In Re S: CA 1995

Parents wanted their children to attend English middle schools in Wales. The Court dealt with the argument that the objective suitability of the nearer school had to be considered by the court on judicial review. Alternatively, it was argued that it was perverse of the LEA to decide that the Welsh school was suitable. As to Re C ‘In any event, I am clearly of the view that it was wrong and ‘suitable’ relates to the arrangements and not to the school. There is a distinction to be drawn between the objective suitability of the school which a child attends or may attend and the practical arrangements for the child’s attendance which may include the provision of free transport, boarding accommodation or enabling the child to become a registered pupil at a school nearer to his home within walking distance. Therefore, to take Roch J’s example (in ex p Schemet) it would be proper to question the suitability of the accommodation offered to the child’. As to parental choice: ‘It is inconceivable to my mind that Parliament intended the objective suitability of a school to be a defence in a subsection dealing with the lack of suitable arrangements for ensuring the attendance of a pupil. The requirement of considering objective suitability has to be inferred from the subsection and it is a construction which I do not consider it capable of bearing. Since I do not agree with [counsel’s] construction of suitable arrangements it is not strictly necessary to consider the other arguments . . . ‘

Butler-Sloss LJ
[1995] ELR 98
England and Wales
CitedRe C (a minor) CA 1994
The question was whether a school which was not that of parental choice could be regarded as suitable or, to put it the other way round, whether free transport had to be provided where a parent had chosen a school which was not the nearest to the . .
CitedRegina v Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council, ex parte Schemet QBD 1993
The court considered the withdrawal of a policy whereby the local authority paid travelling expenses for the attendance of pupils at denominational schools outside the area.
Held: Relief was granted. The authority should have consulted those . .

Cited by:
BindingRegina v Bedfordshire County Council ex parte DE 1-Jul-1996
. .
CitedJones, Regina (on the Application of) v Ceredigion County Council Admn 22-Jun-2004
The parents lawfully chose to send their child to a Welsh language school. The authority refused to provide free transport on the basis that a nearer school was available even though it was not a Welsh language school.
Held: Provided the . .
DistinguishedRegina v Kent County Council ex parte C 1998
A Local Education Authority could not properly refuse to provide free transport on the basis that there was a nearer school unless that nearer school was in its view suitable. In regard to Re S: ‘A little later, in relation to ‘the alternative issue . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 19 November 2021; Ref: scu.199248