THE five Supreme Court justices who will rule on the Isle of Wight Council v Jon Platt school fines case have been appointed and a date confirmed.
January 31 has been set for the hearing where the Isle of Wight Council, at the request of the government, will argue Islander Jon Platt should have paid a fine for taking his child on holiday during term time.
All parents across England who do not get permission from their child's headmaster to take them out of school are required to pay a £60 fine, which doubles to £120 if not paid within a certain time limit.
Mr Platt, of Nettlestone, refused to pay the fine and successfully argued in Magistrates' Court that his daughter had good attendance overall.
This decision was upheld in the High Court, but has been taken to the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court, by the Isle of Wight Council following a request from the government which has said it will pay for the legal action.
Justices Lord Neuberger, Lady Hale, Lord Mance, Lord Reed and Lord Hughes will sit on the case.
Isle of Wight Council Conservative group education spokesman Cllr Chris Whitehouse has been a consistent opponent of the council's legal action, despite it coming at the request of the Conservative government.
He said this week: "It is an outrage that Isle of Wight Council resources are being used to pursue this case against a responsible parent, who acted entirely in the best interests of his children and in accordance with council leader Cllr Jonathan Bacon’s own written policy on school absence. It’s clear that the council leader knows little about the real facts of this case or, as a parent himself, he would join me in backing the Platt family and would withdraw the case immediately before it is too late."
Cllr Bacon previously stated: "Our initial response was not to expend further Isle of Wight Council money on pursuing an appeal.
"However, as a result of the formal request from the minister, the local and national importance of this issue and the Department for Education’s commitment to cover all the costs of the appeal and contribute to the council’s previous costs, we have decided to lodge an appeal in order to resolve the issue for all."