Friday 28 November 2014

Talented boy (12) must go to private school, judge rules

Father wanted to keep him in free system

Ray Managh and Aodhan O'Faolain

Published 22/08/2013 | 05:00

Mr Justice Gerard Hogan: ruled private school 'appropriate'
Mr Justice Gerard Hogan: ruled private school 'appropriate'

A JUDGE has ordered that a high-achieving schoolboy be sent to a private school against his father's wishes.

The High Court intervened in the schooling of the 12-year-old boy, whose education is one of a number of divisive issues in a broken marriage.

After the parents could not agree on a school for their son, Mr Justice Gerard Hogan ruled the boy should be enrolled at a private school rather than attending a less prestigious state secondary school.

Mr Justice Hogan said both parents, who are joint guardians, agreed he was considerably talented and "ranked in the very highest percentile of scholastic achievements for his age".

The boy had been offered a place in a good state school that had a high level of academic achievements. Shortly after this, he was also offered a place in the private school, described as "one of the leading schools in the country", where places are highly coveted and which commands high fees.

The father had insisted a private education was beyond the family's means and the boy might feel isolated with children from wealthier backgrounds.

The Circuit Court ruled in favour of the father's wishes that the boy attend a state secondary school.

However, the matter came before the High Court after the mother, who is now separated from her husband, preferred the private school and appealed.

Mr Justice Hogan said that, after the Circuit Court ruling, the private school had offered the family a 50pc discount, and one set of grandparents had agreed to pay the other half.

Other sources of funding were highlighted, including a €30,000 trust fund for the boy and his sister, and an additional €16,000 savings fund due to mature in a few years.

APTITUDE

The father had strongly objected to the use of this money to back up a private school education.

Directing the enrolment of the boy at the private school, Mr Justice Hogan told both parents they could come back to court if circumstances change.

He said, considering the boy's "scholastic aptitude", it would be appropriate he go to a school "best suited" for his talents.

The court ordered that there should be no publicaiton of boy's name, his parents' names, or the schools.

Irish Independent

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