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. Read more
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  NEWS

Dec 05, 2019

School launches legal proceedings after receiving 'inadequate' rating from Ofsted

A school in Trafford has issued a legal challenge to regulator Ofsted in a bid to overturn being rated as ‘inadequate’.
Nov 27, 2019

Just for Kids Law launches online resource for challenges to school exclusions

A children's legal rights charity has launched an information hub to help professionals and community organisations challenge unfair school exclusions in England.
Nov 26, 2019

High Court judge says injunctions against street protests over teaching of “LGBT issues” at Birmingham school must continue

Injunctions restricting street protests over an infant and junior school’s teaching of “LGBT issues” should remain in place, a High Court judge has ruled.
Nov 20, 2019

Academy trust facing legal action over collective worship agrees to provide alternative materials and activities

A Church of England multi-academy trust facing legal action over compulsory collective worship in its schools has agreed to provide alternative inclusive materials and activities featuring no prayers or other acts of Christian worship.
Nov 19, 2019

Legal Aid Agency names 21 providers to panels for education and discrimination cases

The Legal Aid Agency has published the list of 21 providers appointed to two panels for the delivery of civil legal aid services in education and discrimination cases.
Nov 11, 2019

JUSTICE Report calls for mandatory training on the law for school teachers involved in excluding students

A new report has called for reform of the process by which schools permanently exclude students after suggesting that school teachers have an inconsistent understanding of their Equality Act duties and that Independent Review Panels (IRPs) lack the power to remedy unlawful exclusions.
Oct 29, 2019

MoJ data suggests 95% of SEN tribunal cases lost, withdrawn or conceded by local authorities, claims charity

Some 95% of decisions at special educational needs tribunals in 2017/18 were either won by parents, or saw local authorities withdraw or concede, it has been claimed.
Oct 23, 2019

Give parents direct line to appeal to Department for Education over failure by councils to comply with law on SEND, MPs say

Parents and schools should be given a direct line to appeal to the Department for Education where local authorities appear not to be complying with the law on support for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), MPs have said.
Oct 21, 2019

Educational business names law firm to legal advisory contract

NCG Corporation has appointed law firm Muckle to a contract for the provision of legal advisory services for up to four years.
Oct 10, 2019

London borough criticised over approach to deciding school transport applications for children with disabilities

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has heavily criticised a London borough over its failure to make agreed improvements to the way it decides school transport applications for children with disabilities.

  FEATURES AND ANALYSIS

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.

  MORE NEWS

Oct 07, 2019

High Court dismisses legal challenge over resourcing given to local authorities for special educational needs

A High Court judge has rejected a legal challenge brought by three families over the level of the Government’s resourcing for provision to children with special educational needs and disabilities, it has been reported.
Oct 04, 2019

Complaints about support for special educational needs “at exceptional and unprecedented level”: Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

Complaints about support for children with special educational needs are being upheld in nearly nine out of ten cases investigated (87%), the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has revealed.
Oct 03, 2019

Councils misled into paying thousands of pounds a week to unregistered school: Ofsted

Ofsted has warned local authorities to make decisions about educational placements with due diligence, after an investigation found a number of councils were misled into paying thousands of pounds of public money for children to be educated in an unsafe, unregistered school.
Sep 30, 2019

FE colleges to seek legal professional advisers for proposed merger

Two further education colleges are to procure providers of legal due diligence services for their proposed merger.
Sep 26, 2019

University to appoint external law firm for support to in-house legal team

The University of Portsmouth is looking to appoint an external law firm to work in partnership with its in-house legal team on a three to five-year deal.
Sep 24, 2019

University to appoint provider to deliver legal services to facilities team

Lancaster University has unveiled plans to appoint a provider of contracts and estates-related legal services to support its facilities team.
Sep 19, 2019

Council pauses charging 16-19-year-olds for using school buses after legal threat

North Yorkshire County Council is to stop charging 16-19-year-olds who use its school buses after a legal challenge over disability discrimination.
Sep 16, 2019

Midlands universities to procure £3.5m legal services panel

Two universities in the Midlands are jointly tendering a legal services framework worth an estimated £3.5m over five years.
Sep 12, 2019

Ombudsman criticises county over complaints policy in special educational needs investigation

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGO) has criticised the way Worcestershire County Council dealt with a mother’s complaint about the lack of alternative education provided for her son, when mainstream school was no longer suitable for him.
Sep 09, 2019

Upper Tribunal upholds order requiring prep school to reinstate unlawfully excluded pupil

The First-tier Tribunal has jurisdiction to make an order compelling an independent prep school to reinstate a pupil that it had unlawfully excluded, the Upper Tribunal has ruled.
Sep 04, 2019

New unitary accepts Ombudsman recommendations after predecessor council left boy with special needs without proper education

The newly formed Dorset Council has accepted a series of recommendations made by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman after a boy with autism was left without proper education for two years by one of its predecessor authorities.
Sep 03, 2019

SEND reforms have “failed to make system less adversarial for parents”

A key aim of the SEND (special educational needs and disability) reforms introduced in England five years ago – to make the system feel less adversarial for parents – has not been achieved in relation to children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN), it has been claimed.
Aug 29, 2019

Campaigners refused permission to appeal ruling on closure of children’s centres

A campaign group has failed to obtain permission to appeal a High Court ruling that a decision by the Cabinet at Buckinghamshire County Council to close 19 out of its 35 children’s centres was lawful.
Aug 29, 2019

Welsh council puts school changes on hold amid procedural concerns: report

Isle of Anglesey County Council has put a change to its plan for schools on hold.
Aug 28, 2019

Respite service reprieved following threat of legal action, says claimant law firm

