05/10/2012 17:40 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Court Rules Dad Has No Right To Dictate School His Children Attend

Dad told his religious beliefs cannot overturn ex-wife's choice of school for their kids PA

A judge has ruled that a father's religious beliefs can not take precedence over his former's wife decision on where their children should be schooled.

Lord Justice Munby had heard at the Civil Court of Appeal that the parents were both part of the Chareidi community - the most conservative form of orthodox Judaism - in north London.

The family followed the religious rules during their 10 year marriage; not using the telephone, switching on lights or driving during the Sabbath.

But since their separation two years ago, the mother - who is said to have been ostracised by their former community - did not want their children to go to ultra-orthodox schools.

She was 'determined' that they should have the schooling she never had and that her education of choice would give them 'infinitely superior opportunities'. Her ex-husband had objected to his daughters attending mixed-sex schools, and having unrestricted access to social networks, the internet, television and 'certain newspapers'.

Lord Justice Munby rejected the father's appeal on the basis the dispute came down to whether the mother's views on education should prevail over the father's arguments based on his way of life.

He said that historic views that dads had a 'sacred right' over their children's education were no longer reflected in modern society.

He said he acknowledged that the issue was of 'transcendental importance' to the Chareidi community, but said it was a fundamental value of modern English society that 'every child should have equality of opportunity and to be able to grow into adulthood equipped to decide what kind of life they want to lead.'

The Telegraph reports that the court upheld a previous decision that the children's welfare would be best served by their mother's proposals for their education.