A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD Newsome girl is settling into her first term at junior school after a High Court battle over where she should be educated.
Shannon Taylor, of Roger Lane, started Stile Common Junior School last week and is making new friends.
But mum Rachel wanted Shannon to join her former friends from Berry Brow Infant School, which is a feeder school for Newsome Junior School.
Shannon was not given a place at Newsome because she lives outside the catchment area.
Ms Taylor took her case to the Kirklees Council Special Admissions Appeal Panel in May.
They rejected Ms Taylor's appeal, because Year Three was at its limit of 60 pupils and adding more would affect the education of the other children.
But Ms Taylor's solicitors, Ridley and Hall, felt the panel should have made their decision based on school's total pupil capacity. The school still had spaces left in other years.
Nigel Priestley, a partner at Ridley and Hall, said: "Newsome had a class size of 30 and Shannon is now in a class of 35 at Stile Common.
"She has ended up in a larger class, which does not prejudice her education, whereas at Newsome to be in a class of 31 apparently would. It is perplexing."
Mr Priestley said single parent Ms Taylor and her family found it awkward to transport Shannon to Stile Common.
He said: "This is not a case where somebody is trying to step in from outside the area. Pupils normally expect to go to Newsome from Berry Brow. There are also practical reasons. Everybody is having to change their lives to get Shannon to Stile."
Ms Taylor and her solicitors challenged the panel's decision by applying to the Administrative Court in London for a judicial review.
A deputy high court judge examined their application papers and refused permission for the review.
Two days ago, a second hearing was held at the Administrative Court, where Ms Taylor's barrister appealed in person to high court judge Mr Justice Jackson.
The judge refused permission for a review.
He said he could not see any error of law in the Appeal Panel's decision.
He added: "I do express the hope that this child settles down happily at Stile Common Junior School, where I am sure she will receive excellent education."
Ms Taylor, her solicitors and barrister are currently deciding whether to take their case to the Court of Appeal.
Mr Priestley said: "Ms Taylor is upset by the decision. We don't want to disrupt Shannon's life but there is a principle here that needs to be resolved.
"Local authorities and the Government can set figures which have such an impact on the life of children and their families.
"It is extremely unclear what the basis is for saying a class must be a certain size in one place but can be bigger in another and still be okay. There is a sense of unfairness."
Kirklees Council did not want to comment.
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