Landmark court ruling scuppers parents’ plans for term-time holidays

Landmark court ruling scuppers parents’ plans for term-time holidays

Jon Platt’s failed legal fight ‘makes to harder’ for others to take kids out of school

The outcome of the long-running legal fight involving Jon Platt, the father who took on the authorities over the right to term-time holidays – and lost –  has made it harder for other parents to take their kids out of school, according to research released today (Monday 6 November) at World Travel Market London – the leading global event for the travel industry.

The World Travel Market London 2017 Industry Report reveals 56% of UK holidaymakers think they now face a bigger battle to persuade head teachers to allow them to take their children on holiday during term time than before the Platt case began.

One in five think the case will not make any difference, while a quarter aren’t sure.

If they do not get permission, 51% of parents would pay the £60 penalty to benefit from cheaper prices outside of the traditional school holidays. Almost a third (31%) said they would not do so, while 18% are unsure.

Platt fought a two-year legal case after refusing to pay a £60 fine for taking his daughter to Disney World Florida for a week during school time in April 2015. The saga saw the dad-of-three go all the way to the Supreme Court, where he eventually lost.

Prior to the final ruling, Platt had successfully argued against the original fine imposed by Isle of Wight Council and he was backed by the High Court in May 2016, after the local authority appealed.

In December 2016, the council was granted a final appeal. This time, Supreme Court judges found in the council’s favour when the case was heard in April 2017. The legal battle cost taxpayers at least £140,000, while Platt himself spent almost £30,000.

He was then summoned to return to Isle of Wight magistrates where he was fined £2,000 and given a 12-month conditional discharge.

After the Supreme Court ruling, Platt said he regretted not paying the initial fine. He appeared on ITV’s This Morning programme saying: “If I could go back in time and I knew what I know today, I would have paid £60.”

In the year before the final ruling, Department for Education figures suggest the Platt case led to a sharp rise in term-time holidays, with nearly 60,000 more pupils taken out of school on unauthorised family holidays at the start of the school term in September 2016, compared to the previous year.

WTM London’s Paul Nelson, said: “Demand and supply dictates that travel costs go up during peak times and families will pay more during traditional school holidays.

“Some parents find it difficult to take time off outside of term time because of pressure on work rotas.

“A holiday provides a rare opportunity for families to spend quality time together and it would be a shame if some miss out on this valuable experience because of money issues or being unable to take annual leave during school breaks.

“As the World Travel Market London Industry Report 2017 reveals, over half of parents feel the risk of a fine is a price worth paying to take their children away during term time.”


About World Travel Market

World Travel Market (WTM) portfolio comprises five leading B2B events across four continents generating more than $7bn of industry deals. The five events are;


WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. Around 51,500 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media visit ExCeL – London every November generating around £2.8 billion of travel industry contracts. Next event: 6-8 Nov 2017 – London.


International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) now in its 20th edition, is the meeting place for the global B2B golf travel community. More than 600 golf tourism suppliers join 350 pre-qualified buyers and 100 international press for four days of unmissable pre-scheduled appointments, exclusive networking opportunities and invaluable industry and trend updates. Taking place in a different destination every year, IGTM brings together 1,400 golf tourism professionals from over 65 countries. Next event: 11-14 Dec 2017 – Cannes.


World Travel Market Latin America now in its fifth edition attracts about 9,000 unique senior executives. The event generates US$ 370 million of new business. Taking place in Sao Paulo Brazil, this show attracts a global audience to meet and shape the direction of the travel industry. More than 7,000 unique visitors attend the event to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry news. Next event: 3-5 April 2018 – Sao Paulo.


World Travel Market Africa launched in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. Nearly 5,000 travel industry professionals attend Africa’s leading inbound and outbound travel and tourism market. WTM Africa delivers a proven mix of hosted buyers, media, pre-scheduled appointments, on-site networking, evening functions and invited travel trade visitors. Next event: 18-20 April 2018 – Cape Town.


About Arabian Travel Market (ATM) is the leading, international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. ATM 2017 attracted almost 40,000 industry professionals, agreeing deals worth US$2.5bn over the four days. The 24th edition of ATM showcased over 2,500 exhibiting companies across 12 halls at Dubai World Trade Centre, making it the largest ATM in its 24-year history. Next event 22-25 April 2018 – Dubai.


About Reed Exhibitions

Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events business, enhancing the power of face to face through data and digital tools at over 500 events a year, in more than 30 countries, attracting more than 7m participants.


About Reed Travel Exhibitions

Reed Travel Exhibitions is the world’s leading travel and tourism event’s organiser with a growing portfolio of more than 22 international travel and tourism trade events in Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Our events are market leaders in their sectors, whether it is global and regional leisure travel trade events, or specialist events for meetings, incentives, conference, events (MICE) industry, business travel, luxury travel, travel technology as well as golf, spa and ski travel. We have over 35 years’ experience in organising world-leading travel exhibitions.

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World Travel Market brings the travel industry together through world leading events, content and digital tools, that make it easier for you to find personal and business opportunities and do more effective business.

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