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Masthead Education - Schools

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Publicly held land and village greens

The Court of Appeal has handed down a landmark judgment on use of publicly held land. Ashley Bowes, Jonathan Clay and Matthew Lewis consider the implications.

News headlines

Jun 11, 2018

City council faces judicial review over £5m SEND funding reduction

Bristol City Council has become the latest local authority to face a judicial review challenge over a decision to cut funding for special educational needs and disabilities.
Jun 04, 2018

Group with 44 academies to set up legal services retainers

The Harris Federation, which educates 32,000 pupils in 44 academies in and around London, is looking to put in place retainer arrangements for legal services.
May 24, 2018

Families apply for judicial review challenge to SEN policy of council

Law firm Irwin Mitchell has applied to take the London Borough of Hackney to judicial review on behalf of families granted legal aid to challenge its special educational needs policy.
May 23, 2018

Judge criticises SEN Tribunal for Wales for refusal to accept case

A judge has made withering criticisms of the Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales, which he said had been wrong both to refuse to accept a case for appeal and to try to influence him as to its merits.
May 17, 2018

Disabled teacher who showed horror film to class wins £646k payout

A disabled teacher who showed the 18-rated film Halloween to a class of 15- and 16-year-olds has had his claim for discrimination arising from disability upheld in the Court of Appeal and is reportedly set to receive a £646,000 payout.

Features and analysis

Teachers and disclosure of relationships

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The Supreme Court recently upheld the fairness of the dismissal of a head teacher, for non-disclosure of a relationship with a convicted sex offender. Phil Allen looks at the lessons from the judgment.

Reverter of school site

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The heirs to a landowner who donated a site for a school more than 100 years ago recently claimed a substantial proportion of the proceeds of sale held by a council. James Goudie QC explains the outcome.

Academies and DfE statutory guidance

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Are academies legally obliged to comply with Department of Education statutory guidance? If so, what is the source of that obligation? LexisPSL Local Government reports.

Separate but (not?) equal

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Ofsted recently won a high-profile Court of Appeal case over a Birmingham school’s practice of segregating boys and girls over the age of nine, despite it being nominally a mixed school. Richard O'Dair analyses the ruling.

Older articles

May 02, 2018

Welsh council wins appeal over whether SEN allowance was payable to teachers

A Welsh council has won an appeal over whether former teachers were entitled to be paid SEN (Special Educational Needs) allowance under their contracts.
May 02, 2018

Ombudsman warns councils on timescales for Education, Health and Care plans

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has criticised Cornwall Council for the way it carried out the transfer of a boy’s Statement of Special Educational Needs (Statement) to an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.
May 02, 2018

Council lawyers to seek return of £230k paid to academy chain

Northumberland County Council is seeking to recover money paid to the Bright Tribe academy chain after it pulled out of running a school in Hexham.
Apr 26, 2018

Asylum-seeking A-level student wins first round in battle over right to study

A teenager barred from studying by the Home Office because of her immigration status has won the first round of a legal challenge.
Apr 26, 2018

Browne Jacobson advises city council on funding for £58m skills hub

Browne Jacobson has advised Nottingham City Council on a £18m loan facility to fund the construction of a flagship £58m skills hub for Nottingham College.
Apr 24, 2018

School transport providers fined after council carries out licensing checks

A private hire operator and a driver have been fined after licensing officers at Reading Borough Council carried out checks on vehicles and drivers fulfilling school transport contracts.
Apr 17, 2018

Fewer than half of firms retain place on £46m further education legal services panel

The Crescent Purchasing Consortium, which is owned by bodies in the further education sector, has named 20 law firms to its second legal services framework, which has been estimated to be worth up to £46m.
Apr 11, 2018

Campaigners claim DfE to end collection of children’s nationality data

Campaign group Against Borders for Children (ABC) has claimed that the Department for Education (DfE) is to end the collection of children’s nationality and country of birth data in schools.
Apr 05, 2018

Parents and carers eye judicial review of changes to SEN funding by Hackney

A group of parents and carers of children with special educational needs and disabilities in Hackney are crowd funding a potential legal challenge to the London borough’s plans to make changes to SEND funding.
Mar 29, 2018

Teachers and disclosure of relationships

The Supreme Court recently upheld the fairness of the dismissal of a head teacher, for non-disclosure of a relationship with a convicted sex offender. Phil Allen looks at the lessons from the judgment.
Mar 27, 2018

Failure to weigh benefits of new school sees decision by inspector quashed

A planning inspector gave insufficient weight to the benefits a school to be provided by a developer would bring to a locality, the High Court has said.
Mar 16, 2018

Reverter of school site

The heirs to a landowner who donated a site for a school more than 100 years ago recently claimed a substantial proportion of the proceeds of sale held by a council. James Goudie QC explains the outcome.
Mar 15, 2018

Head teacher fails in Supreme Court challenge to dismissal over failure to disclose

The Supreme Court has unanimously dismissed an appeal brought by a head teacher who was sacked after she failed to disclose her friendship with a convicted sex offender to a local authority.
Mar 14, 2018

Court rejects claim against council brought by heirs of donor of school land

Oxfordshire County Council does not owe money to the heirs of someone who donated land more than 100 years ago to provide a school, a High Court judge has ruled.
Mar 13, 2018

