Administrative Court dismisses challenge to funding decisions regarding special educational needs


Simone & Ors v Chancellor of the Exchequer and Secretary of State for Education [2019] EWHC 2609 (Admin)

The vlaimants sought to challenge both the decision-making surrounding the 2018 Budget, and the defendants’ alleged “ongoing failure” to provide sufficient central funding for children and young people with special educational needs. They argued that the defendants’ decisions had been taken in breach of the Public Sector Equality Duty and the “general” duty in the Children and Young Persons Act 2008, s 7 to promote the wellbeing of children in England; had been irrational; and had violated ECHR, art 14 taken with Article 2 of Protocol 1 (the right to education).

Following a rolled-up hearing, the Administrative Court (Lewis J) granted permission but dismissed the claim, finding that the decisions had been reasonably open to the defendants, had not been discriminatory, and had been taken in a manner consistent with the defendants’ statutory obligations.

Sarah Hannett and Eleanor Mitchell were involved in the case.