Oxfordshire Director of Legal

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. Read more
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  NEWS

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 01, 2020

LLG and ADSO issue guidance on new regulations covering school admissions appeals

Lawyers in Local Government and the Association of Democratic Services Officers (ADSO) have produced guidance on new regulations changing the procedural and constitutional requirements in relation to school admission appeals.
Apr 30, 2020

Department for Education relaxes statutory timescales in four sets of regulations relating to SEN system

Various statutory deadlines in four sets of regulations dealing with special educational needs and disabilities, principally those that relate to EHC [Education, Health and Care] needs assessment and plan processes, will be modified with effect from tomorrow (1 May).
Apr 30, 2020

Judge orders fresh hearing of appeal over school places decision after successful challenge by renting residents

A panel that hears appeals against decisions on school places in Richmond-upon-Thames must reconsider a decision in relation to a family resident in rented property, the High Court has ruled.

  FEATURES AND ANALYSIS

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.
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.

  MORE NEWS

Apr 29, 2020

Campaigners given permission for legal challenge over guidance from council on transgender issues in schools

The High Court has granted a campaign group permission for a judicial review challenge over Oxfordshire County Council’s guidance on transgender issues in schools.
Apr 28, 2020

Councils call on government to clarify “reasonable endeavours” for discharge of duty to secure special education provision

The Local Government Association has called on the Department for Education to urgently set out its definition of “reasonable endeavours” in a way that takes account of the pressures that councils are under in delivering support to children with Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans.
Apr 28, 2020

Claimants get green light for legal challenge to post-16 school transport policy of county council

A High Court judge has granted permission for a claim for judicial review against Hampshire County Council’s Post 16 School Transport Policy.
Apr 20, 2020

Met Police agrees to review role of police in schools following legal action

The Metropolitan Police has agreed to review its governance of its Safer Schools Officers across London amidst concerns that their presence could have “disproportionately negative consequences” for black and minority ethnic groups, it has been reported.
Apr 16, 2020

DfE to make regulatory changes to school admissions appeals requirements during COVID-19

The Department for Education has issued updated guidance on school admissions appeals during the coronavirus outbreak, as well as provided answers to frequently asked questions.
Apr 14, 2020

Court of Appeal dismisses appeal over decision by council to reduce part of SEND provision by 5%

The Court of Appeal has rejected a claim that a 5% reduction in one element of its SEND provision was unlawful because the council was in breach of a duty to consult under s.27 of the Children and Families Act 2014.
Apr 14, 2020

Challenge to local authority school transport policy was third Welsh medium High Court matter to date

A recent judicial review claim of a local authority's school transport policy in the light of the Learner Travel (Wales) Measure 2008 and the Equality Act 2010 is understood to have been only the third Welsh medium High Court matter to date.
Apr 14, 2020

Winckworth Sherwood promotes education and infrastructure specialists to partner

Law firm Winckworth Sherwood has promoted Theresa Kerr in Education and Jane Wakeham in Parliamentary to partner, effective from 6 April.
Apr 09, 2020

Councils face legal action over access to education during lockdown

The Good Law Project is to take legal action against councils over access to education by children from low income families during the lockdown.
Apr 07, 2020

Court of Appeal rejects appeal over changes made by county council to SEN transport policy affecting 16-18 year olds

The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal over a council’s decision to amend its Special Educational Needs Home to School/College Transport Policy for the 2019/20 academic year.
Apr 02, 2020

Met Police hit with legal challenge over governance of safer schools officers

The Metropolitan Police face a judicial review over the governance of its safer schools officers and whether their presence could have disproportionately negative consequences for black and minority ethnic (BAME) groups.
Mar 27, 2020

Public law specialist Broach moves to 39 Essex Chambers

Leading public law junior Steve Broach has joined 39 Essex Chambers with immediate effect.
Mar 20, 2020

Government sets out list of ‘key workers’ to be prioritised for education provision

Only those administrative occupations in local and national government essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response, or delivering essential public services, such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms-length bodies are among those considered 'key workers' to be prioritised for education provision, the Government has said.
Mar 19, 2020

Office for Students successfully defends first judicial review action

The High Court has dismissed the first judicial review to be brought against the Office for Students (OfS).
Mar 17, 2020

Ofsted suspends all routine inspections

Ofsted has temporarily suspended all routine inspections of schools, further education, early years and social care providers as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
Mar 16, 2020

Mother launches judicial review challenge over decision not to close schools in Northern Ireland over coronavirus outbreak

Lawyers acting for a mother with a child at primary school in County Armagh have said they intend to apply for emergency judicial review of the decision not to close schools across Northern Ireland.
Mar 11, 2020

Information watchdog warns of dangers of school photos and wrongful disclosure of personal data

The Information Commissioner’s Office has issued two reprimands, or legal warnings, to schools for wrongly disclosing the personal data of children.
Mar 05, 2020

Council fails in Court of Appeal challenge over special educational needs provision

The Court of Appeal has for the first time considered the meaning of ‘necessary’ in section 37 of the Children and Families Act 2014.
Mar 04, 2020

Education and public law barrister Matthew Wyard joins 3PB

Matthew Wyard, a public law barrister specialising in the fields of education, health and social care, has joined 3PB.
Feb 27, 2020

Judge orders re-hearing of EHC Plan case after First-tier Tribunal failed to consider all the evidence

The First-Tier Tribunal (FTT) should not have reached a decision on a child’s Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan without considering all the evidence, the Upper Tribunal Administrative Appeals Chamber has ruled.
Feb 26, 2020

Ombudsman and council at loggerheads over whether transport policy for adult learners with special educational needs is in line with the law

A row has broken out between the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman and East Sussex County Council over whether the local authority's policy for providing home to college transport for young adults with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) reflects what the law says.
Feb 18, 2020

Council to review decision on admission of summer-born child after criticism from LGO

Warwickshire County Council has said it will review its decisions in two cases in which it denied parents’ requests for deferred summer-born children to start school in reception class rather than year one after receiving criticism from the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman (LGO).
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.

  MORE FEATURES

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.
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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.