The law and practice referred to in this article or webinar has been paraphrased or summarised. It might not be up-to-date with changes in the law and we do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided at the time of reading. It should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice in relation to a specific set of circumstances.
We are trusted advisors to a range of specialist providers. This includes schools in the state funded sector (such as community and foundation schools, multi-academy trusts, academies and free schools and special schools) and independent / non-maintained sector (including independent schools, independent special schools, s41 special schools and non-maintained special schools), and those with residential provision.
We also support organisations providing therapeutic care to children and young people and looking to set up as a special school; and support to Further Education colleges and special post-16 institutions and alternative provision providers.
We understand both the challenges and opportunities educational institutions providing special educational provision face, and this expertise enables us to help organisations to be proactive rather than reactive in responding to key legal challenges. Our dedicated team of solicitors and HR advisors understand the nuances of special education and regularly advise in relation to:
- Operational matters, such as admissions, behaviour management and exclusions, pupils’ needs and adjustments and matters relating to provision
- Equality Act 2010 obligations, including Tribunal claims (such as disability discrimination)
- Safeguarding duties and child protection concerns
- Setting up and establishing special schools
- Commercial matters
- Establishment of new special post-16 institutions
- Contractual disputes
- Parental complaints, including concerns relating to provision
- Education, Health and Care Plan disputes
- All aspects of public funding for specialist provisions
- Employment and HR issues
- Property matters
Several members of our team volunteer as governors at special schools and as trustees of charities. Our Head of Education Sector, Roger Inman, is also a Judge in the SEN First Tier Tribunal. We therefore understand first-hand the challenges and opportunities the sector faces.