Capacity and EHC Plans

Matthew Wyard considers an important ruling for local authority education departments on how the Children and Families Act 2014 regime for over 18s and the Mental Capacity Act 2005 regime intertwine. Read more
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Dec 04, 2020

Ombudsman criticises council after cancellation of transport sees teenager with autism miss start of term

A council has agreed to pay more than £2,400 in compensation after an investigation from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman into the termination of a child’s transport to school.
Dec 03, 2020

Council defends High Court challenge over decentralised model of specialist educational support

The London Borough of Redbridge was entitled to operate a decentralised system of specialist support under which teaching assistants are employed directly by schools, the Court of Appeal has ruled.
Nov 25, 2020

University to procure five-supplier, £2m legal services panel

The University of Lincoln is to procure an expanded panel of advisers for legal services worth an estimated £2m over five years.
Nov 12, 2020

County council hits out at latest judicial review challenge to permission for new secondary school

Gloucestershire County Council has denounced as “a disgrace” a further attempt by a parish councillor to judicially review permission for a new secondary school in Cheltenham.
Nov 12, 2020

University appoints law firm as sole provider in £2m contract

Aston University has awarded law firm Pinsent Masons a £2m contract to provide legal advice over a five-year period.
Nov 05, 2020

Council to pay almost £20,000 after child misses out on full-time secondary school education

A council has agreed to pay almost £20,000 in compensation after a boy with special educational needs missed out on much of his senior schooling because the local authority did not provide suitable alternative education for him.
Oct 15, 2020

Academy trust facing legal challenge over award of £2m software contract

A large academy school trust faces litigation from a firm that lost out in the award of an IT contract.
Oct 07, 2020

Information watchdog strongly criticises Department for Education for failure to prioritise data protection

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has made 139 recommendations – more than 60% of which are classified as urgent or high priority – to the Department for Education after publishing the outcome of a compulsory audit carried out in February 2020.
Oct 05, 2020

Department for Education facing judicial review challenge over PHSE guidance

The Coalition of Anti-Racist Educators (CARE) and the Black Educators Alliance (BEA) have sent a pre-action protocol letter to the Department for Education over guidance published last month on the curriculum for personal, social, health and economic (“PHSE") education.
Sep 30, 2020

University names six firms to legal services framework worth up to £4m

The University of Reading has appointed six law firms to a multi-million pound legal services framework that will complement its in-house department.


September 04, 2020

Cyfraith ddwy-ieithog a’r iaith Gymraeg yn y Llys Gweinyddol

Mewn penderfyniad diweddar parthed ad-drefnu ysgolion yng Nghymru ceir cymorth barnwrol, am y tro cyntaf, ar y dull gywir i ddehongli statud dwy-ieithog. Mae’r dyfarniad yn pwysleisio pwysigrwydd yr Iaith Gymraeg yn fwy eang, hefyd, ysgrifenna Owain Rhys James ac Isabelle Knight.
September 04, 2020

Bilingual devolved legislation, the Welsh language and public law

A recent High Court judgment deals with the mechanics of school reorganisation in Wales. However, the Court’s approach to interpretation of bilingual devolved legislation, and the importance of the Welsh language more generally, is of broader importance and interest to public law practitioners in Wales, write Owain Rhys James and Isabelle Knight.
August 06, 2020

The lawfulness of the registration process in disability discrimination claims

Jennifer Thelen analyses a recent Upper Tribunal school exclusion case which considered – and criticised – the process of “registering” claims for disability discrimination operated in the First-tier Tribunal.
June 26, 2020

Asking employees to re-apply for their old jobs

Can an employer ask a redundant employee to apply for their old job? Mark Stevens examines a recent Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) ruling involving the closure of a school.
June 19, 2020

COVID-19 changes to SEN duties

Steve Broach and Gethin Thomas look at the latest changes to SEN duties during the Covid-19 pandemic.
May 22, 2020

School Admissions Appeals - New Coronavirus Regulations

VWV Education Partner Yvonne Spencer explains the new regulations that have been enforced in relation to schools admissions appeals.
May 22, 2020

Injuncting Ofsted reports

The Court of Appeal has maintained the heightened hurdle test when it comes to seeking an injunction over an Ofsted report, says Peter Oldham QC.
May 18, 2020

Time for SEND reform

A new plan in relation to special educational needs and disability is urgently needed, writes Rosie Tabrizi.


