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Sheriff finds in favour of Edinburgh mother who had been refused school placing request

Appeal against refusal of a primary one placing request
This case involved an appeal against the refusal of a primary one placing request for the appellant’s youngest son. The Appellant lived with her 6 children in Edinburgh. They used to live close to the primary school concerned but moved to accommodate a growing family some years prior to the Proof. The four oldest children had attended the school and three were still there. The appellant was separated from her husband and submitted it would be impossible to take her sons to two different primary schools and a high school each morning. Further her youngest son was introverted and would benefit from being near his brothers at school. The primary school near to her home was too large, noisy and unsuitable and it would not be good for the child, nor financially viable, to remain at nursery and defer school for a year. The appellant stated, if need be, she would home school the child until a place at the preferred school became available.
The school refused the placing request as they already had more pupils registered than the maximum class size of 25. Accordingly they took the view that to agree the request would require them to employ an additional teacher and would be likely to be seriously detrimental to their pupils’ educational wellbeing. The child was placed 9th on their waiting list (on which he had moved up to 7th by the time of Proof). An appeal was marked and the Placing in Schools Appeal Committee confirmed that the request should be refused on the two grounds put forward by the school. The appellant then appealed to the Sheriff Court.
Sheriff Crowe accepted that the two grounds existed but allowed the appeal on the basis of the child’s own circumstances. The Sheriff had seen the waiting list and noted that the child in the case had the most siblings at the school of all children on the list and had a brother closest in age to him (P2) already at that school. Expenses were awarded against the respondents.

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