay the penalty of £60 by the initial deadline and so he was sent a further invoice for £120. The respondent did not pay this either and so he was prosecuted on the basis of his alleged failure to secure regular attendance at school of his daughter, contrary to s.444(1) of the Education Act 1996.

The respondent pleaded Not Guilty before the Isle of Wight Magistrates' Court. The defence submitted that there was no case to answer as the respondent's daughter had in fact attended school regularly. The attendance register showed attendance at 92.3%.

The Magistrates' Court held that the respondent's daughter was a regular attender for the purposes of s.444(1), bearing in mind M's overall percentage attendance. Therefore, they ruled that there was no case to answer. On appeal, the High Court found that the Magistrates' Court was entitled to take into account attendance outside the offence dates when determining the attendance of the respondent's daughter. The appellant now seeks permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Judgment appealed

[2016] EWHC 1283 (Admin)



Isle of Wight Council


Jonathan Platt


Secretary of State for Education



Lord Neuberger, Lady Hale, Lord Mance, Lord Reed, Lord Hughes

Hearing start date

31 Jan 2017

Hearing finish date

31 Jan 2017

Watch hearing
31 Jan 2017 Morning session Afternoon session