Schools please note - annual reviews

Good preparation is key to the successful delivery of annual reviews of EHC Plans, writes Hayley Mason. Read more
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Feb 13, 2020

School agrees £8.5k settlement to pupil excluded over size of afro hair

A case funded by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has seen a pupil win a settlement from a school which excluded her over the size of her hair.
Feb 12, 2020

Equalities watchdog launches inquiry into use of restraint in schools

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has launched a formal inquiry into how schools are monitoring and recording their use of restraint, “following widespread concerns about its use and the lack of data available”.
Feb 11, 2020

Education group to appoint providers to legal services contract

The Luminate Education Group, which has more than 22,000 students, is seeking to appoint a contractor or contractors to provide legal services.
Feb 11, 2020

University of Hertfordshire to set up £1.7m legal services contract

The University of Hertfordshire is to procure legal services worth an estimated £1.7m.
Feb 10, 2020

Midlands university names five firms to £600k legal services agreement

The University of Derby has named five law firms to a legal services contract worth an estimated £600,000 over four years.
Feb 06, 2020

Ombudsman raps council for carrying out fewer annual reviews of EHC Plans than law requires

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has criticised Luton Borough Council after an investigation found that the local authority had carried out “significantly fewer” annual reviews of children’s Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans than the law requires.
Feb 06, 2020

Council to pay £8k+ after Ombudsman investigation into how autistic girl missed out on 18 months of education

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has recommended a local authority pay more than £8,000 after a girl with autism missed out on around 18 months of special education support because of council delays.
Feb 06, 2020

Supreme Court to hear dispute over land gifted to school and whether £1m+ sale funds should go to estate of donor

The Supreme Court has given a county council permission to appeal in a dispute over whether the ownership of land, which was gifted to a school under the School Sites Act 1841, reverted to the donor’s estate when the school ceased to operate from the gifted land.
Jan 30, 2020

University pays out more than £142,000 to affected students after data breach

The University of East Anglia has paid out £142,512 to students after their personal details were mistakenly sent to hundreds by email.
Jan 28, 2020

Midlands university to set up £4m legal services framework

Birmingham City University is to establish a multi-provider framework agreement for the provision of legal services worth an estimated £4m.


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.


Jan 21, 2020

Ofsted investigating unregistered schools “with one hand tied behind our backs”, warns Chief Inspector

Legal constraints still make it too easy for illegal schools to operate in defiance of the law, the head of Ofsted has warned in her annual report.
Jan 17, 2020

Ombudsman reminds councils of their foster carer school transport duties

Councils across England are being reminded about the financial support they must provide to foster carers’ school transport expenses following an investigation by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman into Wolverhampton council.
Jan 17, 2020

Ombudsman issues further report after Medway council fails to implement Ombudsman's recommendations

The Local Government Ombudsman has issued a rare further report stating their recommendations were not implemented by Medway Council and the correct process to disagree with the recommendations was not followed.
Jan 14, 2020

Council to undertake full audit of education provision, pay out £17,500 after Ombudsman finds multiple failures in SEN support

The London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames has agreed to carry out a full audit of its education provision and pay £17,500 to three families after the Local Government Ombudsman strongly criticised the council’s children’s service provider, Achieving for Children, for not effectively supporting children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).
Jan 09, 2020

Campaigners threaten legal challenge over plan to move primary school to new site

A campaign group has threatened the governing body of a school on the Isle of Wight with a judicial review challenge in a dispute over reorganisation.
Dec 31, 2019

Court of Appeal to hear challenge to changes to school transport policies

The Court of Appeal earlier this month granted the family of a Leicestershire teenager with special educational needs permission to appeal a High Court ruling dismissing their legal challenge over proposed changes to the county council’s school transport policy.
Dec 20, 2019

County council threatened with legal action in bid to have trans inclusion toolkit removed

Three claimants are crowd funding a legal challenge against Oxfordshire County Council in a bid to remove the Oxfordshire Trans Inclusion Toolkit recommended to schools and educational settings, which they argue is “unlawful and damaging to children”.
Dec 17, 2019

Judge orders council to fund five-day-a-week course for disabled young people

A court has quashed Cornwall Council’s decision to refuse to provide funding that would enable a college to run a specialist three-year course for disabled young people on a five-day-a-week basis.
Dec 16, 2019

Council and governing body of school win appeal over carbon monoxide exposure

Essex County Council and the Governing Body of Sawyers Hall College were not ‘occupiers’ of a college building where a number of people suffered health problems from carbon monoxide exposure, the High Court has ruled.
Dec 09, 2019

University to set up £1m four-year legal services framework

The University of Reading is to appoint law firms to a legal services framework worth an estimated £1m over four years.
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.
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.


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.
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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.