The Court of Appeal has ruled that a school which refused to clean and change an incontinent paraplegic student had not discriminated against him.
The child suffered frequent accidents and a special needs coordinator employed by the school had cleaned and changed him as required. However, when the coordinator suffered a serious back injury whilst lifting the child, that practice was discontinued. The headmaster concluded that the child’s continued placement in the school could no longer be justified because of the health and safety implications for staff.
The child’s mother appealed against the headmaster’s decision. The question at issue was whether the action taken by the school amounted to discrimination. The Court of Appeal concluded that the school’s actions were reasonable and it could not be said to have placed the child at a disadvantage compared with other pupils at the school.