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Applicant not entitled to extension of time to challenge decision of Teaching Council

By: Hannah Godfrey BL

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High Court refuses application for extension of time within which to seek leave to apply for judicial review of decision of respondent refusing to register the applicant as a qualified teacher at post-primary level, on the grounds that: (a) the applicant’s decision to await the outcome of her data access request did not justify the granting of an extension of time; (b) there was nothing in the affidavit evidence that suggested that the applicant’s health precluded her from instituting judicial review proceedings promptly; (c) there was no convention to the effect that the obligation to comply with the three-month time limit was suspended during the summer months; and (d) it was not the case that the applicant had been precluded from making an application for leave due to the public health measures introduced in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Judicial review - application for leave initially moved ex parte - High Court directed that application should be made on notice to respondent - applicant is registered with respondent but applied to be registered as a qualified teacher at post-primary level - respondent rejected application - first-instance decision of the Qualifications Panel of the Teaching Council - subsequent decision by Registration Review Group affirming decision - final decision notified to applicant in June 2019 - application for leave resisted as having been made out of time - application initially moved in July 2020, 13 months after decision - three-month time limit under Order 84, rule 21 RSC - in intervening period applicant had applied to respondent for disclosure of certain records and then objected to certain redaction in the records - argued by applicant that her own health, unavailability of counsel over summer and public health measures from March 2020 also justified the delay - whether applicant entitled to an extension of time.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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