Parents win school places judicial review

The BBC reports that the ruling has been announced in the judicial review of school’s allocation of places noted here. And the ruling would seem to place an onus in future on school authorities to check that the addresses of prospective pupils are genuine. On Tuesday the Education minister faced some questions in the Assembly on this. And in an earlier report the barrister for the Department of Education appeared to be putting that onus firmly on the schools

The barrister for the Western Education and Library Board and the Department of Education said the school was well aware it should not have offered places to pupils when they had exceeded their quota and that the Board’s appeal tribunal could not be expected to know about false addresses.

More from this short report

Mr Justice Weatherup said the school was wrong to take the address of applicants on face value, when the practice of so called grannying was well known.

Adds The question now is will the Department raise the cap on school numbers in this case, which would allow the school to admit the three pupils concerned, or will the cap stay in place forcing the school to check those addresses..

Or rather the important point would appear to be in the quote from the UTV report on Mr Justice Weatherup’s comments about taking the addresses on face value.

Up to now the advice coming down, from the Department and the Education Board, to the schools has been to do just that. This ruling should mean that the Department and the Education Board will need to think again.