Sarah is a senior associate solicitor in the children and education law team. She is a specialist lawyer and advocate in all aspects of the law relating to education and children.
Sarah is known for her dedication to her clients and for combining technical legal knowledge with pragmatic, cost sensitive advice. Her hard working approach is driven by her commitment to championing and upholding the rights of vulnerable children, young people and their families.
Sarah is able to advise you on the following:
- EHCPs: Sarah assists parents and carers to navigate through the complexities of securing an EHC needs assessment and ultimately an Education Health and Care Plan. Getting the right SEN provision for a child and the right school named provides lifelong opportunities for a child to thrive and it is a privilege to empower families to achieve this.
- SEND tribunal appeals: Sarah is regularly instructed to appeal Local Authority decisions to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. She has a high success rate of settling appeals before final hearing.
- Complaints/judicial review: proceedings: how best to challenge the decisions of schools, local authorities and other public bodies redress wrong decisions such as failing to provide the correct support or challenges to exam results.
- School admissions and exclusions: Sarah advises on admissions and exclusion appeals with the aim of ensuring a child is in the optimal school for them.
- Equality Act 2010: Sarah acts in a number of cases involving issues of disability discrimination securing successful outcomes.
- Independent sector: Sarah is regularly instructed by parents of children attending independent schools to address difficulties arising which often relate to exclusion and safeguarding issues and accessing adequate support.
- International children law: relocating with a child abroad either through negotiations or Court proceedings in 'leave to remove' or 'prohibited steps' applications. Acting for both Applicants and Respondents in child abduction Hague Convention/Wardship/Brussels IIR proceedings. She is regularly instructed by the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit (ICACU) and is one the specialist lawyers on this panel.
- Child protection: the powers and duties of a Local Authority's involvement in a child's life. She has particular expertise in matters involving children with Special Educational Needs and the cross over between education matters and social care. It is of particular concern to Sarah that the significant demands of caring for a disabled child and the additional strain this places on the family is often misunderstood as poor parenting. Sarah supports parents to secure a social care response that is supportive.
- Private children law: advising on all arrangements for a child; with whom should they live and spend their time; specific issues disputes as to how to exercise parental responsibility such which school a child should attend and which is their primary residence for the purpose of admission applications, disputes concerning medical treatment, obtaining a diagnosis and whether or not to apply for an EHCP.
Sarah achieved an Accreditation with the Law Society's Children Law Scheme in 2012 in recognition of her expertise. She is also a Resolution Accredited Specialist in private law children matters and international child abduction.
Sarah is a member of the Education Lawyers Association, Association for Children Lawyers, Resolution, a founding member of the Child Abduction Lawyer's Association (CALA)
Originally from Cardiff, she studied Law with European legal studies at the University of Bristol and the University of Caen, France before undertaking her LPC and training at Russell-Cooke LLP.