A boy expelled from an English Schools Foundation (ESF) school after a playground scuffle was granted permission yesterday to launch a judicial review into the decision. Mr Justice Michael Hartmann gave approval for the boy, 10, and his parents to fight the ESF's March 26 decision to expel the boy and bar him from ESF schools. In granting leave for a judicial review, Mr Justice Hartmann said his decision was not based on the merits of the case but rather the impact on the future of the boy, who was close to completing his final year of primary school. 'I accept ... that in today's world, expulsion from a school, especially from a school of real standing such as the ESF ... is a great matter, as it is a case where it would affect this young boy's rights, the right to education,' the judge said. 'One has to be very careful to ensure when you are making a decision, that a decision is being made fairly. The allegation is that it has not been made fairly.' In announcing his decision, Mr Justice Hartmann also asked the parents to closely consider whether taking legal action was the best course to take, given the emotional strain on their son. Counsel for the family, Russell Coleman, told the Court of First Instance his clients had still not been given access to the school's disciplinary guidelines and, as such, were not sure whether their son had been dealt with fairly. He told the court the decision was based on a psychologist's opinion, although he had not talked to the boy about the incident. 'The boy is extremely bright and is less developed socially as less bright children are at that age,' he said. 'He has issues ... in reacting to provocative performances directed at him ... at school [and] the school has been made aware of this.' An earlier High Court writ claimed the boy became involved in an altercation with a Year Six pupil on March 23 after being called names. He lost his temper, grabbed the boy around the neck and pushed him against a wall, causing him to slump to the ground. There was never any suggestion the other boy lost consciousness, the writ said. The writ also said the parents were told on March 26 that their son had been expelled. The ESF and the school said they had expelled the boy because they had a responsibility to ensure the school's other pupils were not placed in danger and they felt the boy was a danger, the writ said.