Education law: Key cases from the last year

Wednesday 9 June 2021

This webinar is brought to you by the Garden Court Chambers Education Law Team.

Date: Wednesday 9 June 2021
Time: 5pm-6.30pm
Venue: Online  
Cost: Free
Areas of Law: Education Law , Court of Protection

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In this webinar, members of Garden Court Chambers’ education law team will discuss key Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) cases from the Administrative Court, Upper Tribunal and the Court of Protection. These cases cover a range of topical issues for education law practitioners, including the requirement for Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) to be specific and quantified, the duty to implement provision in section F of an EHCP and issues of mental capacity and decision-making in relation to education.




Stephen Simblet QC, Garden Court Chambers (Chair)
Stephen's practice focuses on individual rights in four discrete areas. These are civil claims against the police and public authorities; inquests; mental health and Court of Protection; public law/judicial review. He was one of the lead advocates representing bereaved families in the Hillsborough Inquests and has appeared as advocate in a number of public inquiries. Stephen's judicial review work is primarily within the substantive areas of mental health, prisoners' rights, coroners' inquests, police claims and proceedings involving ASBOs. He also has wide experience in judicial review arising out of criminal proceedings, education law and community care problems, as well as cases involving the rights of Gypsies and Travellers. 

Gráinne Mellon, Garden Court Chambers
Gráinne is instructed in a broad range of education cases including schools, higher education and regulatory cases. She has particular expertise in discrimination and public law issues that arise in accessing education. 

Gráinne is frequently instructed in public law cases that involve overlapping issues of education, community care law and immigration law including for leading children’s charities.  She is frequently instructed in cases seeking urgent interim relief in judicial review proceedings and in civil claims under the Human Rights Act 1998 against schools and local authorities.

In school work, she acts in particular in high value special educational needs cases and in complex discrimination claims. In higher education, she represents students and academics alike in internal disciplinary hearings, fitness to practice matters and in appeal to the OIA.

In the last year, Gráinne has been instructed in significant tests case litigation concerning the legality of restricting asylum seekers from studying and in a significant High Court challenge to budgetary decisions in relation to autistic children and young people. Gráinne is appointed to the Equality and Human Rights Commission's preferred Panel of Counsel.

Michael Etienne, Garden Court Chambers
Michael appears regularly in the First-Tier Tribunal in education cases, in cases concerning Special Educational Needs provision and disability discrimination claims.

He has extensive experience in challenging decisions to permanently exclude children from school and has a particular concern about the implications of these decisions for the vulnerability of those who face exclusion. He is frequently instructed on behalf of pupils and parents, often acting pro bono with organisations such as Just for Kids Law (JFKL). In doing so, he has secured reconsideration and reinstatement of pupils, on a number of occasions.

His recent successes include settling a disability discrimination claim for a pupil with complex behavioural needs who was excluded as a result of behaviour during a “meltdown”. It had been alleged that the permanent exclusion was disproportionate within the meaning of s.15 EqA 2010. The claim was settled without any admission of liability.

Ollie Persey, Garden Court Chambers
Ollie has a growing education law practice. He frequently appears in the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Tribunal in Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) appeals and disability discrimination claims under the Equality Act 2010. He devised and coordinated Public Law Project’s work supporting education law legal aid providers to secure legal aid for representation in the SEND Tribunal, which led to SEND ECF being granted for the first time. He welcomes instructions in SEND appeals to the Upper Tribunal as well as judicial review claims raising education law issues. 

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