From 6 April 2020, the practice direction that governs statements of truth for witness statements and statements of case is changing.
Broadly speaking, for newer Academies (formed after the Academies Act 2010 came into force) there will be a clause in the contract between the Academy and the Secretary of State, setting out that the Academy must admit a child if a Local Authority names that Academy in a Statement of SEN. The only exception to that is if the Academy is able to successfully argue that admitting the child would be incompatible with the provision of efficient education for other children. This would be assessed on a case-by-case basis, however it would normally be difficult for an Academy to argue this successfully. There will also normally be a clause which outlines that an Academy must admit a child if a Tribunal names that Academy in the Statement.
For older Academies (formed before the Academies Act 2010 came into force) it is unlikely that a clause concerning this will be contained in the contract with the Secretary of State. This issue is currently being litigated in a case called SC v The Learning Trust (SEN). In this case, the Academy refused to admit a child on the grounds that his admission would be incompatible with the efficient education of other children in the school. It was also argued that a decision of the Tribunal would not be binding on the Academy in any event. The case is still in the hands of the Tribunal, however the Upper Tribunal has indicated that:
- if an Academy was named in a child’s Statement by the Tribunal the Academy would have a public law duty to re-consider its position in light of that Tribunal decision, and it would be “irresponsible and irrational” not to do so; and
- the position of an Academy is “totally different” from an independent school, which can choose to admit a child on its own terms. For the purposes of SEN, an Academy’s position is more akin to a maintained school.
Although a final judgement is yet to be given on this case, it is good news for parents.
If an Academy is named at Part 4 of your child’s Statement of SEN and the Academy refuses to admit your child, then please do contact us to discuss your case in more detail. We can assist by challenging the Academy by way of Judicial Review, where appropriate. Legal Aid is available for such cases, and is assessed on the child’s means. We also specialise in SEN Tribunal appeals, so if you have any queries about your child’s Statement then please do get in touch.
At Anthony Collins Solicitors, we realise it is a challenging time for churches who will be supporting members of their church and its community.
The Government has published Guidance for landlords undertaking right to rent checks during the Coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic.
The Coronavirus Act does not change the need to comply with the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) or the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) regime.
During the Coronavirus outbreak, the health and safety of employees and members of the public are paramount.
The Civil Courts have now released a list of their priorities for housing enforcement work.
Following a fortnight of announcements and proposed legislation regarding employment and furlough, here's our latest update.
The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 will apply to all new specified tenancies from 1 July 2020 and all existing tenancies from 1 April 2021.
We've been producing ebriefings and advice about covid-19 where we can, and we've issued a lot this week. If you've missed any, we've compiled them here.
Late last night (26 March) the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) issued a guidance note regarding Court Service.
To receive invitations to our events, as well as information and articles on legal issues and sector developments that are of interest to you, please sign up to Newsroom.