Separated Father Wins €5,000 for ‘Hurt and Upset’ Caused by School’s Failure to Communicate about Child’s Progress

Complaint to the Equality Tribunal under Equal Status Acts 2000-2007-claim that father was discriminated against on the grounds of gender, marital status and family status-Community School failed to provide information he had sought with regard to his children’s progress in school-4 children-separated-divorced-expressed concern over children’s attendance and performance-Principal agreed to furnish copies of school reports and attendance records for last 3 years-did not receive reports-contacted NEWB also-all promised reports did not arrive-eventually received some-learned that school had visited former wife re attendance-no attempt to contact him-new Principal appointed-records received within fortnight of sending solicitor’s letter-14 months after he originally sought them-did not receive all school reports-lodged equality complaint with equality tribunal.

Decision of Equality Officer

Sufficient evidence that father was less favourably treated by the Community School because of his status as a separated father-discriminated against on marital status ground contrary to the Equal Status Acts-respondent failed to rebut the allegation of discrimination-order that the respondents pay €5,000 for the hurt and upset caused-ordered that the school revise its existing guidelines for communication with parents-school to correspond with all parents in a  fair and equitable manner irrespective of marital status.

Decision date: 5th November, 2010

A Separated Father v A Community School

Read the full decision here

You might also be interested in family law problems for schools.