Law firm Irwin Mitchell has claimed legal pressure was a key factor in Lancashire County Council rescinding plans to end its ‘Lancashire Break Time’ service of brief respites for carers of children with special educational needs and disabilities.
Aug 27, 2019

County council defeats legal challenge to conversion of school to academy

East Sussex County Council has defeated a judicial review challenge to the proposed conversion of Peacehaven Community School to an academy.
Aug 21, 2019

Further education college in Kent enters education administration

West Kent and Ashford College has entered education administration only months after its associated college in nearby Hadlow became the first institution to do so.
Aug 12, 2019

County withdraws post-16 transport policy after threat of legal action

A county council has withdrawn its post-16 transport policy after the families of severely disabled children threatened a legal challenge.
Aug 12, 2019

Education regulator in Wales to appoint legal adviser to fitness to practice committees

The Education Workforce Council in Wales is to appoint a legal adviser to its fitness to practise committees, including associated regulatory advice.
Aug 08, 2019

Court of Appeal rejects claim over failure to reassess educational needs of 22-year-old disabled man

The Court of Appeal has upheld a High Court ruling that Welsh ministers and the quango Careers Wales did not act unreasonably when they decided not to reassess the educational and training needs of a young man with a learning disability.
Aug 08, 2019

Council criticised by Ombudsman after girl left without proper education for nine months

The Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman has criticised Leeds City Council after a young girl went without proper education for nine months when she started refusing to go to her primary school because of anxiety.
Aug 07, 2019

Upper Tribunal finds unlawful First Tier Tribunal rule on disability discrimination in schools cases and calculating time

The Upper Tribunal has made a finding that rule 12 (3) of the First Tier Tribunal rules (Health, Education and Social Care Chamber Rules 2008/2699) is not lawful as it seeks to extend the time limit set out in the Equality Act 2010 for bringing a claim (as set out under sch 17, para 4), it has been reported.
Aug 02, 2019

Parents appoint solicitors to oppose conversion of school to academy status

Parents of pupils at an East Sussex primary school have threatened legal action to try to prevent the county council handing it to an academy chain.
Jul 30, 2019

High court grants permission to challenge school’s daily act of Christian worship

The High Court has granted a judicial review to a couple concerned that their children were not being offered an adequate alternative to a daily act of worship at their school assemblies.
Jul 25, 2019

Council to apologise, pay £2.4k after teenager with anxiety missed 14 months of schooling

A county council has agreed to apologise to a teenager and her family and pay them more than £2,000 after she missed months of schooling during her GCSEs because it did not find her a secondary school place, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has said.

  MORE FEATURES

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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.
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May 03, 2019

Children with EHC plans who move areas

A recent case has highlighted the fraught relationship between s.39 and s.33 of the Children and Families Act 2014. Katherine Barnes looks at the lessons to be learned.
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April 18, 2019

Calculating education contributions

Simon Ricketts examines government guidance and a recent High Court ruling on developers' contributions to education provision.
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April 18, 2019

Discrimination: Disciplinary proceedings and unconscious bias

A recent Employment Appeal Tribunal case involving a primary school head teacher highlights the risks of undertaking a flawed disciplinary process, write Ceri Fuller and Zoë Wigan.
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April 12, 2019

Funding reductions and legal challenges

The High Court has handed down an important judgment on local authority funding reductions. Jonathan Auburn and Peter Lockley look at its findings in a case concerning Hackney Council's approach to Special Educational Needs funding and Education and Healthcare Plans.
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March 28, 2019

No longer in suspense

Andrew Rhodes considers a judgment of the Court of Appeal in a case involving a local authority and a teacher which provides authoritative guidance on disciplinary suspensions.
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March 15, 2019

Statutory decision-making processes and apparent bias

The High Court has given an important decision on the apparent bias principle in relation to statutory decision-making processes, writes Iain Steele.
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March 01, 2019

Beauty or utility?

The appellate court of the Church of England recently ruled that a nursery erected in a churchyard and funded by a London borough should be demolished. Tom Stafford and Lucile Taylor set out why.
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January 25, 2019

SEN update

There have been a number of important decisions regarding children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) likely to be of interest to schools and colleges. Erin Smart provides a helpful summary.
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January 18, 2019

Ofsted and its complaints procedure

Ofsted has successfully appealed a ruling that its complaints procedure was unfair for some schools. Katie Michelon looks at the lessons to be learned.
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October 19, 2018

Home schooling in England and Wales

Legal changes are afoot in relation to home schooling. Dr David Sykes and Dr Samantha Davey look at the issues for local authorities and analyse what is in store.
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September 14, 2018

When court and classroom meet

How should teachers and school management deal with disputes between separated parents or people with parental responsibility? Lottie Tyler looks at the issues raised.
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July 06, 2018

Dealing with student sit-ins

With the current climate of strikes and further cuts to public services, the number of student sit-ins is again on the rise. Michelle Bendall considers the options for handling them.
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June 22, 2018

Home tutors and SEN allowances

A Welsh council has successfully appealed a ruling that required it to pay a special educational needs allowance to home tutors it employed. Peter Oldham QC explains why.
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June 01, 2018

Post-19 education and SEND

LexisPSL Local Government, in partnership with Hannah Lynch of St Pauls Chambers, considers the key issues around post-19 education for young people with special educational needs and disabilities.
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March 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.
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March 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.
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February 16, 2018

Fit to practise?

Shazia Akhtar of Hardwicke Chambers discusses with LexisPSL Local Government a recent Court of Appeal ruling on a student's fitness to practise.
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December 15, 2017

Academies and DfE statutory guidance

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.
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October 27, 2017

Separate but (not?) equal

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.
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