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Education Law Unit Reported Cases

U.T.H. v. City of Edinburgh Council [2012] CSOH 008

The parent had made a placing request for her child which was refused by the education authority on the basis that the authority refused her placing request on the basis, inter alia, that placing the child in the specified school would make it necessary for the authority to take an additional teacher into employment   The parent then sought judicial review of the sheriff’s decision not to allow the appeal, following an education appeal committee hearing at which the authority’s decision was confirmed. It was held that the category of “excepted pupil” as per was designed only to prevent an appeal which is successful on its merits being frustrated by the fact that by the time the case is decided upon the class is full. It is not intended as a side door which allows parents to succeed in an appeal to the appeal committee or Sheriff simply because they have lodged an appeal.

K. v. North Ayrshire Council [2011] CSOH 203

The parent of a child with autism had requested transport be provided for by the home education authority following a move to another school in another authority. This request was turned down. The parent sought judicial review of this decision on the basis that the transport request was not made as part of a placing request and, as such, the authority have a duty to provide transport as per Section 51(1) of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980. It was held that the arrangements in respect of the placing of the child at the new school had been made with the host authority and, as such, the home authority could not be held responsible for the provision of transport.

S. v. K. School 2009 SLT (Sh. Ct.) 86
A secondary school pupil with ADHD was excluded from an independent school. His parent claimed disability discrimination and brought the matter to court. On appeal, the Sheriff Principal confirmed that a failure on the part of a school to take “reasonable steps” which might have avoided the need to exclude, could lead to such an exclusion being overturned by the court. Furthermore, it was for the authority to show that they had complied with that duty and not for the parent to provide minute details of what the school should have done.

Macaulay v. Aberdeenshire Council 2008 SLT (Sh Ct) 126
A parent appealed against the refusal of her placing request. She had requested a place at an independent special nursery. The Sheriff held that the education authority had not shown they would be able to meet the child’s needs in their own nursery, since they had not carried out sufficient assessment of the child’s needs. Therefore, since the burden of proof lay with the authority, the parent’s appeal was granted.

G. v. Inverclyde Council 2008 SLT (Sh Ct) 87
A parent made a placing request for his daughter to attend a Secondary School, which was due to merge with another school in three years time. The appeal was rejected based on the maximum capacity planned for the new school. On appeal, the Sheriff held that the legislation did not allow the authority to consider the effect on pupil numbers at the planned new school when deciding the outcome of a placing request to the existing school. The parent’s appeal was granted.

WD. v. Glasgow City Council (Inner House) 2007 SC 11; 2007 SLT 1057; 2007 FamLR 118
The Inner House of the Court of Session decided that a parent of a child with additional support needs who live in one education authority area could not make a placing request for a school managed by a different education authority.

D. v. Glasgow City Council 2007 SLT 881
The Court of Session decided that the Additional Support Needs Tribunal did not have jurisdiction to hear the appeal of a parent of a child with additional support needs who lived in one education authority area but had made a placing request for a school managed by a different education authority.

R.B. v. The Highland Council 2007 SLT 844; 2007 FamLR 115
The education authority had refused to open a Co-ordinated Support Plan for a child who had additional support needs arising from her exceptional musical ability. The Court decided that the question of control was an important one when considering whether an authority were responsible for a child’s school education. However, there were insufficient findings about the nature of the child’s attendance at school to reach a conclusion and the case was remitted to the Additional Support Needs Tribunal to consider that point.

Gordon, Appellant [2007] FamLR 76
The Court determined that a strict approach to interpretation of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 was required, such that an appeal against the refusal of a placing request ought to have been heard by an education appeal committee, notwithstanding that a decision to open a Co-ordinated Support Plan was taken shortly after the refusal of the placing request.

Parent A. v. East Ayrshire Council 2006 FamLR 112
A child was excluded from his Primary School for 20 days for behaviour which was related to his disability. The parent brought court action claiming that the exclusion amounted to disability discrimination. The Sheriff held that there had been less favourable treatment, but that this treatment was justified in all the circumstances.

Sim v. Argyll and Bute Council 2006 SLT 970
A petition for judicial review of the education authority’s decision not to provide transport to and from school for a child with additional support needs following a placing request. The transitional provisions in Section 30(4) of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 required the education authority to provide additional support which was no less than that they received under their Record of Needs. The Court decided that this included transport to school, and allowed the parent’s petition.

Smiles v. City of Edinburgh Council 2006 SLT (Sh. Ct.) 6
When deciding placing requests, an authority may take into account the effect of admitting pupils to a Primary School on that same class in future years.

M.M. v. North Lanarkshire Council 2005 FamLR 2
The Sheriff refused an appeal against an exclusion from school.

S. v. Glasgow City Council 2004 SLT (Sh. Ct.) 128
The Sheriff refused an appeal against an exclusion from school.

F. v. Glasgow City Council 2004 SLT (Sh. Ct.) 123
The Sheriff refused an appeal against an exclusion from school.

Glasgow City Council, Petitioners 2004 SLT 63
A failure of an education authority to provide reasons for an exclusion does not lead to the exclusion itself being unlawful or invalid. The test for the Sheriff on appeal is whether the decision to exclude was justified.

Proudfoot v. Glasgow City Council 2003 SLT (Sh. Ct.) 23
A compulsory school transfer amounted de facto to an exclusion from school. That exclusion was not for a reason provided for in the regulations and was therefore overturned.

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