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(Ireland) School ordered to admit autistic student to regular ed; ASD classes are full

Aug 27, 2018, Irish Times: Secondary school in court challenge to decision requiring it to enrol boy with autism A secondary school has brought a High Court challenge against a decision requiring it to enrol a student who has autism and a learning disorder. The Leinster-based school says that while it has specific autism spectrum disorder (ASD) classes the child’s mother applied to have him enrolled in the mainstream school, which his brother attends, starting early next month…. .... As a result of this, the school believed he would not be able to access the curriculum in any meaningful way and would require a full-time special needs assistant. The school held that the needs of the boy, due to his mild general learning disability and autism, would be best met in a special class setting. The school claimed its ASD classes were full, and the application to enrol him had been made months after the closing date for the 2018-19 year had closed. … Mr McDonagh said the board considered the committee’s decision to be irrational and flying in the face of fundamental reason and common sense. He said it appeared the committee’s decision was based on a belief that the school’s reasons for refusing to enrol the boy was in contravention of a circular issued by the Department of Education concerning funding. Counsel told the court the committee’s interpretation was incorrect as the circular had not been intended to affect the school’s admissions policies and concerns or how the department proposed to fund extra resources for the special education area. In its proceedings against the secretary general of the Department of Education and the three members of the special committee, the board seeks an order quashing the determination that the school must enrol the student. It also seeks an order remitting the matter to the Secretary-General and a new hearing by a newly constituted appeals committee….


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