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  • Education and the Courts

Education and the Courts


A new edition of the leading text on education litigation

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Listen to J Richard McManus QC discuss recent developments in education law which he explores in detail in the new edition of his book Education and the Courts.

Written by one of the country’s foremost specialists, Education and the Courts illustrates the approach of the courts to education litigation, and is the leading text in this area. It provides high-level analysis of the legal principles of those subjects most commonly litigated in the courts.

This authoritative title has been substantially rewritten and expanded to take account of the considerable changes in legislation and case-law since the previous edition was published.

Recent Changes

Devolution has meant a considerable divergence between the law in England and Wales. Both case-law and a new statutory framework have revolutionised the law in virtually every area.

In the field of school organisation, academies now loom large. This has acerbated the long-standing problems created for local authorities by the discrimination legislation in this field. The Equality Act 2010 has overhauled the law in this area but the problems created by single sex schools and Equality duties remain.
 There is a new statutory framework in relation to school transport. Those who have statements of special educational needs now not only can litigate pure transport issues in the First-tier tribunal but also have a right to free transport to the school of their choice, even if it is not the nearest suitable school, providing this is not prejudicial to the efficient use of resources as a result of the decision of the Court of Appeal in S v Dudley.

Religion and school dress codes has been a fertile source of litigation. Following R (Begum) v Denbigh High School, which held that a school’s uniform policy which did not permit the wearing of strict Islamic dress did not interfere with a child’s rights under article 9 of the ECHR, further litigation by claimants in the area was largely unsuccessful, although this trend seemed to have been halted by Silber J in R (Watkins-Singh) v Governors of Abderdare High School for Girls.
 In Special Educational Needs disputes the vast majority of litigation in this area takes place in the First-tier tribunal and the role of the Courts is much reduced in the light of the right of appeal to the Upper Tribunal.

Education and the Courts provides expert coverage of the law applicable to the full range of education-related disputes.
  • School Transport
  • Challenging School Reorganisation Decisions in the Courts
  • Discrimination
  • Special Educational Needs
  • School Administration
  • School Discipline
  • Private Law Action in Damages
  • University Students
  • Independent Schools
  • Human Rights
"A thorough and comprehensive coverage"
 Education and the Law

"issues, together with the full range of education related disputes are covered succinctly, yet in details, including for example, school admissions...school discipline and exclusions...and private law actions in damages -- as well as university students and independent schools.
 Whether you regularly practice in this field, or much of it is new to you, this book will certainly appeal."
An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

 For a full review of Education and the Courts click here
J Richard McManus QC, 
4-5 Gray’s Inn Square

With, all barristers at 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square:
Anna Bicarregui 
 Heather Emmerson 
 Annabel Lee 
 Paul Greatorex 
 Sarah Hannett 
 Saima Hanif
 Jonathan Auburn
 Michelle Pratley
 Jack Anderson 
 Estelle Dehon

Extract from Education and the courts - 3rd edition

 Discrimination on grounds of disability

 1.121 An LA is subject to the requirement not to subject pupils to discrimination on the grounds of their disability, and also subject to the duty to make reasonable adjustments (formerly contained in the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA 1995), now contained in the Equality Act 2010 (EqA 2010). The law on discrimination against pupils on grounds of disability and/or special educational needs is set out in detail in Chapter 3.

 1.122 The key authority on whether an LA has discriminated against a child in relation to the provision of transport from home to school is Bedfordshire County Council v Dixon-Wilkinson. (190) The facts are worthy of some detailed consideration. D, a disabled boy suffered from Asperger’s Syndrome. The LA provided free transport for D from home to school on a bus with other children, the return journey commencing at 3pm when the school day finished.
 D wished to attend an after school club once a week and requested that the LA provide transport at 4:30pm. The LA refused to provide a taxi. On appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal, the tribunal rejected the claim of disability discrimination on the basis that the provision of a taxi amounted to the provision of an auxiliary aid or service for the purposes of section 28G(3)(b) of the Disability Discrimination Act and was therefore within the exception to the duties set out in section 23G.
 The High Court quashed that decision, holding that a taxi was not necessarily an auxiliary aid or service and the finding on justification could not stand. On appeal the Court of Appeal held it was unable to determine whether or not the provision of a taxi was an auxiliary aid or service because, it said the necessary findings of fact had not been made and remitted the matter to a fresh tribunal to
 reconsider the case in its entirety.
 However, against the background that it was common ground that there was no breach of section 508B of the 1996 Act as the LA was transporting D to his home and back each day, Wall LJ (with
 whom Rix LJ agreed) noted that there must be situations in which a disabled child is ‘placed at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with pupils who are not disabled’ and in which it is reasonable for the LEA to take steps to ensure that this does not occur, for example children who are not disabled can attend after-school clubs and make their own way home afterwards. D cannot do so, which in principle appeared to place him at a substantial disadvantage (191)
   1.123 This case must now be read in light of the EqA 2010, which in principle
   removes the exemption for auxiliary aids or services.

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