AN 11-YEAR-OLD girl who was denied an assisted place by Education Secretary David Blunkett will start at a new school next month after the Court of Appeal reluctantly ended her mother's campaign against the decision. Rachel Begbie claimed her daughter Heather had a right to a state-aided place at the senior section of the Leys School, Cambridge, because she was already on an assisted place in the junior school. Her claim rested on a pre-election promise, supported but then corrected by Mr Blunkett, that Labour would not interfere with the education of children already on assisted places. The court criticised Mr Blunkett for "incompetence" but ruled that ministers had not acted unlawfully. The test case is expected to affect up to 1,500 children.
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