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Last Updated: Friday, 26 August 2005, 20:39 GMT 21:39 UK
Parents win school choice appeal
A group of parents have won their appeal to get their children into the primary school of their choice.

The 12 families initially won an appeal where it was ruled that the council had wrongly blocked their children from Caversham Primary School in Berkshire.

Reading Borough Council then had this decision reversed at the High Court.

But the family were told they had won their second appeal on Friday. The council said it would accept the new Independent Appeal Panel ruling.

What I have learned is small people can win against big authorities like the council
Darren Cummings, whose daughter Chloe will now be able to attend school

A delighted Darren Cummings, whose daughter Chloe will now her join her two elder sisters at the school, said: "We are over the moon. We got married in May and we have not been really able to talk about anything but this.

"We can now get on with our life properly.

"What I have learned is bully-boy tactics do not work with the community around here.

"Small people can win against big authorities like the council.

'Stressful time'

"You have got to fight for what's right."

His wife, Claire Cummings said: "It has been horrible, it has been five months of just stress all the time - not knowing if Chloe will be going to school in September or not."

The Cummings were one of six families who paid 15,000 each in legal fees relating to the High Court hearing.

Despite the pupils living in the school's catchment area, the council argued the school was oversubscribed, and could not accommodate them without affecting the quality of education offered.

But the school's admissions panel had to concede that its members had failed to give sufficient reasons in their decision letters, and that they had also applied the wrong legal test.

A council spokesman said: "The council is surprised by the decisions of the independent appeals panel but will accept those decisions.

"We appreciate it has been a difficult time for the families involved and we will now work with the parents and the school to arrange the admission of these children as smoothly as possible."


SEE ALSO:
Battle over school places goes on
23 Aug 05 |  Berkshire
Parents hit out at school ruling
29 Jul 05 |  Berkshire
What are they thinking on schools?
20 May 05 |  Education
School choice 'causes distress'
22 Jul 04 |  Education


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