Tribunal rejects appeal for disclosure of details of council review of education law firm

The First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has dismissed an appeal calling for the disclosure of information on a council’s review of its working arrangements with Baker Small and the authority’s use of the education law firm.
Mar 08, 2018

Ombudsman upholds 80% of complaints about Education and Health Care Plans

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman is upholding about 80% of complaints it investigates about Education and Health Care Plans (EHCPs), it has been revealed.
Mar 08, 2018

Supreme Court to rule next week on disclosure obligations of head teachers

The Supreme Court will next week (14 March) rule on the scope of a head teacher’s contractual obligation of disclosure and her right to a private life.
Mar 06, 2018

Parents criticised for approach to Equality Act in case over education of daughter

A judge has criticised two parents for their use of the Equality Act 2010 in a series of legal cases brought over their daughter’s education.
Feb 27, 2018

Watchdog doubts ability of DfE to pursue large numbers of academy conversions

The National Audit Office has issued a report questioning the Department for Education’s ability to continue converting large numbers of maintained schools to academies.
Feb 22, 2018

Ex-council worker fined for illegally sharing personal information

A former local authority education worker who admitted to unlawfully obtaining and sharing personal information about schoolchildren and their parents has been fined £850 and ordered to pay £713 in costs. The Information Commissioner’s Office said…

Older articles

Oct 31, 2017

Court rejects challenge to dismissal of student over comments on homosexuality

The University of Sheffield was right to dismiss a student from a professional social work course after he posted hostile comments about homosexuality on a website, the High Court has found.
Sep 21, 2017

Procurement body for Scottish education institutions to set up £3m legal panel

A procurement body for universities and colleges in Scotland is to establish a legal services framework worth an estimated £3m over five years.
Sep 13, 2017

Equalities watchdog sets up £500k fund for discrimination in education cases

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has launched a £500,000 scheme aimed at fighting discrimination in education.
Aug 24, 2017

Universities and the Prevent Duty

The High Court has ruled on a legal challenge over the Prevent Duty guidance issued to higher education institutions. Paul Bowen QC and Zahra Al-Rikabi explain the outcome.
Aug 04, 2017

University appoints two firms to £500k legal services contract

The University of Bradford has named two firms to a legal services contract worth an estimated £500,000.
Jun 14, 2017

University appoints three law firms to £2.7m legal services panel

The University of Edinburgh has appointed three law firms to a £2.7m, three-year legal services panel.
May 24, 2017

Kent and 21 law firms named on national higher education legal panel

Kent County Council Legal Services, which will next month become alternative business structure Invicta Law, has been appointed alongside 21 law firms to a new national legal services framework agreement for the higher education sector worth…
Apr 18, 2017

University of Glasgow to procure legal services contract

The University of Glasgow has begun the procurement of a legal services contract that could last up to four years.
Apr 10, 2017

Pinsent Masons advises university on £197m student accommodation deal

Pinsent Masons has advised the University of Sussex on its East Slope Residences project, a £197m student accommodation deal which has reached financial close.
Mar 02, 2017

Ministers to enshrine Haldane Principle on research into law

The Haldane Principle of keeping political factors out of decisions on research funding will be enshrined in the Higher Education and Research Bill, universities minister Jo Johnson has said.
Feb 23, 2017

Universities minister to clamp down on "essay mill" websites

The Government is to look for ways to thwart the growth of ‘essay mills’ - websites that allow students to buy custom-written essays that they can pass off as their own.
Feb 16, 2017

Higher education claims

The Administrative Court has given general guidance on judicial review and Office for the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) complaints. Jonathan Auburn reports.
Jan 03, 2017

University names eight providers to £4m legal services panel

The University of Exeter has named eight law firms and patent agents to a legal services framework agreement worth between £1m and £4m over a four-year period.
Dec 28, 2016

West Midlands university names six firms to £4m legal panel

Coventry University Higher Education Group has appointed six law firms to a panel worth up to £4m over four years.
Dec 12, 2016

University to set up panel of three law firms for contract worth up to £1.5m

The University of Lincoln is to award a framework agreement with three suppliers to cover high-level legal requirements.
Dec 07, 2016

Oxford University fails to have claim over alleged negligent teaching struck out

The University of Oxford has failed to persuade a High Court judge to strike out a claim brought by a former student over the quality of teaching on a history course more than 15 years ago.
Nov 23, 2016

Skills Funding Agency warning university of legal action in planning row: MP

The University of Lincoln faces legal action by the government in a planning dispute, according to Sir Edward Leigh, the Conservative MP for Gainsborough.
Oct 24, 2016

Accountancy giants win spots alongside law firms on universities legal framework

The North West Universities Purchasing Consortium (NWUPC) has named the legal arms of three accountancy giants alongside two law firms for a new legal services framework.
Oct 19, 2016

Prevent strategy "creates serious risk of human rights violations": report

The Government’s Prevent strategy in health and education “creates a serious risk of human rights violations and is also counterproductive”, it has been claimed.
Oct 19, 2016

Higher education purchasing consortia to set up national legal services panel

Five purchasing consortia for the higher education sector in England and Wales are to establish a National Framework Agreement for Legal Services.

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