Thursday, 03 November 2016 19:58

Primary school refused to give place to child with Down’s Syndrome

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A primary school has been found guilty of discrimination after it refused to give a girl with Down’s Syndrome a full-time place.

The school claimed it had to be ‘evacuated most days’ due to the girl’s violent outbursts, which included throwing computers, attacking staff and laying on the floor.
Despite showing vast improvement in her behaviour as time went on, she was refused a full-time place, a court heard. But after the mother complained to Herefordshire Council she was allowed back on a part-time basis. The mother insisted her daughter ‘loved’ the school and wanted to attend the whole day.
The school again refused, saying they had now made ‘reasonable adjustments’ to accommodate her. On Wednesday, the ruling was challenged in court and the school was found guilty of direct disability discrimination, and ordered to give her a full-time place.
Judge Edward Mitchell said ‘the stigma associated with a finding of discrimination can be significant.’ But added that a part-time place was not ‘a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.’ The judge said the girl’s love of the school was down to her teacher showing ‘real skill and dedication’.