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School place no longer available for girl

A SCHOOL placement for a teenage girl who has been out of school for more than a year is no longer available, the High Court heard today.

In an action brought on her behalf the 14-year-old girl, whose has difficulties including attachment disorders and intellectual disability, is seeking various court orders aimed at compelling the Minister for Education to get her into a school.



The matter has come before the courts on several occasions. Last month Ms Justice Iseult O'Malley was due to deliver her judgment on the injunction application on behalf of the teen. The minister had opposed that application.



However the girl's lawyers asked the Judge not to deliver her judgment on the girl's injunction application but to adjourn the matter after being informed that a placement in a school was available. However yesterday the court heard the place was now not available.



Yesterday Mark de Blacam SC, for the girl, asked Ms Justice Iseult O'Malley to again hold off from delivering her judgment, and not give her decision until all matters had been fully considered.


In an affidavit to the court the girl's father said that he had been in contact with the school where it had been thought a place was available for his daughter. However the school said they could not take the teen because the required supports and services had not been made available.



The matter will return before the court  today (Wednesday), when it is expected that the judge will deliver judgment. The Judge has already indicated that she is not disposed to granting the injunction as she believes that it is mandatory in nature.



The court previously heard that her family came to Dublin in 2008. They sought and obtained a school place for her and obtained one in 2010. After a year in that particular school, she was excluded temporarily in December 2011 due to her challenging behaviour and that exclusion was made permanent from February 2012.



She has been out of school since but received home tuition from April to June 2012. She is also receiving services from the HSE. The home tuition did not resume again until December 2012 and is continuing on the basis of two hours daily.



A social worker team leader had exhibited a care plan stating the girl needed a school place with the necessary supports while a psychologist's report stated she needed to learn how to interact with other children.

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