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PARENT SEEKS JUDICIAL REVIEW OF BRADFORD'S SCHOOLS ADMISSION

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A father is mounting a new legal challenge to a Bradford City Council policy which is said to exclude predominantly...
A father is mounting a new legal challenge to a Bradford City Council policy which is said to exclude predominantly Asian Manningham children from all the city's most popular schools.

Mr Mohammed Kholil claims the council's catchment area policy racially discriminates against Manningham residents and flies in the face of their right to chose their children's schools. A father-of- six, Mr Kholil was denied his choice of school for his teenage son, and fears for the future education of his two younger siblings now attending middle school.

His counsel, Mr James Goudie QC, said his case bore a 'strong resemblance' to that of Manningham parent, Sikander Ali, whose case was thrown out by Mr Justice Jowitt earlier this year. But Mr Goudie told Mr Justice McCullough he was not bound by Mr Justice Jowitt's ruling which he claimed was 'plainly wrong'. Mr Kholil's bid for Judicial Review was made necessary by Mr Ali's decision not to take his case to the Appeal Court, he added.

Mr Goudie said the council had not abandoned its former policy in the wake of the Sikander Ali case but was continuing with it. Though it might be too late to change the council's school admissions policy for the September 1993 intake, he claimed Mr Kholil was still in time to have the policy changed for September 1994. He said the process of admissions for September 1994 was 'only just starting' and it was not too late for the court to interfere.

But the council's barrister, Miss Elizabeth Appleby QC, said booklets relating to 1994 admissions had been sent to parents ten days ago. That was four weeks late because of delays caused by the Sikander Ali case, she added. The council was now 'well under way' in arranging 1994 admissions, she continued.

But Mr Goudie said it was 'fairly extraordinary' of the council to claim that it was 'so far down the path' in its preparations for 1994 admissions that the policy could not now be changed. The simple fact that the policy had been in effect for some time did not justify the continuance of an 'unlawful policy', he told the court. The hearing continues.

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