Educational Law

Breach of Contract & Negligence

Schools

Education is more and more relevant in the modern world. The better you do at school and after the greater chance of a bright future.

School fees are high and University fees are often at  9,000 and alongside that comes the expectation of a level of service that reflects the cost of the education.

Complaints about teachers, tutors and university staff reflect these expectations and failure to fulfil obligations both in contract and in the law of negligence give rise to claims between the student and the education establishment.

The rules, regulations, procedures, handbooks form part of the contract between the parties. We have sued a number of educational establishments and achieved good settlements for our clients.

But we see litigation as a last resort as it can be harrowing and expensive. We offer no win no fee agreements for appropriate cases and at the appropriate time namely after we have undertaken a legal analysis of your case.

Having advised on actions against independent schools, exclusion appeals, admission appeals, special educational needs, bullying in school, discrimination claims, school complaints, negligence and complaints to the Local Government Ombudsman our experience and analysis should help you decide.

As experienced mediators we usually examine that route as an alternative to law suits.

Problems often arising include:

Parents have a right to express a preference as to what type of school the child should attend- particularly if your child has special educational needs.

Even private schools though they are not subject to the Education Acts they are subject to their own policies and procedures and must provide for an appeal against the exclusion.

Didn’t get our school of choice – Appeal to the Admissions Appeal Panel of that school.

I think my child has learning difficulties-Request that the Local Authority refers for a statutory assessment in accordance with the Education Act 1996 as amended and (Special Educational Needs) (England) (Consolidation) Regulations 2001.

Exclusion issues solutions depend on whether the exclusion is for a fixed term exclusion or permanent. If a fixed term exclusion, appeal to the Governing Body-if permanent, appeal to the Governing Body first and then to the Independent Review Panel.

Child sent home without giving reasons timing – can be considered as an unlawful exclusion.

Further & Higher Education

We advise and assist in relation to universities and colleges in internal university appeals including plagiarism, academic misconduct, disciplinary issues, withdrawal from university, discrimination claims, breach of contract and negligence.

Common problems:

Plagiarism where there has been no plagiarised then appeal is the normal process

If there has been plagiarism but there are mitigating circumstances an appeal within public law grounds may still be appropriate

Inadequate supervision- may lead to a claim for breach of contract and/or may pursue an internal complaint. This will depend on the Regulations and Handbooks provided at the outset of the course.

University’s internal discipline procedures once the first stage of any disciplinary procedure is complete there is the right of appeal.

 

Employment Law

Our Employment Team assists teachers, lecturers and professors with general employment issues such as redundancy, unfair dismissal, constructive dismissal, grievances, agreeing Compromise Agreements, claims in the Employment Tribunal, and general employment contracts.

If employed on or after 6 April 2012, you will usually need to complete 2 years’ service before you can bring a claim for unfair dismissal. If before 6 April 2012, you will need to complete 1 years’ service to bring a claim for unfair dismissal.

 

It is important to keep all records of conversations, notes of meetings, emails and other documents that might assist you in proving your case including a copy of your contract of employment. Ask your employer for copies of documents to which you would be entitled pursuant to the Data Protection Act 1998 as amended.

 

If you need help with your Educational Law issues please contact us on 01872 302342 or email us at info@lawincornwall.co.uk and we will call you