Education Act 1998

F73 [ Designation of school by Council or Child and Family Agency

67

67. ... ]

Annotations:

Amendments:

F73

Inserted by Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018 (14/2018), s. 9, not commenced as of date of revision.

Modifications (not altering text):

C14

Prospective affecting provision: section inserted by Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018 (14/2018), s. 9, not commenced as of date of revision.

F73 [ 67. (1) In the case of a child with special educational needs, the Council may

( a ) of its own volition, or

( b ) at the request of the parents of the child, where the Council is of the opinion that the parents of the child, after having made all reasonable efforts, have failed, for reasons related to the child s special educational needs, to obtain any school placement for the child,

designate the school which the child is to attend and that school shall admit the child upon being directed by the Council to do so.

(2) In making a designation under subsection (1) , the Council shall have regard to

( a ) the special educational needs of the child concerned,

( b ) the wishes of the child s parents,

( c ) where appropriate, and in accordance with the age and maturity of the child concerned, the wishes of the child,

( d ) the availability of places in schools in the locality,

( e ) the school that, in the Council s view, it would be in the best interests of the child concerned to attend, with preference given to the child s local school unless the best interests of the child require otherwise,

( f ) the ability of the school to accommodate the child concerned and to meet his or her special educational needs, including that ability when resources are made available to the school, in accordance with the policies relating to education generally and the education of children with special educational needs, which are formulated from time to time by the Minister.

(3) The Agency may, in the case of a child other than a child in relation to whom a designation under subsection (1) may be made

( a ) of its own volition, where the child has no school place, or

( b ) at the request of the parents of the child, where the Agency is of the opinion that the parents of the child, after having made all reasonable efforts, have failed to obtain any school placement for the child,

designate the school which the child is to attend and that school shall admit the child, upon being directed by the Agency to do so.

(4) In making a designation under subsection (3) , the Agency shall have regard to

( a ) the wishes of the child s parents,

( b ) where appropriate, and in accordance with the age and maturity of the child concerned, the wishes of the child,

( c ) the availability of places in schools in the locality,

( d ) the school that, in the Agency s view, it would be in the best interests of the child to attend.

(5) Where a school is designated under subsection (1) or (3) , the board of the school may, not later than the date determined in procedures under subsection (19) , appeal the decision to an appeals committee.

(6) Subject to subsection (7) , on hearing an appeal under subsection (5) an appeals committee shall within the period determined in procedures under subsection (19)

( a ) allow the appeal and cancel the designation, or

( b ) dismiss the appeal.

(7) The appeals committee shall, in reaching its decision, allow an appeal under subsection (5) and cancel the designation only where it is satisfied that the Agency or the Council has failed to comply with any of the requirements of this section or the school has established that the decision of the Agency or the Council, as the case may be, is unreasonable.

(8) Where

(a) the Council has failed or refused to make a designation under subsection (1) pursuant to a request under paragraph (b) of that subsection within the period determined in procedures under subsection (19) , or

(b) the Agency has failed or refused to make a designation under subsection (3) pursuant to a request under paragraph (b) of that subsection within the period determined in procedures under subsection (19) ,

the parents concerned may, within the period determined in procedures under subsection (19) , appeal to an appeals committee against the failure or refusal to make a designation.

(9) On hearing an appeal under subsection (8) , an appeals committee shall, within the period determined in procedures under subsection (19)

( a ) allow the appeal and give a direction to the Council or the Agency, as the case may be, requiring the Council or the Agency to designate a school, and the Council or the Agency, as the case may be, shall comply with such direction, or

( b ) dismiss the appeal.

(10) When notifying

( a ) the board of its decision to allow or dismiss an appeal under subsection (5) , or

( b ) the parents of its decision to allow or dismiss an appeal under subsection (8) ,

a committee shall give reasons for its decision.

(11) The Minister shall appoint one or more than one committee (in this section referred to as an appeals committee ) to hear and determine appeals under this section.

(12) An appeals committee shall be independent in the performance of its functions.

(13) An appeals committee shall consist of a chairperson and such number of ordinary members as may be determined by the Minister, and, in the case of an equal division of votes, the chairperson shall have a casting vote.

(14) The chairperson and ordinary members of an appeals committee shall be appointed by the Minister from among persons who have a special interest in or knowledge of education and shall, in the case of any appeal concerning a child with special educational needs, include at least one person who has a special interest in or knowledge in relation to the education of persons with special educational needs.

(15) The term of office of the chairperson and the ordinary members of an appeals committee shall be for such period as shall be determined by the Minister.

(16) The chairperson or an ordinary member of an appeals committee may resign by letter addressed to the Minister.

(17) The chairperson or an ordinary member of an appeals committee may be removed from office by the Minister for stated misbehaviour.

(18) The chairperson and the ordinary members of an appeals committee shall be paid such allowances for expenses as the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, may determine.

(19) The Minister may, in the interests of the operation of an efficient appeals process under this section and following consultation with the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, the Council, the Agency, bodies representative of patrons, national associations of parents, recognised school management organisations and recognised trade unions and staff associations representing teachers, determine procedures to

( a ) be followed by an appeals committee when hearing an appeal under this section, which procedures shall ensure that hearings are conducted with the minimum of formality consistent with giving all parties a fair hearing,

( b ) specify time limits applicable to appeals, and

( c ) provide for any other related or ancillary matter.

(20) In this section

Agency means the Child and Family Agency;

board includes, where the context so requires, a relevant managerial authority of a centre for education;

child includes a person in respect of whom an application for admission to a school has not been made;

Council means the National Council for Special Education;

school includes a centre for education. ]