Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Dáil Eireann Debate
532. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Science the number of instances in respect of which an appeal to his Department under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998, or other procedure by parents against decisions by school authorities to refuse admission or a school place to children with or without special needs to primary or second level schools with or without special needs facilities was found in favour of the parents; the extent to which school authorities have complied with such decisions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26469/09]
Minister for Education and Science (Deputy Batt O’Keeffe): A total of 1439 appeals have been made to the Department of Education and Science, under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998, against decisions by schools to refuse enrolment to children. Of this total, 738 went to full hearing, of which 360 of the appeals were upheld in favour of the parents.
Determinations issued by appeal committees under Section 29 of the Education Act are binding by statute, subject to the right of either of the parties to seek Judicial Review of the decision, and to seek a stay on the implementation of that determination, pending the outcome of Judicial Review.
Six schools have sought Judicial Reviews against decisions by Section 29 appeal committees to uphold appeals against refused enrolment. One judgment has been received, one case was settled by agreement between the parties, two cases have been heard and are awaiting judgment, and two are pending.
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