Local council told to apologise to disabled girl excluded from school trip

A local council has been told to apologise to a disabled girl after she was excluded from attending an overseas school trip.

The secondary school, run by Perth and Kinross Council, and pupil involved have not been identified but the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) judgment highlights shortcomings in how the matter was handled.

The complaint was taken up by an MSP, referred to as Ms C, on behalf of her constituent (Mrs B) about the decision made by the school to exclude her daughter (Miss A) from going on the trip.

The report said: “The school carried out an additional risk assessment and sought advice from the council, who advised that a parent or guardian should accompany Miss A, otherwise she should be excluded for safety reasons.

“Ultimately, a parent or guardian could not attend, and Miss A did not go on the trip. Ms C complained the school failed to take all relevant information into account.”

Concerns were also raised about how the school communicated the decision to exclude the girl to her and her mother.

The report concluded: “We found that, due to their concerns about her health, it was reasonable that the school carried out an additional risk assessment about Miss A’s attendance on the trip.

“However, we found the school should have given Mrs B a timescale to provide medical documents, which it did not.”

The council has been asked to apologise to the girl and her mother and to take on board various recommendations to avoid a similar situation in the future.

A council spokesman said: “We note the ombudsman’s decision and we have addressed the recommendations as set out in the decision report.”