It is alleged that the Minister for Education and the state failed in their duty when the schools were not opened to pupils with additional educational needs.
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A High Court case was opened today demanding confirmation from the Court that the Minister for Education and the state have failed in their duty to provide appropriate and satisfactory primary education when schools have not been opened to pupils with additional educational needs.
Judicial review is being sought in the case where the children and their parents allege that the State has failed in its duty, as set out in the Constitution and the Education Act 1998.
The High Court today ruled that it was not permissible to identify any of the children or their parents involved in the case.
Some children with special educational needs are taking the case to the High Court against the decision of the Minister for Education not to open schools to students with additional needs.
There are five cases in court as a representative example from 230 parents.
Children’s lawyers sought a mandatory order from the court to compel the Minister and the State to provide such appropriate and satisfactory education for children with special needs.
Senior Counsel Derek Shorthall told Judge Charles Meenan that 4% of all school pupils areare entitled to special educational services and are children who would not benefit from home tuition.
Counsel explained that some of the children were attending special schools and some were attending special classes in mainstream schools.
He said some of the children had problems injuring themselves and that other “hard cases” would be taken to court in this case.
The Judge said they were seeking an order forcing the Minister to open the schools but that the Minister could say “that’s what we want but there is no one to run it”.
That is a matter for the Minister and the unions, but the Minister has “the duty” to provide education, Shortall said. The case will return to court on Monday.