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EDITIONS
Friday, 24 August, 2001, 16:58 GMT 17:58 UK
Parents win admissions row
Parents outside the court
The parents celebrate outside court: "Justice is done"
The parents of four children have won the legal right to send their children to the same school as their older brothers and sisters.

The four-year-old pupils had been refused places at White's Infant School in Hanham by South Gloucestershire Council because of a strict policy of limiting classes to 30 children.

Samuel White's School
Class numbers have reached the limit of 30
The families, who live outside the school's catchment area, had appealed against the decision and the local authority's own appeals panel ruled in favour of the parents.

The council in turn challenged the panel's ruling, but this was rejected by a High Court judge on Friday.

Mr Justice Stanley Burnton said he would have allowed the council's challenge but for the fact that it had delayed for five weeks before launching its court case.

"In the context of a case like this where a decision has been made in June in relation to children who are due to start school in September, a delay of five weeks is excessive and justifies the court's refusal to grant relief," he said.

'Justice'

Andrew Pearce, 43, whose four-year-old son Gareth was one of the children involved, said he was totally relieved.


We didn't know why South Gloucestershire wanted to pursue this case

Lee Rimell
"It is the classic cliché of justice being done," he said.

The education authority had "totally disregarded anyone's rights", he added.

Another father, Lee Rimell, 31, whose son Jack was caught up in the dispute, said they had got justice.

"We said all along that we didn't know why South Gloucestershire wanted to pursue this case."

The money spent on court costs would have been better spent funding more teachers, he added.

South Gloucester Council said later it would not take the case to the Court of Appeal.

See also:

23 Aug 01 | UK Education
02 Aug 01 | UK Education
19 Apr 01 | Mike Baker
24 Apr 01 | UK Education
11 Jul 01 | UK Education
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