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.

Is £400m enough?
Is £400m enough?

The government announced on 16 May that it will provide a fund of £400m to cover the costs of removal and replacement of cladding to high rise residential blocks which have failed tests.

The problems with co-owned properties and attorneys
The problems with co-owned properties and attorneys

Whilst some people are under the impression that preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is simply a case of completing a form and ticking a few boxes, it is about far more than this.

What's mine is (not) yours!
What's mine is (not) yours!

A big fear for some people facing divorce and the inevitable carving up of the matrimonial assets. They seek assurances that such assets will be “ring-fenced” and retained for them.

How to avoid the PET trap
How to avoid the PET trap

When an individual is thinking about making a gift to another individual, consideration needs to be given to the Potentially Exempt Transfer (PET) trap.

Fictitious divorces
Fictitious divorces

Arising from the recent Family Division announcement, people who think they are legally divorced may in fact still be married.