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Dublin: 5°C Wednesday 25 November 2020

Child (6) deemed by school to be “an unacceptable risk” to other students will be let reapply

The school had earlier been told to enrol him. The board will now consider a new application.

Image: Shutterstock/Oksana Kuzmina

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.

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.

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 within the coming days, the court heard.

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 after deeming he posed an unacceptable risk to other students and  staff at the school as well as school property.

The boy’s parents appealed the decision and a three member committee which had recommended the child be enrolled.

In August, a senior official with the Department of Education and Skills had directed the school’s board of management to enrol the boy.  Afterwards the board sought orders quashing both the committee’s recommendation and the Department’s direction regarding the boy’s enrollment.

It claimed the committee’s decision was irrational and that it had erred in law, failing to deal with the child’s “very severe behavioural difficulties”.

Comments are off on this article for legal reasons. 

Read: School told it must enrol boy (6) it deems “an unacceptable risk” to other students >

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Aodhan O'Faolain and Ray Managh

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