Education law

Disputes with local authorities—judicial review and LGSCO complaints

Road marking with the words 'School' in yellow. Judicial review and LGSCO complaints with local authorities

Introduction and overview

As a result of our legal advice and support, children receive suitable full time education, special educational provision, social care and the transport they are entitled to. Local authorities must comply with statutory obligations including assessment and review timeframes and provide financial compensation for maladministration. Unlawful and unreasonable conduct by local authorities in the current politico-legal framework is sadly all too common.

Your child may be out of education, not receiving interim education, not receiving the special educational or social care provision their education health and care plan (EHCP) entitles them to, or the transport needed to access their school placement. Statutory timeframes for assessments or reviews may be routinely flouted.

This does not need to be accepted. However, robust action can be needed to secure your child’s rights and entitlements moving forward and for financial compensation for historic maladministration causing injustice.  Understanding the local authority’s obligations to your child, processes and target duties as well as mechanisms of enforcement is key.  

How our education law solicitors can help you

Key services offered

We are trusted allies of the neurodivergent community.  We combine our professional expertise and the lived experience of several team members who are either neurodivergent themselves and/or parenting children with SEND, to ensure your child gets the best possible school place and special educational provision. We are particularly well known for securing comprehensive ‘educational otherwise than at school’ (EOTAS) packages, and full EHCP funding for ordinary independent schools and highly specialist residential placements.

We can help you with:

  • securing appropriate support and reasonable adjustments in a maintained or independent school for a child without an education health and care plan (EHCP)
  • school meetings and communication
  • making a request for an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment
  • getting an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
  • annual review of an EHCP
  • reviewing and advising on a draft or draft amended Education, Health and Care Plan
  • appeals to the First Tier SEND Tribunal (SEN Appeal), including challenging local authority (LA) decisions such as refusal to assess or reassess, to issue, amend or cease to maintain an EHCP as well as against the content of the EHCP including placement.
  • instructing independent experts to assess your client and provide advice
  • home to school transport for children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities
  • getting your child into the right school for their needs, including ordinary independent and highly specialist residential schools
  • securing a comprehensive EOTAS package
  • securing interim education for children out of school
  • subject access requests and data rectification
  • challenging disability discrimination including bringing Equality Act claims to the First Tier Tribunal

 

Why choose Russell-Cooke for judicial review and LGSCO complaints against local authorities?

About our education law team

Our highly specialist team of education lawyers has a proven track record of successfully enforcing the rights and entitlements of children, young people and their families. We successfully resolve disputes with local authorities throughout the country. We advise on the full spectrum of education law issues that put parents into conflict with local authorities, bringing technical excellence,  solution focused pragmatic advice and ‘equality of arms’ in the form of robust representation where needed.

Testimonials and legal directory quotes

Our experts are all ranked in Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 legal directories. Here are some comments made about us. 

"Lenka clearly communicates with clients. She has relevant and up-to-date knowledge of case law and can use this information to best advocate for her clients. She is dedicated to ensuring the right outcome is achieved." 
Chambers UK (2024)

"She [Victoria] has very good emotional intelligence and rarely loses because she really understands which points can be won." 
Chambers UK (2024)

"She [Erin] is extremely knowledgeable and supportive."
Chambers UK (2024)

 

Eva Akins has done a brilliant job. She has genuine empathy because she has been through the education authorities herself. She is very happy to provide proper guidance, and legally and technically correct advice. I am very impressed with her and her entire team. Her knowledge about the education authorities is great, and she doesn’t lose sight of who the client is amidst the legal battle.
The Legal 500 (2024)

Charging information

We offer a fixed fee for an initial consultation where we discuss your case and detailed advice on the best approach to achieve the results you want is provided. Detailed information about future costs is then supplied. Ongoing charges are usually based on our hourly rates plus administrative charges and disbursements. Regular updates on costs are provided as your case progresses.

The current range of hourly rates for members of the team is from £180 plus VAT to £400 plus VAT per hour.

We do not advise on a legal aid or ‘no win no fee’ basis.

Get in touch

If you would like to speak with a member of the team you can contact our education law solicitors on +44 (0)20 3826 7528 or complete our enquiry form.

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