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  1. ITV Report

School facing legal action for not letting pupils take A-levels

A grammar school is facing legal action after withdrawing places for a number of A-level students who failed to achieve certain grades.

St Olave's grammar school Credit: Google Street View

Lawyers have begun proceedings against the governing body of St Olave's grammar school in Orpington in south east London after two students were told they could not continue their A-level studies into Year 13.

  • The pupils failed to achieve Bs in any of their subjects taken in the first year of sixth form, lawyers said
  • Days ago they were told they could return to the school but only to study a BTEC in health and social care
  • The high-achieving school, which will start its new term on September 5, is said to operate a three-pronged policy to "maintain its exceptional A-Level results"

Year 12 pupils will normally have gained three Bs or higher if they wish to complete their studies in Year 13, the school's sixth form rules and regulations state.

An email sent to the school's Year 12 tutors in June said that pupils who scored a C would not be able to pursue that subject through to A-level.

If a student scored a C, they must sign an agreement that the school reserves the right not to enter them for A-level examinations in any subject in which it is considered they will not score a B or above.

The claimants are contesting the policy on the grounds that it does not safeguard and promote the welfare of the children at the school, and is irrational.

Proceedings have now been issued. As well as assisting our clients, these proceedings will hopefully assist others who may be affected now and/or in the future by the school's policies and practices. We hope that the governing body will now reconsider the policy and its application, and further that the children affected can return to their A-level studies at the start of term with their peers.

– Dan Rosenberg, lawyer acting for the families

The Department for Education said it would not comment while legal proceedings were ongoing, but issued guidance on its exclusion policies.

Neither the school, nor the London Borough of Bromley, which is listed as an interested party, responded to requests for comment.

A hearing to determine whether a judicial review will be granted is due to take place on September 20.