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Council Gives Assurance Over School Trips

January 22, 2010

Cancelling a school trip because it did not cater for a disabled child will not set a precedent, a council has said.

The residential trip for about 70 children at Crown Primary in Inverness was abandoned after Highland Council was threatened with legal action.

Education chief Hugh Fraser said mistakes were made by his department in following the correct process under the disability discrimination act.

But he said the council had no option but to cancel the summer trip.

The stay at an outdoor activity centre in the Cairngorms has been held annually for children at Crown Primary.

Lacked foresight

Highland Council cancelled this year’s trip to Craggan last month to avoid legal action after Donna Williamson said her daughter was physically unable to take part in the activities planned.

In a statement, Mr Fraser said the decision did not mean that children would no longer be able to enjoy such opportunities in the future.

He said the school and council officers were now working to ensure that high quality experiences meeting the needs of all pupils would be offered.

Meanwhile, the local authority has distanced itself from criticisms about the way it handled the affair by the Equality and Human Rights Commission which said the decision appeared to “lack planning and foresight”.

Highland Council said the criticisms were not from an official communication to the council, but views contained in an e-mail sent by the commission to a third party.

This post is part of the Inclusion Rules! debate at Same Difference.

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