Sep 16, 2020

Local resident loses Court of Appeal challenge over planning permission for school near US air force base

The Court of Appeal has rejected a bid to seek judicial review of Suffolk County Council’s decision to give itself planning consent for a new primary school in Lakenheath.
Sep 16, 2020

Newly-merged education group to establish legal services panel

An education group established this year by the merger of two colleges in the East Midlands is to set up a legal services framework.
Sep 07, 2020

University names Eversheds Sutherland to £1.2m legal services contract

The University of Portsmouth has appointed Eversheds Sutherland to a £1.2m contract to work in partnership with its in-house legal team.
Aug 26, 2020

Parents win fresh hearing in dispute over school named in EHC plan

The Upper Tribunal Administrative Appeals Chamber has ordered that a reconstituted panel of the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) should hear a dispute between the London Borough of Croydon and the parents of Child G over which school he should attend.
Aug 20, 2020

Ombudsman raps council for not providing fair hearing for child denied free school transport

Coventry City Council has agreed to amend the way it handles appeals about free school transport after the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman found its policy did not meet statutory guidelines.
Aug 19, 2020

Takeover sees colleges leave educational administration

The first two colleges to enter educational administration have emerged from this having been taken over by a neighbouring institution.
Aug 19, 2020

Claimants vow to appeal after High Court dismisses challenge over “downgrading” during pandemic of rights of children with SEN

A High Court judge has dismissed a legal challenge to the Education Secretary's decisions to reduce the obligations on local authorities to make statutory educational and health care provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities in England during the pandemic.
Aug 18, 2020

University appoints five providers to £1.4m legal services framework

The University of Hertfordshire has named 5 providers to a legal services framework worth an estimated £1.4m.
Aug 14, 2020

Council agrees to address its lack of suitable school transport for children with Special Needs

Buckinghamshire County Council has agreed to review the transport it has available to take children with Special Educational Needs to school, after the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGO) found that it left one mother out of pocket when she had no alternative but to take her child to school every day.
Aug 10, 2020

Universities purchasing consortium to procure £30m legal services framework

The London Universities Purchasing Consortium has given notice of its to procure the latest version of a multi-provider framework agreement for the provision of legal services in England and Wales worth an estimated £30m.
Aug 06, 2020

‘Autism plus’ policies unlawfully restricting autistic children’s rights to care, report says

At least 41 councils in the UK have policies that are restricting social care needs assessments and unlawfully impeding the rights of disabled children with autism, a new report has suggested.
Jul 31, 2020

High Court judge quashes decision of Welsh council to implement major school reorganisation

A High Court judge has quashed a decision by Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council to implement proposals for a wide-ranging re-organisation of primary, secondary and sixth-form education in the Pontypridd area.
Jul 29, 2020

Upper Tribunal rejects appeal by county council over naming of school for child with special educational needs

Worcestershire County Council has lost an Upper Tribunal case over which school a child with special educational needs should attend.
Jul 28, 2020

High Court to hear judicial review challenge this week over cuts by London borough to SEN provision

The High Court will this week hear a legal challenge to the London Borough of Waltham Forest’s decision to cut funding for special educational needs (SEN) provision.
Jul 13, 2020

London borough faces judicial review threat over outsourcing of SEND services

A group of parents and carers have threatened Sutton Council with a judicial review challenge over the 2016 outsourcing of its statutory services for special educational needs and disabilities.
Jul 09, 2020

Council faces judicial review over SEND cuts

A group of parents of children with special educational needs or disabilities has been granted permission to take the London Borough of Waltham Forest to judicial review over spending cuts.
Jul 02, 2020

Council wins judicial review challenge over decision by Regional Schools Commissioner to back academy conversion

Somerset County Council has overturned at judicial review a decision by the South West Regional Schools Commissioner that a local middle school should become an academy.
Jul 02, 2020

Council to review decision-making process and reimburse mother after boy left without suitable education for second time

Norfolk County Council has agreed to review its decision-making process and internal communications in relation to its special educational needs services, and provide its People and Communities select committee with regular updates on its performance, following a critical report from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.
Jun 19, 2020

Browne Jacobson appoints new Head of Higher Education

Law firm Browne Jacobson has appointed partner Bettina Rigg to its national education practice where she will be the firm’s Head of Higher Education.
Jun 17, 2020

County council withdraws post-16 transport policy after judicial review threat

A county council withdraws its new post-16 transport policy for the 2020-2021 academic year after being threatened with a judicial review challenge.
Jun 03, 2020

Employment Appeal Tribunal rejects appeal by council over unfair dismissal ruling following maintained school closure

A Welsh council has lost an appeal over a ruling that it unfairly dismissed a group of claimants following the closure of the school where they worked and who were unsuccessful in applying for positions at a new school that opened at the same location.
May 26, 2020

DAC Beachcroft acts for council in successful defence of £8m sixth-form centre dispute

Law firm DAC Beachcroft acted for Isle of Wight Council on its successful defence of an £8m multi-party dispute over a sixth form centre.
May 18, 2020

