The high court in Belfast

The High Court in Belfast

Press Statement Following Today’s High Court Judgement in the case of School ‘X’ v Exceptional Circumstances Body

This 11 year old boy who cannot be named was sadly the victim of a racist attack on his family home. He was deeply impacted by this experience and as a result, the Exceptional Circumstances Body (ECB) set up by the Department of Education to assess applications where the normal selection process has failed, directed that he must be admitted to a specific Belfast grammar school which was most suited to his needs and circumstances. The school refused to accept this binding decision of the ECB and refused to admit the child into first year.

As a result, we took judicial review proceedings and, once these proceedings were before the court, the school agreed to admit the child under protest and on a temporary basis.

The school then sought to challenge the decision of the ECB in the High Court in Belfast and were granted declaratory relief. However, more importantly, the High Court has today ordered that the child must remain in the school.

Katie McAllister, of Madden and Finucane Solicitors, said:

“The family are grateful that more trauma has been avoided and that the child can remain in the school following the original ECB decision”.