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Judge orders boy (12) to go to private school

A 12-YEAR-OLD boy ranked in the highest percentile of scholastic achievement for his age will be enrolled in a private school by order of a High Court judge.

Mr Justice Gerard Hogan has ruled against the boy – whose education is one of a number of divisive issues in a broken marriage – attending a less prestigious State school.

In a 'family law' judgment given in open court, Judge Hogan said the parents could not agree on a choice of school for their son.

The Circuit Court had ruled in favour of the father's wishes that the boy be enrolled at the State secondary school.

The mother, now separated and living apart from her husband, preferred the private school and had appealed against the Circuit Court order.

The parents remained joint guardians and were dedicated to the boy's welfare.

Judge Hogan said they were agreed their son had considerable talents. Following completion of primary school in June, he had been offered a place in a perfectly good State school, with a high level of academic and other achievements.

Shortly after this, the boy had been offered a place at a private school of outstanding reputation – "one of the leading schools in the country" – where fees were considerable.

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

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

Judge Hogan opted to direct the enrolment of the boy at the private school, but granted both parents the right to apply to the court should circumstances change.