School Inclusion Project Training

Wednesday 10 November 2021

Michael Etienne

Ollie Persey

Dan Rosenberg

Florence Cole

Shirin Hasan

Jenniffer Lewis

This webinar is brought to you by the Garden Court Chambers Education Team and their School Inclusion Project (SIP) partners Just for Kids Law.

Date: Wednesday 10 November 2021
Time: 5pm - 6.30pm
Venue: Online  
Areas of Law: Education Law , School Inclusion Project (SIP)

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The purpose of this training is to show what types of ‘school inclusion’ cases would be taken under each of the three most relevant contracts: education, discrimination and public, and what falls through the net and so Exceptional Case Funding (ECF) applies. 

This training will explain:

(i) How to make a good referral; and
(ii) what’s in scope for legal aid/ what might be covered by ECF.

The following topics will be covered:

  1. Financial eligibility for legal aid
  2. School inclusion/exclusion work that can be done under the following contracts:
    a. Education
    b. Discrimination
    c. Public
    d. Claims against public authorities

  3. Exceptional Case Funding

  4. How to make an effective referral through SIP 




Michael Etienne, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers (Chair)
Michael is a public law and human rights barrister at Garden Court, with a focus on cases involving the State and issues of discrimination. He is an experienced Exclusion advocate, having represented a large number of children and their families in challenges to exclusion decisions before independent panels and the First-tier Tribunal (SEND) since 2016. In 2020, he was one of the nominees for Young Pro Bono Barrister of the Year, partly in recognition of his work representing excluded children, working with the Legal Team at Just For Kids Law. 

Michael 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 has secured reconsideration and reinstatement of pupils, on a number of occasions. He is currently instructed for a claimant, who is a member of a pupil cohort at disproportionate risk of permanent exclusion, in a judicial review of a decision of a governing body to maintain an exclusion, having secured a recommendation from an IRP that the exclusion should be reconsidered. Permission was granted on the papers in September 2021 and expected to be heard at a final hearing in 2022.  

Ollie Persey, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
Ollie has a busy 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 is currently instructed in a number of appeals to the Upper Tribunal on complex questions of equality law. Ollie acts in education-related judicial review proceedings, including urgent cases, and has particular expertise in challenging discriminatory treatment of racialised and SEND children including unlawful school exclusions. 

Ollie is a former university lecturer and draws upon this experience when representing students in academic appeals and complaints before internal university panels and onward complaints to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA). Ollie is actively engaged in campaigning and policy work to address the discriminatory treatment of marginalised children in the education system. He is on the steering committee of the School Inclusion Project (SIP) and is a committee member of the Education Law Association.

Dan Rosenberg, Solicitor, Simpson Millar
As a leading member of Simpson Millar's Public Law department, Dan works across a wide range of areas in Education Law and Community Care, with a particular interest in work for children and young people. Dan’s main area of practice involves using Judicial Review creatively, protecting his clients’ interests by challenging public authorities’ decisions, actions, or lack of action. He has extensive experience in Exclusions, Admissions, and Special Educational Needs (SEN), as well as education-related Judicial Reviews. He also has extensive experience representing parents in the independent sector.

Dan also works to get the right Community Care for adults and children, working closely with a range of charities and non-government organisations. Much of his work overlaps with his Education Law work, protecting the interests of disabled children or vulnerable young people in or leaving care. Dan is ranked as a Tier 1 Lawyer in Chambers UK 2021. They commented "He's brilliant at identifying strategic education law points, knows what the issues are on the ground and is also great with very vulnerable clients. He is a very good judicial review lawyer and he understands the relationship between community care and education."

Florence Cole, Just for Kids Law
Florence joined Just for Kids Law in February 2014, bringing to the team her experience working with young people since the age of 19.  She started out as a mentor with the Dalston Youth Project, mentoring young people who were at risk of exclusion and embarking on a life of crime. She then worked in a youth hostel, managing 12 homeless young people and providing resettlement and floating support, and later worked at Alone in London for five years as an advocacy officer, providing advocacy for homeless young people, those needing immigration advice, and community care. Florence completed her training contract at Streetwise Community Law Centre (a law centre exclusively for young people) in April 2010, with seats mainly in housing and education. In 2011, she moved to Harrow Law Centre as the sole young person’s solicitor, providing education and community care and housing advice.

Florence has been supervising the new Advocacy Year initiative at Just for Kids Law since 2016, providing specialist training and supervision in education law and community care to the advocates and external agencies. 

Shirin Hasan, Senior Caseworker, Advocate
Shirin is a Senior Caseworker at Advocate, responsible for overseeing the "allocations phase", everything from the moment the case is accepted by Advocate's Senior Reviewing Barristers, to trying to place that case with a Volunteer Barrister. Shirin has been with Advocate since February 2018, seeing Advocate through many changes, such as going online last year, and managing Advocate's brilliant Casework Team which is ever-growing.

In 2020 a record 1,421 cases were placed with Volunteer Barristers, showing the incredible amount of goodwill and desire to give back at the Bar. Shirin joined Advocate from Hammersmith and Fulham Law Centre, and has a personal passion for access to justice, having been in this sector since 2013. Shirin is a fundamental part of the Advocate team ensuring Advocate has a strong sense of team spirit and presence in the legal sector.

Jenniffer Lewis, CEO, Communities Empowerment Network
Jenniffer Lewis has been CEO of the Communities Empowerment Network since 2017, prior to which she had also spent time as a member of CEN’s Management Committee. Although CEN punches way above its weight in terms of reputation and the volume of cases that we represent,  this is not reflected by the size of the team which is currently comprised of 5 staff members as well as 23 volunteers who support CEN as Advocates, and Triage administrators.

Since becoming CEO, Jenniffer has been responsible for overseeing CEN’s change in focus: from responding to incidents of exclusion to an emphasis on early intervention; working with schools, students and parents to helping to prevent exclusion by working with parents and seeking to persuade schools to adopt a more systemic approach to behaviour management. Keen to ensure the future of the organisation, Jenn is in the process of developing CEN’s training products to accreditation standard which will help CEN to take its position as a lead organisation in the development of training, research and campaigning activities as well as informing and influencing policy discussions.

Jenniffer’s has been working in education since 2004 in both the statutory and voluntary sectors, focussing on behaviour management, peer education and parental engagement. She has developed and facilitated a number of programmes tailored to the needs of usually vulnerable groups including those from specific ethnic groups, parents, homeless people, teenage parents and those with specific health issues. These have been delivered via a range of agencies including schools and charitable organisations, notably, the YMCA, the 100 Black Men of London, the Young Parents Project and the Forgotten People's Projects, as well as via her own company, WholeLife Management. In addition to leading CEN, Jenniffer is very much hands-on in her role and is responsible for creating and facilitating much of the training that we deliver to our volunteers, parents and the young people we work with.

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