Judge shuns plea for school to readmit boy

A JUDGE yesterday refused to force teachers at a Birmingham school to teach a boy who had been expelled, writes Judith Judd.

Pauline Stewart had applied for an interim injunction at Birmingham County Court to compel Westminster School in Handsworth, Birmingham, to readmit her 10-year-old son, Isa, who is being taught alone because teachers will not have him in their class.

Isa was expelled in January after a fight in the playground when he allegedly dug his fingernails into a teacher's hand. The local authority ordered the school to take him back but when he returned on 10 May teachers refused to teach him. He was taught by two supply teachers and separated from other pupils at playtime.

Mrs Stewart applied for the injunction against David Neale, the headmaster, the school's governors, Birmingham City Council and the Secretary of State for Education. She said they were in breach of their statutory duty, had conspired to prevent Isa going back to school and that the action taken against him was discriminatory.

Judge Wilson Mellor QC said the court could not become involved in school discipline. It would be undermining the headmaster and 'would be unsatisfactory for teachers having to consult solicitors every time they act, and having to look over their shoulders in case there was an application against them'.

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