Inner House finds against City of Edinburgh Council

An excellent decision by the Inner House on placing requests to special schools.  A bench consisting of the Lord President, Lady Cosgrove and Lady Paton handed down a unanimous decision in the case of City of Edinburgh Council v. Mrs. MDN, an appeal against a decision of the Additional Support Needs Tribunal.

My favourite passages is in paragraph 26 of the decision:

“In our view the approach of the Tribunal on this matter was clearly correct. Paragraph 3(1)(f)(iii) identifies the matters, and the only matters, to which the authority (and the Tribunal) have to have regard when deciding whether it is not reasonable to place the child in question in the requested school. These are the respective suitability and the respective cost (including necessary incidental expenses) of the provision for the additional support needs of the child in the two schools under consideration. Both those matters relate to, and relate only to, the child in question and the provision of additional support needs for him or her. The position, and any consequential expenditure by the authority, in respect of any other child or children is irrelevant to this exercise.

In other words, the education authority cannot emotionally blackmail decision makers by claiming that if the Tribunal awards one child a suitable (yet expensive) educational placement then they will have no choice but to disadvantage other vulnerable children by cutting back on their support.

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