Appealing review decisions of the SEN Tribunal for Wales

The Upper Tribunal has confirmed appeals can be brought against review decisions of the SEN Tribunal for Wales. Matthew Wyard analyses the ruling. Read more

  NEWS

Aug 11, 2022

Ombudsman finds county council did not arrange appropriate transport in time for boy with special needs

A Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman investigation has found that Hampshire County Council expected a young child with special educational needs to travel on their own in a taxi to school – or face a three-hour round-trip in shared transport, which would exceed its own guidance on the maximum time limit on school journeys.
Aug 11, 2022

Fresh judicial review claim filed in Holland Park School dispute

Parents of Holland Park School students have launched a third judicial review application in four months over a decision to move the school from a single-academy trust to a multi-academy trust.
Aug 04, 2022

City council to pay £8,550, amend its Direct Payments Policy after Ombudsman finds it failed disabled teenage siblings

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) has criticised Liverpool City Council for not ensuring two teenage siblings with significant needs were provided with the support they should have received for 18 months.
Jul 28, 2022

LGA warns on funding of SEND reforms, backs mandatory mediation of disputes

Attempts in the Children and Families Act 2014 to improve provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) failed through lack of sufficient powers and funds for councils, the Local Government Association (LGA) has said in its response to the latest round of proposed changes to the system.
Jul 22, 2022

County council to back pay £8k in personal budget payments for child after Ombudsman finds "numerous and serious failings"

Surrey County Council will pay more than £9,000 to a mother after a Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman investigation found the local authority consistently made flawed decisions relating to her child's personal budget "by reason of not having robust systems and policies".
Jul 20, 2022

High Court to hear judicial review claim regarding impact of school closure on Welsh language

The High Court has given permission for a judicial review challenge over Neath Port Talbot Council's decision to close three English medium schools in the Pontardawe area to establish one English medium school.
Jul 19, 2022

High Court finds that Ombudsman did not give enough reasons for refusal to investigate complaint

A Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman's (LGSCO) position that it could not investigate an autistic man's complaint that Oldham Council had made numerous claims it sought his views, when in fact it had not, was wrong, the High Court has ruled.
Jul 15, 2022

City council to pay complainant £25k in compensation for missed education and delayed complaint response

Sheffield City Council has agreed to pay more than £25,000 in compensation to a vulnerable woman after a Local Government, and Social Care Ombudsman investigation found she had gone without education for more than four years.
Jul 08, 2022

Secretary of State for Education facing judicial review over content of SEND green paper consultation

The Secretary of State for Education has been threatened with a legal claim arguing that its consultation on the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) green paper fails to provide consultees with information about the inability of the First-tier Tribunal (SEND)("FTT") to award damages as a remedy to successful claimants.
Jul 08, 2022

Dorset to improve alternative education provision after boy misses out on education for nearly two years

An Ombudsman investigation has found that a boy with special educational needs missed out on education for almost two years, after Dorset Council failed to provide the boy with proper alternative education.
Jul 08, 2022

Department for Education facing judicial review over content of SEND green paper consultation

The Secretary of State for Education has been threatened with a legal claim arguing that its consultation on the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) green paper fails to provide consultees with information about the inability of the First-tier Tribunal to award damages as a remedy to successful claimants.
Jul 08, 2022

Ombudsman criticises councils over failure to provide alternative education for children who need it

A Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman investigation has found failures by some councils to put in place alternative education for children who need it, "robbing them of their potential to thrive".

  FEATURES AND ANALYSIS

July 15, 2022

A timely reminder...

A recently upheld Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman complaint by a parent has reinforced the need for schools to review the quality of services offered by external organisations and local authorities in arranging Admission Appeal Hearings.
July 14, 2022

To plead the EQA 2010, or not to plead the EQA 2010 - that was the question.

