2011 02 Education

Tuesday 1 March 2011

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Case law:

R (Luton Borough Council and Ors) v Secretary of State for Education [2011] EWHC 217 (Admin) (Holman J): In a blow to the Coalition Government's controversial axing of the Building Schools for the Future Programme, five local authorities succeeded in a judicial review against the Secretary of State for Education for its failure to consult each of the local authorities before cutting their individual building projects. He also unlawfully failed to give due regard to the equality impacts of his proposed decision to cut each of these projects. He was ordered by the Court to reconsider his decision, upon providing the claimant local authorities a reasonable opportunity to make representations, and reconsider each project with an open mind, paying due regard to any representations the local authorities may make and rigorously discharging his equality duties. Click here for the judgment which deals carefully with each of 5 headings of challenge.

Note: This is yet another interesting and successful judicial review challenge to the Coalition Government's widespread cuts across the public sector. The failure to do an equality impact assessment before making sweeping cuts emerges yet again here as an effective challenge to what some have called hasty decision-making on part of the Coalition Government. This follows from another successful challenge against the London Councils' decision ([2011] EWHC 151 (QB) to cut £10 million of funding from the voluntary sector. See judgment here.

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