School row boy given solo lessons

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A BIRMINGHAM primary school forced to close last week after a row over the teaching of a 10-year-old boy, reopened yesterday, writes Alex Renton.

The pupil, Isa Stewart, returned to Westminster Junior School in Handsworth to be taught alone by a supply teacher at a cost of pounds 125 per day. In January, he was expelled after a playground incident in which a teacher's hand was cut.

Though the school had been ordered to take Isa back two weeks ago, teachers had refused to teach him because, they said, he was a disruptive influence. Last week the school was closed for two days after demonstrations by parents and the local African People's Education Group.

Yesterday the local education authority and the school were continuing discussions about Isa's future, considering different methods by which he could be taught. His return to the classroom was one option discussed. An education authority spokeswoman said the school year ends in seven weeks and Isa would then, it was hoped, move to a secondary school.

Isa's mother, Pauline, said she had 'no more arguments' with the school. The Department for Education is reviewing the case.