On 6 April 2017, the Supreme Court handed down its landmark judgment in Isle of Wight Council v Platt  UKSC 28. This appeal arose from the local authority’s prosecution of a parent who had taken his child out of school to go on holiday during term time, despite the head teacher refusing permission.
The appeal turned on the meaning of ‘regularly’ in section 444 of the Education Act 1996. A parent whose child fails to attend school regularly is guilty of a summary offence, and can be prosecuted unless they pay a penalty notice. Proceedings had reached the Supreme Court because the magistrates’ court and Divisional Court had held that ‘regularly’ merely means ‘sufficiently often’, such that high attendance across the year would be a relevant consideration.