Term time absence: Final position following Isle of Wight Council v Platt decision in Supreme Court
Updated June 2017
Further to previous communications, the Supreme Court has now delivered its judgement in relation to the Isle of Wight Council's appeal which sought clarification on what is meant by “fails to attend regularly” in the context of a prosecution for unauthorised non-attendance at school.
The Supreme Court said that “regular” means “in accordance with the rules published by the school” and rejected the view that regular meant “sufficiently frequently”. Full details of this judgement can be found on the Supreme Court website: www.supremecourt.uk.
This clarifies the position regarding term time absence and it is clear that schools can determine whether an absence is authorised or not. In coming to their decision schools need to abide by Hampshire County Council's Code of Conduct when issuing Penalty Notices. All schools, maintained and academies, should be implementing the Code of Conduct and warning parents of the likelihood of legal action if absence is not authorised. A copy of the Code of Conduct for legal intervention is :
together with a leaflet which explains how Penalty Notices are issued