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Court: Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber)

First-tier Tribunal had power to order reinstatement of expelled pupil

Ashdown House School v JKL & Anor HS/1322/2019

This case concerned the expulsion from the school of a ten year old boy who had ADHD, sensory processing difficulties and emotional and social difficulties arising from trauma in his early childhood and in the womb. The Upper Tribunal considered whether the First-tier Tribunal had power to order reinstatement of an expelled pupil, the means […]

No absolute requirement to specify a school or institution in Education and Healthcare plans

Derbyshire County Council v EM DM [2019] UKUT 240 (AAC)

This case involved the special educational needs provision for two sisters who have significant disabling conditions. The first tier tribunal had decided that as it had made provision for ‘education otherwise than in school’ under section F of the sisters’ education and healthcare plans (EHC plan), no school or other institution could be named in section 1 of the EHC Plans. The question for appeal was whether the tribunal was entitled as a matter of law to leave section 1 of the EHC Plans blank.

The Upper Tribunal held that there is no absolute requirement that all EHC Plans must specify a school or other institution (or type of either) in Section 1 of an EHC Plan. The Upper Tribunal found that if the local authority thinks that no school or other institution (or type of either) would be appropriate for the child, the ‘naming’ duty under these sections and thus in section 1 of the EHC Plan cannot as a matter of law arise.

The Upper Tribunal held that the First Tier Tribunal had not made an error on a material point of law and dismissed both of the local authority’s appeals.

School found to discriminate against boy with learning difficulties by not allowing him to attend nursery in the afternoon

JW v Governing Body of Sinai Jewish Primary School [2019] UKUT 88 (AAC)

The parents of a boy with learning difficulties have won their appeal to the Upper Tribunal to set aside a previous FTT decision. The FTT found that the respondent’s had not discriminated against their son by refusing to allow him to attend the school’s nursery in the afternoons.JW has difficulties in eating and drinking and medical evidence suggested he would need support in order to meet additional needs relating to physical and motor development. The school considered it would have been too expensive to employ an extra member of staff to supervise JW during the afternoon, especially as it was already suffering from a deficit in costs. They maintained that although not allowing JW to stay for the afternoons may constitute as treating him unfavourably, this was also proportionate to reach a legitimate aim.However, the Upper Tribunal found that financial position of the school had significantly improved by end of March 2016, as the deficit had been reduced. Consequentially, the court found that the school erred in failing to reconsider the possibility of using its own funds to enable him to attend the nursery in the afternoons.

Upper Tribunal refuse to go behind the terms of a settlement agreement

AH v HMRC (TC) [2019] UKUT 5 (AAC)

The Upper Tribunal has upheld the FTT’s refusal to go behind the terms of the contract on Autoclenz principles. The court concluded that £16,000 paid in instalments to the appellant under an agreement to settle Employment Tribunal proceedings should be characterised as Employment Income, consequently reducing the Appellant’s entitlement to tax credits.