The Upper Appeal Tribunal considers the interplay between the Children and Families Act 2014 and the Equality Act 2010 in the provision of SEN provision. Andrew Cullen looks at the result.
May 31, 2022

Defending legal challenges to school exclusions

The High Court recently dismissed a judicial review challenge to a school exclusion decision. Alex Line looks at the lessons to be learned from the ruling.
May 27, 2022

EHCs and education in accordance with parents’ wishes

The Upper Tribunal has endorsed a holistic approach to section 9 of the Education Act 1996 which addresses parental preference on school placement, writes Alice de Coverley.
April 14, 2022

SEND Review – right support, right place, right time

Richard Freeth considers the implications for local authorities of the Government's SEND Review.
April 14, 2022

Securing educational provision and accommodation for children with complex needs

The High Court recently granted six mandatory orders against a local authority for “serious and substantial” breaches of duty to a vulnerable 15-year-old child. Gráinne Mellon explains why.
April 01, 2022

Schools White Paper briefing

After six years, the Department for Education finally released the long-awaited Schools White Paper on 28 March. This is likely to form the basis of new legislation and direction of travel within the schools and academies sector, writes Mark Blois.
April 01, 2022

EHCP annual reviews – timing of local authority action

A recent High Court case has provided much needed clarity on the timescales for action used by a local authority when it decides to amend an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) following an annual review. Richard Freeth examines the judgment.
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  MORE NEWS

Jun 30, 2022

Ombudsman raps council after girl with special educational needs left without vital therapy

A Suffolk girl did not receive vital occupational therapy for nearly two years because of council confusion, a Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman investigation had found.
Jun 29, 2022

High Court rejects judicial review application challenging Welsh council plan to close rural school

The High Court has refused a judicial review application seeking to contest Powys County Council's decision to close a small rural school.
Jun 27, 2022

Timing of Ofsted downgrade was abuse of power, parents claim in judicial review threat

Parents at a London school embroiled in legal disputes after its administration resolved to join a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) have launched new legal proceedings against Ofsted for an inspection that downgraded the school to 'inadequate'.
Jun 27, 2022

North West university to appoint up to three firms to £2m legal services framework

Manchester Metropolitan University is to procure a framework “of appropriately experienced legal firms” to support its legal team in all aspects of their work.
Jun 17, 2022

Popular Surrey comprehensive school to rehear admission appeal following Ombudsman investigation

An over-subscribed Surrey school has agreed to rehear a mother's appeal for a school place after the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman found issues with the way the original hearing was recorded.
Jun 14, 2022

Further education purchasing body appoints eight firms to £49m legal services framework

A purchasing consortium owned and run by the further education sector, has appointed eight law firms to a legal services framework worth up to £49m over four years.
Jun 08, 2022

Large FE college names law firm to £1m legal services contract

The largest further education college group in London has appointed law firm Shakespeare Martineau to a contract for the provision of legal services worth an estimated £1m.
May 30, 2022

Government outlines how local authorities can establish multi-academy trusts

The Department for Education has published further details of how local authorities can apply to establish a multi-academy trust (MAT) as part of a ‘test and learn’ exercise.
May 19, 2022

High Court judge rejects challenge over school exclusion

A High Court judge has rejected a judicial review challenge over a school pupil’s permanent exclusion for sending obscene images to another, younger student.
May 17, 2022

Educational suppliers threaten legal challenge over DfE plans to establish Oak National Academy as national curriculum body

The British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) has warned the Department for Education (DfE) that it is considering legal action over plans to establish Oak National Academy as a new arm’s length, national curriculum body.
May 09, 2022

Just for Kids Law partners with law firms to offer free legal advice and representation over exclusions, opens London unit

Children’s legal charity Just for Kids Law has partnered with City law firm Allen & Overy to launch the London School Exclusion Unit today (9 May).
May 05, 2022

Council calls for “immediate intervention” from Department for Education at school over governance concerns

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has called upon the Government to intervene immediately at a school the council claims is plagued with governance issues.
May 03, 2022

Campaigners eye legal challenge against Welsh Government over reforms to sex education

A group that represents more than 5,000 parents and grandparents in Wales are taking the Welsh Government to the High Court in an attempt to remove Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) from the mandatory element of The Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Act 2021 which starts this September.
Apr 29, 2022

Council to pay £8,000 to family of vulnerable boy left without education for 14 months, as Ombudsman alleges lack of understanding of legal obligations

A Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman investigation has found Cambridgeshire County Council at fault after a vulnerable boy was left without education for 14 months.
Apr 20, 2022

Ombudsman criticises council after child left without suitable educational provision for 14 months

An investigation by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has seen Southend-on-Sea City Council agree to pay £9,000 to the mother of a child who was left without suitable schooling for more than a year.
Apr 19, 2022

Teacher wins £850k settlement following classroom assault

A teacher who was assaulted by a student has been awarded £850,000 in compensation following a personal injury claim, his union has reported.
Apr 13, 2022

Charities urge changes to statutory guidance on exclusions and behaviour amid concerns over child criminal exploitation

A coalition of 12 children’s charities led by Just for Kids Law has urged Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi to alter the statutory guidance on exclusions and guidance on behaviour to better protect children facing school exclusion from child criminal exploitation.
Apr 12, 2022

Welsh education bodies launch tender process for £1m of legal services

The University of South Wales Group has launched the procurement of legal services worth an estimated £1m.
Apr 11, 2022

Council awarded £1.3m in damages over leaking school roof

An adjudicator has awarded £1.3m in damages to Wakefield Council in light of longstanding issues with the design of a primary school.
Apr 08, 2022

High Court judge finds council committed “serious and substantial” breaches of duties owed to teenager with complex needs

Surrey County Council failed to provide a vulnerable teenager with education and accommodation, re-assess her needs and maintain her care plan, a High Court judge has ruled.
Mar 25, 2022

Teacher wins £140k settlement in case against council over assault by five year old

Hillingdon Council has agreed to pay more than £140,000 in damages to a teacher's assistant who was attacked by a five-year-old pupil while at school.
Mar 25, 2022

University to procure £4m legal services framework for 2022-26

The University of Sheffield is to procure a legal services framework agreement worth an estimated £4m over four years.
Mar 23, 2022

Council refers itself to Information Commissioner following data breach involving home-schooled children

The Isle of Wight Council has referred itself to the Information Commissioner's Office after mistakenly sending an email to the parents of home-schooled children that included the personal details of 90 students.
Mar 23, 2022

Child Q to bring legal proceedings against Met Police and school

Child Q, a black pupil who was strip-searched by the police at school in December 2020 when she was 15, with no appropriate adult present, is to bring legal proceedings against the Metropolitan Police and the school.
Mar 21, 2022

Largest further education provider in London to appoint law firm to £1m contract

The largest further education provider in London, Capital City College Group (CCCG), is to appoint a legal services provider to a £1m, four-year contract.
Mar 18, 2022

Wirral teenager missed out on post-16 education because of council faults, Ombudsman finds

Wirral Council has been asked by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman to pay a teenager more than £4,000 after it failed to put in place proper educational provision for him.
Mar 11, 2022

Councils call for SEND review to tackle huge rise in tribunal hearings

The number of appeals to tribunals over special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) disagreements has more than doubled since reforms were introduced under the Children and Families Act 2014, rising by 111% between 2013/14 and 2020/21, research commissioned by the Local Government Association has found.
Mar 09, 2022

Claimants secure key High Court ruling on timeframe for reviewing Education, Health and Care plans

The High Court has ruled in favour of three claimants in a dispute over whether there is a fixed timeframe in respect of steps in the amendment of an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan where a local authority accepts amendment is necessary, during the compulsory statutory annual review.
Mar 03, 2022

Council agrees £4,000 payout after Ombudsman investigation into how teenager with SEN missed out on education

A county council has agreed to pay £4,000 after a teenager with special educational needs missed out on nearly a year’s education because the local authority did not plan for her to move schools when she finished Year 11, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) has found.
Feb 28, 2022

University names nine providers to £3.8m legal services panel

Nottingham Trent University has appointed seven law firms and two patent and trade mark attorneys to a legal services framework worth an estimated £3.8m over four years.

