A DYING mother fighting to send her two young boys to the same school in Christchurch has been given a second chance to appeal.
As reported previously in the Daily Echo, terminal cancer sufferer Michelle Amey and husband Stuart wanted sons George, six, and Charlie, nine, to attend Mudeford Junior School together so they could better support each other as they faced their mother’s illness.
Dorset County Council blocked George’s entry, claiming there were insufficient places.
However, on Thursday they were told a new appeal would be granted and held at an as yet unspecified date. Mr Amey described the news as a “step in the right direction” but lamented the affect the protracted process has had on his wife and children.
“We have just got to hope that they listen to our argument this time,” he said.
“It has impacted Michelle’s health a lot. It gets to her. There are a lot of days where she is physically unable to get out of bed.
“She has always been told to avoid stress and this has been a huge stress on our family.”
Christchurch councillor Lesley Dedman, who has been campaigning on behalf of the family, said she had alerted Dorset County Council to a section of the Equalities Act 2010, which aims to stop people defined as disabled from being disadvantaged.
“I told the director and officers at our meetings that I was very concerned we were in contravention of the act and asked for an investigation,” she added.
“Despite the initial negative attitude, I know this is one of the points which moved them to allow a second appeal.”
“If we can get Michelle’s cancer classified as a disability it could make things very different.”
Cllr Toni Coombs, cabinet member for education at Dorset County Council, said: "We do not comment on the specific details of individual cases. However, due to a change in the Amey family's personal circumstances, and new information regarding this particular case, we feel that there is enough evidence to offer the family a second hearing with the independent panel."