Family and Child Law
In the case of Re G (Children) (Education: Religious upbringing) , a father lost his appeal against an order that the mother’s choice of school was best for their children.
Both parents came from a community of ultra orthodox Jews. They had entered into an arranged marriage in 2000 and separated in 2012. They have five children. After the separation the mother chose to follow a less orthodox lifestyle. Due to this decision the mother and the children became estranged from the maternal family.
The mother wanted the children to attend a different school to those preferred by the father. The mother wanted to send the children to a less orthodox co-educational establishment arguing that they could benefit from a broader education and more career opportunities.
A report by a CAFCASS officer gave consideration to the facts and agreed that the mother’s choice of schools was best for the children’s welfare. The judge recognised that a change in school would result in a change of lifestyle for the children however he held that it was in their best interests going forward.
The father appealed arguing that too much weight had been given to the potential educational opportunities and that insufficient eight had been given to the lifestyle changes the children would face. The appeal was dismissed.
It could not be proved that the judge was wrong in reaching his conclusions. Giving consideration to the current conditions of society today the judge was entitled to reach his decision. The judge had been entitled to rule that the mother’s choice of school would provide the children with better career prospects. He had accepted the findings of the CAFCASS officer on the welfare of the children in that it would be harder for the children to leave the orthodox community when they are older than it would be for them to choose to return to it in later life.
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