No student in the State can henceforth be detained till he or she completes Class VIII.

A Government Order dated July 12, 2010, states: “No child shall be held back in any class or expelled from school till the completion of elementary education in a school.”

It comes in the wake of a Madras High Court Order in June that directed a matriculation school here to promote a student detained in Class VI to Class VII.

The State government has, over the years, been following a ‘no detention policy' till Class V in its schools. Henceforth, the policy will be applicable till Class VIII.

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, which came into effect on April 1, 2010, prohibits detention of any student in the same class as per sections 4 (Special provision for children not admitted to or who have not completed elementary education), 16 (Prohibition of holding back and expulsion) and 30 (Examination and completion certificate) of the Act.

The High Court, too, had cited the RTE Act and said that the detention of the child in class VI was illegal.

“Whatever is said in the Act is applicable to all schools governed by various boards. The directors and respective boards are in the process of sending circulars to all schools,” D. Jagannathan, chairman of the advisory committee on the RTE Act in Tamil Nadu, told The Hindu on Thursday.

In case there is no provision for completion of elementary education in a school, a child shall have the right to seek transfer to a school run by the government, or by a local authority, or an aided school, the GO states.