Unholy war

18th July 2003 at 01:00
(Photograph) - An atheist pupil is considering a human rights challenge after being denied a bus pass as she chose to attend a non-church school. Laura Abbott (pictured), 16, whose family are humanists, was refused a bus pass by Lancashire County Council for the eight-mile trip to Hodgson technology college as she could have gone to St Aidans CofE a mile from her home in Knott End, Lancashire.

Laura, who was head girl at Hodgson where she took 10 GCSEs this summer, is angry that her secular beliefs were not respected by the LEA, which grants free bus passes to children travelling to Roman Catholic schools.

A spokesman for Lancashire said the 1996 Education Act allowed for free transport to be provided to pupils attending church school. The position was unclear for other schools. Photograph by ROBIN HAMMOND GUZELIAN

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