Une école privée obligée de réadmettre un élève «agressif» après que les parents ont déclaré que leur fils avait été victime de discriminationseptember 4, 2019
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A private school has been forced to re-admit an “aggressive” pupil after his parents took legal action, claiming that their son had been discriminated against.
Ashdown House, a preparatory school in Sussex which charges £9,560-a-year for boarders, counts the Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the actor Damian Lewis among it alumni.
The school expelled a ten-year-old pupil – named as “Bobby” throughout the judgement – in February after “aggressive and targeted behaviour” towards a fellow Year Five student.
This included “placing him in a headlock, pushing him in the haha, chasing him in the changing room (which resulted in the boy slipping and receiving a head injury)”.
According to the judgement, Bobby had been involved in “37 incidents of unprovoked aggression since his arrival at the school”.
The boy’s parents, backed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), took the school to court, arguing that the school had failed in its duties under equalities laws.
The parents, who adopted Bobby at 13 months, said the school know of his ADHD diagnosis and sensory processing difficulties.
Their son also had emotional and social difficulties arising from trauma in his early childhood and in the womb. When the school’s governors rejected the parents’ appeal against the expulsion, they took the case to The High Court.
The first tier tribunal found that the school had acted in a discriminatory manner, and this decision was upheld by the second tier tribunal after Ashdown House appealed.
“We found that excluding Bobby permanently amounts to unfavourable treatment under the Equality Act,” the judgement said.
“We then considered whether the unfavourable treatment was because of something arising in consequence of Bobby’s disability and concluded that it was.”
The tribunal found that while the school did make some reasonable adjustments, this did not go far enough and “other adjustments should have been made”.
The court ruled that Bobby must now be readmitted, provided with extra tuition and given a full apology by Ashdown House.
The boy’s parents said they are “delighted” that the case “makes an example of discriminatory exclusions in independent schools”.
They said in a statement: “Children living with disabilities have often been subjected to many injustices in their short lives; being unlawfully excluded from school should not be another one to add to the list.
“We hope this gives confidence to other parents of children with special educational needs that they do not have to stand by and watch their families be discriminated against.”
Hilary Phillips, headmistress at Ashdown House, said that the school “aims to meet the educational needs of all of its pupils with their happiness, safety and wellbeing at the heart of all we do”.
She added: “Since the decision of the Tribunal, the school has been in contact with the parents to support them fully in their plans for their child’s future education.”