Alternative School Site

March 7th, 2017 by James Goudie QC

In Lucas (on behalf of Save Diggle Action Group) v Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council (2017) EWHC 349 (Admin) the Council had been granted funding to redevelop a School, the existing buildings of which were in a poor state of repair.  The funding was from the Education Funding Authority (“the EFA”).  The EFA undertook a Feasibility Study (“the Study”).  The Study looked at various options for the redevelopment.  These included relocation at a new site.  The Study designated the new site as the best option.  This was because the new site offered the best value for money.

The Study confirmed, however, that if the Council chose to redevelop the School on its existing site, that would be funded by the EFA, despite being more expensive. Nonetheless the Council adopted the new site option.

The Council as Local Planning Authority did not take into account as a material planning consideration with respect to the new site that there was the option of redeveloping the school at its existing site. Kerr J held that it should have done so.  It was relevant to the proposed development for a number of reasons, not irrelevant as the LPA had believed.

 

Higher education claims: Court gives general guidance on JR and OIA complaints

February 13th, 2017 by Jonathan Auburn

In three linked cases the Administrative Court has just given important general guidance on the relationship between judicial review proceedings and references to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education. The three linked cases were R (Zahid) v University of Manchester, R (Rafique-Aldawery) v St George’s, University of London, and R (Sivasubramaniyam) v University of Leicester [2017] EWHC 188 (Admin). The cases were decided together by judgment of Mr Justice Hickinbottom delivered on 10 February 2017. Read more »

 

Teacher Misconduct

February 7th, 2017 by James Goudie QC

The General Teaching Council for England was abolished by Section 7 of the Education Act 2011 (“the 2011 Act”). Section 8 of that Act enacted a new statutory code for dealing with misconduct by teachers in England.  It did so by inserting Sections 141A to 141E and Schedule 11A into the Education Act 2002 (“the 2002 Act”). The new scheme came into force on 1 April 2012. Read more »

 

11KBW Education Law Conference for schools and universities, Leeds 2017

January 10th, 2017 by Claire Halas

11KBW is ‘the standout set for education law in terms of strength in depth’ Legal 500

The 11KBW Education Group will be taking its very successful London Education Conference to Leeds on 23rd February 2017.  The conference will be divided into two separate sessions – schools in the morning and universities in the afternoon with a lunch for all in the middle of the day.  The topics to be covered are listed below and both sessions will be chaired by James Goudie QC and include the opportunity for questions and answers.

Topics to be covered in the schools session in the morning will include:

  • Challenges to OFSTED decisions
  • EHC plans for 19-25 year olds
  • Fundamental British Values in education
  • Term-time holidays
  • SEN case law update

Topics to be covered in the universities session in the afternoon will include:

  • The Higher Education and Research Bill
  • Freedom of speech on campus
  • Immigration issues
  • The new General Data Protection Regulation
  • Procurement topics
  • Challenges to academic judgment
  • Reasonable adjustments and competence standards

Read more »

 

Term-time holidays: Supreme Court grants permission to appeal

December 21st, 2016 by Paul Greatorex

The Supreme Court has today granted permission to appeal in the term-time holiday case of Isle of Wight Council v Platt.  The Council, with the support and funding of the Department for Education, is appealing against the decision of the Divisional Court reported at [2016] EWHC 1283 (Admin).

The Supreme Court’s announcement of its decision states that it hopes to schedule the appeal hearing for a date in the first quarter of 2017.

Paul Greatorex

 

SEN reform in Wales

December 12th, 2016 by Joanne Clement

Readers of this blog practising in Wales will no doubt be rejoicing today, after the long-awaited Additional Learning Needs and Eduction Tribunal (Wales) Bill was finally introduced into the Senedd.
Details of the Bill and its expected progress are found here. I hope to provide a summary of the key changes to be introduced by the Bill on this blog in due course.

Read more »

 

Special Educational Needs: Guidance given on approach where parents cannot agree on choice of school in SEN statement

October 31st, 2016 by Joanne Clement

In SG v Denbighshire County Council and B (SEN) (Special Educational Needs: Special Educational Provision – naming school) [2016] UKUT 460 (AAC), the Upper Tribunal gave guidance on the approach to be taken where parents cannot agree on the choice of school to be named in Part 4 of a statement of special educational needs (“the Statement”).

E’s parents were separated, and did not agree on the choice of secondary school. The parents had a joint residence order, but it appears that E lived with her mother. Mr S wanted E to attend a school in Town R, where he lived. E’s mother wanted E to attend a school in Town P, which was also attended by E’s sister. In Part 4, the local authority named “P School (as long as parents pay for transport)”. Read more »

 

Government formally drops academies legislation

October 28th, 2016 by Joanne Clement

In a Written Ministerial Statement made yesterday, 27 October 2016, the Secretary of State for Education confirmed that the Education Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech (with the aim of introducing forced academy conversions for all schools), had been abandoned.

The Secretary of State confirmed that:
“Our ambition remains that all schools should benefit from the freedom and autonomy that academy status brings. our focus, however, is on building capacity in the system and encouraging schools to convert voluntarily. no changes to legislation are required for these purposes and therefore we do not require wider education legislation in this session to make progress on our ambitious education agenda”.

The Department for Education currently has three Bills before Parliament – the Children and Social Work Bill (as to which, see my post on the 11KBW Community Care blog), the Higher Education and Research Bill and the Technical and Further Education Bill (introduced on 27 October). The Schools that Work for Everyone consultation (proposing more grammar school places) remains ongoing. It is due to end in mid-December, with a White Paper to follow.

 

11KBW Annual Education Conference for Schools and Universities

October 18th, 2016 by Claire Halas

11KBW is ‘the standout set for education law in terms of strength in depth’ Legal 500

The 11KBW Education Group are holding their annual education conference on Wednesday 30 November 2016.  The conference will be divided into two separate sessions – schools and academies in the morning and universities in the afternoon with a lunch for all in the middle of the day.  The topics to be covered are listed below and both sessions will be chaired by Peter Oldham QC and include the opportunity for questions and answers.   Read more »

 

Why a Tribunal has mis-applied human rights law in closing an independent religious school

August 25th, 2016 by Tom Cross

In my post on 19 May (below), I highlighted that a decision of the First-Tier Tribunal that Beis Aharon Jewish school was in breach of various independent school standards was reached without consideration of Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which provides for a right to manifest one’s religious belief. Section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 requires Tribunals themselves to make decisions in accordance with human rights like Article 9. Read more »