News Courts

Saturday 23 August 2014

State agency stymied parents' bid to home-school, court told

Joe Leogue

Published 10/05/2014 | 02:30

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A COUPLE charged with failing to send their child to school have claimed that their attempts to register their daughter as home schooled have been “stymied” by a State agency.
A COUPLE charged with failing to send their child to school have claimed that their attempts to register their daughter as home schooled have been “stymied” by a State agency.

A COUPLE charged with failing to send their child to school have claimed that their attempts to register their daughter as home-schooled have been stymied by a state agency.

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The parents, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared at Fermoy District Court, Co Cork, charged with failing to send their teenage daughter to school.

Peter Groarke, prosecuting, told the court it wasn't the prosecution's case that the child should not be home-schooled but that her chosen method of education should be registered, as required by law.

The girl's father, however, claimed that the school attendance notice was "illegal, unfounded and issued due to error, mistake and incompetence".

Family

He said that he and his wife had written to the Child and Family Agency more than a dozen times to ask questions arising from the registration process before they received a reply.

The girl's parents, who represented themselves in court, said that they had no objection to their daughter attending school if she so wished and that they have another daughter who attends her local secondary school.

Mr Groarke said that more than 2,000 children had successfully registered as home- schooled since 2000, and that the registration process was not preclusive in these cases.

The girl's father requested that the issue be adjourned to a dedicated sitting of the court.

He said the level of complexity of the issue was "astounding, enormous and growing more so by the week".

Judge Brian Sheridan said that the case was more suited to a family law court setting as opposed to the District Court.

The case was adjourned until July.

Irish Independent

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