School allowed to challenge decision on boy’s enrolment
Parents successfully appealed against ruling by department denying the pupil a place
The west of Ireland school claims the appeals committee’s decision was wrong in law
A secondary school has been given permission by the High Court to challenge a decision which requires it to enrol a boy in first year following an appeal by his parents.
The west of Ireland school is challenging the decision by an appeals committee, established by the Department of Education and Science under the 1998 Education Act to deal with appeals over matters such as enrolment refusals.
The school claims the committee’s decision was wrong in law because it gave undue weight to evidence by the boy’s parents they had a reasonable expectation of an offer of a place for him once they switched him to a particular primary school in the year before he sought a place in the secondary school.
The school denies any undertaking was given to the parents but says they were told they would be in a better enrolment position if the child was in the feeder school. The child repeated sixth class in primary school so he could get into the feeder school.
Feichín McDonagh SC, for the school, said the child ended up being put into a lottery for available places but was not successful. Following this, the parents lodged a successful appeal with the department.
Mr Justice Seamus Noonan granted the ex-parte (one side only represented) application for leave to challenge the committee’s decision and returned the case to next month.