  MORE FEATURES

January 27, 2022

Key changes in the School Admissions Code 2021

James Dix considers changes in the School Admissions Code 2021 in relation to in-year admissions, looked after children and Fair Access Protocols.
January 21, 2022

EOTAS and suitability

Ilona Roberts and Bethany Hutchison consider the issue of ‘suitability’ in light of a recent EOTAS (‘education otherwise than at school’) case.
December 17, 2021

Home education, content, local authority policy (Goodred v Portsmouth City Council)

David Wolfe considers the practical implications of the Goodred v Portsmouth City Council case, looking at Home education, content and local authority policy.
December 10, 2021

Over-reliance on ‘waking day curriculum’

The Upper Tribunal has warned of the dangers of over-reliance on ‘waking day curriculum’, overturning a First Tier Tribunal decision. William Haslam looks at the lessons to be learned.
November 26, 2021

Responding to the impact of TikTok on your school community

Julia Green looks at the options for schools and teachers who are subject to attacks on TikTok.
November 26, 2021

Law enforcement processing and the meaning of “authorised by law”

In October, there was a decision in the Scottish courts which will be of interest to data protection practitioners and lawyers when interpreting Part 3 of the Data Protection Act 2018 (law enforcement processing) and more generally the UK GDPR, writes Alistair Sloan.
November 19, 2021

Data protection for schools and higher education institutions

Matthew Wyard considers the right to access educational data via a subject access request (prompted by a recent issue in his caseload), and also the data protection obligations owed by further and higher education institutions (“HEIs”) in situations of crisis on campus.
November 12, 2021

Faith school legitimate expectation and discrimination challenges dismissed

Adam Heppinstall QC and Jack Castle explore a case in which the court dismissed legitimate expectations, discrimination and irrationality challenges against the decision to move a Sikh-faith Academy to another Trust.
November 09, 2021

Looked after children and Covid-19 vaccination

Josie Canham-Williams summarises the first case to address the administration of the Covid-19 vaccination for 12-15 year olds and the winter flu vaccination for children in school years 7 to 11.
November 05, 2021

SEND Tribunal case law review

Jamie Jenkins looks at the lessons to be learned from the latest judgments from the SEND Tribunal.
October 22, 2021

Please, sir, I want some more

Ibrahim Hasan looks at the significant issues raised by the use of facial recognition in schools.
October 15, 2021

Parental responsibility: a short guide for local authority SEND teams

Grace-Mary Sweeney of LASEN explores the concept of parental responsibility, how it interacts with education law, and some practical implications for Local Authority SEND Teams.
September 28, 2021

Mandatory off-site schooling

Jonathan Auburn QC examines the impact of the recent decision in CHF & ORS, R (On the Application Of) v Newick Church of England Primary School & Anor [2021] EWCA Civ 613 on the need for and provision of off-site schooling by schools and local authorities.
September 24, 2021

The recovery of tuition fees

Imogen Proud analyses the decision of the High Court in SS Education v CCP Graduate School Ltd to deny the recovery of tuition fees under the Education (Student Support) Regulations 2011.
September 24, 2021

Mandatory off site schooling other than by statutory exclusion

A recent High Court case considered whether schools and local authorities can mandate that a child – against the wishes of the child's parents – must attend off-site education at another school. Jonathan Auburn QC analyses the ruling.
September 24, 2021

Vaccinating 12 to 15 year olds

Stephanie McGarry and Alistair Taylor consider the Government’s updated guidance on Covid-19 vaccination of 12 to 15 year olds.
September 24, 2021

Civil claims in schools

Katherine Langley explores some of the more common types of claim that arise in a school setting to provide insight into the principles that will be considered when civil claims are brought and steps that can be taken by schools when implementing policies and procedures.
September 10, 2021

Education authorities can resist requests for statement in appropriate circumstances

John Roberts explains how an education authority sought to resist an appeal in the Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales (‘Tribunal’).
August 27, 2021

Forced academisation

Can the Department for Education force schools to academise? Laura Sherratt analyses a recent High Court ruling.
July 30, 2021

Duty to provide relevant evidence in Special Educational Needs cases

A recently published Upper Tribunal decision provides guidance as to the duties of the parties to provide relevant evidence to the First-tier Tribunal (“FtT”) in special educational needs cases, writes Holly Littlewood.
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