As a top 100 firm with an education law specialism we offer our clients equality of arms in navigating the journey through this complex area of law. As part of our highly regarded Children Law service we provide advice and representation in a wide range of matters including:
- special educational needs
- equality act: disability discrimination
- school transport
- actions against schools
- educational negligence
- breach of statutory duty
- non-attendance prosecutions
- post 16 provision
- office of the independent adjudicator
- higher education
- applicants from overseas
Education cases often encompass wider issues for example child protection, negligence or breach of contract. They may involve specialist areas of litigation such as an application to the High Court for Judicial Review. Russell-Cooke is uniquely poised to work collaboratively across departments to ensure that all aspects are addressed utilising our broad base of highly regarded experts.
The team is ranked Tier 2 by The Legal 500 and "acknowledged as 'excellent' for its specialism in assisting children with special education needs and disabilities" (2019).
Special educational needs
We handle cases for parents of children whose journey through the education system is complicated by disability or learning difficulty such as:
- ADHD, Aspergers, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Cystic Fibrosis, Down Syndrome, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Developmental Coordination delay (DCD Dyspraxia), Fragile X syndrome, Oppositional Defiance Disorder ODD, Pathological Demand Avoidance, Pervasive Developmental Delay, Sensory Processing Disorder, Speech and Language delay, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Muscular Dystrophy, hearing and visual impairments as well as undiagnosed complex needs.
We recognise that the Local Authority do not always have sufficient regard to the legal framework within which they operate and may have conflicting interests. Schools and parents may see a child’s needs differently and disagree about the provision or reasonable adjustments required to meet them. We really understand that navigating what can be a daunting and even hostile terrain is both challenging and emotionally draining not least when you already have so much to cope with. We therefore seek to ally with you to resolve issues swiftly and where possible by way of amicable negotiation. Where this is not possible however we are robust in pursuing your legal remedy where appropriate working with leading experts including educational psychologists, paediatricians, psychiatrists, neurologists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and specialist barristers.
We advise and represent at appeal parents of children who have been refused a place at their first choice school. Including:
- infant class size
- in-year admissions
- applicants from overseas
- out of catchment or priority area
When things go wrong
Issues of bullying, discrimination and exclusion can substantially interfere with a child’s ability to access the education to which they are entitled. We empower parents with the advice and representation they need to protect their child and to challenge decisions by way of:
- complaints to schools
- appeal to governing bodies
- appeal to independent review panel
- complaints to the secretary of state for education
- equality act claim for disability discrimination
- complaint to local Government Ombudsman
- office of the adjudicator (higher education)
Our team understand that you know what is best for your child and instruct us safe in the knowledge that we are committed to working alongside you to achieve the very best possible outcome.
For further information or to discuss your situation in more detail please contact Eva Akins.