School breached data protection and human rights, unlawfully misused personal information of Down's Syndrome pupil and mother: High Court

A primary school breached the Data Protection Act 1988 and Human Rights Act 1998 and unlawfully misused the personal information of a child with Down’s Syndrome and her mother, the High Court has ruled.
May 14, 2020

Mayor of London loses statutory challenge over permission for substantial development at top private school

The Mayor of London has failed in a challenge by statutory review to a decision of the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to allow an appeal by Harrow School against refusal of planning permission for a substantial development.
May 11, 2020

School fails in Court of Appeal bid to have Ofsted report quashed

The Court of Appeal has dismissed a bid by a state-funded secondary school in the north of England to have an adverse Ofsted report quashed.


May 12, 2020

SEN and COVID-19

Richard Freeth assess the changes made to special educational needs and disability (SEND) legislation as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
May 12, 2020

Ultra vires contracts and maintained schools in the Commercial Court

Following a two-week trial in the Commercial Court, Foxton J has handed down a very significant judgment concerning the application of the ultra vires doctrine to contracts with public bodies, specifically the powers of education bodies to enter into finance leases. Barristers at 11KBW explain the ruling.
May 04, 2020

School admissions appeals during COVID-19

Allison Cook reviews the government's recently introduced regulations covering school admissions appeals during the coronavirus outbreak, and outlines some key considerations.
April 06, 2020

School admission appeals – the new virtual reality?

Lisa Busch QC considers whether, in the absence of specific legislation, school admissions appeals can be heard using remote technology.
March 19, 2020

COVID19 and delivering the provision in EHC plans

Jonathan Auburn looks at the major challenges local authorities and schools face in continuing to deliver education to children with Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans, as directed by the government.
February 21, 2020

Banning parents’ access to school premises

Michael Brotherton looks at the action schools should take when considering banning parents from their premises.
January 24, 2020

Schools please note - annual reviews

Good preparation is key to the successful delivery of annual reviews of EHC Plans, writes Hayley Mason.
January 17, 2020

Places of learning

What is it like to work as an in-house solicitor in Higher Education? Sam McGinty reflects on the transition between local government and higher education and why he loves his job.
January 10, 2020

Remedies in First-tier Tribunal discrimination claims

A recent Upper Tribunal decision has potentially far-reaching implications for schools considering excluding pupils with disabilities, write Tom Amraoui and Rachel Sullivan.
January 10, 2020

Tackling unregistered schools

Ambiguities in the legislation present problems for local authorities seeking to deal with "illegal schools", write Alice Mennell and Graham Burns.
November 08, 2019

Marshalling evidence in special educational needs cases

John Roberts reports on a successful result obtained by a local authority in the Special Educational Needs Tribunal.
October 25, 2019

Disciplinary panels and investigation reports

An Employment Appeal Tribunal has ruled that an investigator’s report should not subvert the role of a disciplinary panel. Charles Pigott considers the judgment.
October 25, 2019

Supplier administrations: how to respond

What should you do if a supplier goes into administration? Chloe Poskitt provides a general overview of administration and what options are open to schools and other bodies.
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August 23, 2019

‘Funding crisis’ - a detailed look at the funding shortage in UK schools

According to campaigners, more than 200 schools in England are cutting their school weeks short due to funding shortages. This raises questions over legal ramifications and the responsibility of the government. Jean Tsang, associate at Bates Wells and governor of a maintained primary school, addresses these questions and looks at the worrying effects of this ‘funding crisis’ on the ‘most…
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August 02, 2019

Forced academisation of schools - is resistance futile?

What are the circumstances which lead to a school being forced to become an academy, and is there anything that can be done to stop it happening? Katie Michelon provides an overview of the forced academisation process, and explains the options available to schools, parents and local authorities when faced with the possibility of an Academy Order.
July 26, 2019

Closure of children's centres, consultation and the sufficiency duty

A county council recently defeated a judicial review challenge over closure of 19 out of 35 children’s centres. James Goudie QC sets out the key elements of the ruling.
June 28, 2019

Education tribunals and costs

Does your risk management extend to costs which can be ordered by Education Tribunals? John Roberts considers the issues for education authorities.
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May 24, 2019

Safety first?

Daljit Kaur looks at the implications for disability discrimination of a case concerning a nursery-age child prevented from accessing provision over 15 hours.
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May 10, 2019

EOTAS: an update

Thomas Amraoui analyses a recent Upper Tribunal ruling on how EOTAS (‘Education Otherwise Than At School’) operates under the Children and Families Act 2014.
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May 10, 2019

Handling school admissions appeals

Are you ready for any admission appeals that come your way? Dai Durbridge shares his top tips on how to prepare.