Boy's Legal Battle Could Spell the End for Catholic Schools; Religious Education System Faces Historic Challenge in the Courts

By Madeley, Gavin | Daily Mail (London), April 6, 2001 | Go to article overview

Boy's Legal Battle Could Spell the End for Catholic Schools; Religious Education System Faces Historic Challenge in the Courts


Madeley, Gavin, Daily Mail (London)


Byline: GAVIN MADELEY

A SCHOOLBOY is to mount a historic legal challenge against his local education authority, claiming it breached his human rights by denying him a place at a Catholic school.

Non-Catholic Nathan Mackay, 12, missed out on a place at St Margaret' s Academy, Livingston, West Lothian, because it gives priority to children baptised in the Roman faith.

His father Iain Mackay believes Nathan has been discriminated against and claims West Lothian Council's rules for offering places in i t s denominational schools is out of step with the European Convention on Human Rights.

He has instructed Glasgow solicitor Cameron Fyfe to seek a judicial review, in Nathan's name, of the council's decision in a bid to have it overturned.

If Nathan's challenge is successful it could spell the end of denominational schools, which are guaranteed by the 1918 Education Act.

Mr Mackay, a business analyst with Scottish Widows, said yesterday he wanted his son to go to St Margaret's because it was the council's 'showcase' school, with good facilities and a strong academic reputation.

He said: 'If a school only takes pupils from one religion, then it discriminates positively towards them to the exclusion of others. …

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