School to take boy with learning issues

A national school’s High Court challenge, aimed at overturning the Department of Education’s direction compelling it to enrol a six- year-old boy with severe behavioural difficulties, has been resolved.

Feichin McDonagh SC, counsel for the school’s board of management, told Mr Justice Michael White the matter had been resolved. As part of an agreement a fresh application would be made again asking the school to enrol the boy.

This application would be considered by the board of management in the coming days, the court heard.

Last week lawyers for the Co Meath-based school’s board of management secured permission from the court to bring proceedings challenging decisions of the secretary general of the Department of Education and a three-person committee directing the school to enrol the boy. These proceedings have been adjourned for mention at a later date, but the school’s agreement to consider another application on the boy’s behalf is seen as a resolution of the process.

The case arose after the board of management refused to enrol the boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, in the senior infants class on health and safety grounds. The child had been expelled from another school he had previously attended.

The school’s board of management after considering four reports, including psychological reports, about the boy declined to enrol him.

The boy’s parents appealed the decision and a three- member committee recommended that the child be enrolled in the school.


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