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Education Law

Education Law

Our education law team is renowned, and recommended in Chambers & Partners, for its significant and long-standing expertise in a wide range of education law issues. That expertise overlaps closely with related areas including public law (including local government law and immigration and asylum law), human rights law, discrimination and equality law and employment law.

We are able to advise, train and litigate on education law issues at all stages of a dispute in relation to maintained and independent schools, and all other educational institutions. Our aim is to provide a friendly, effective and comprehensive service to parents and children as well as NGOs, including charities, schools, colleges, universities and Local Authorities.

Our recent leading cases include R (Tigere) v Secretary of State for Business Innovation & Skills and Student Loans Company Ltd [2015] UKSC 57, Innovation and Skills, in which the Supreme Court held that the eligibility criteria for student loans unlawfully discriminated against applicants with Discretionary Leave to Remain; and Wendy H v Warrington Borough Council [2014] EWCA Civ 398, in which the Court of Appeal resolved conflicting authorities about the operation of section 9 of the  Education Act 1996; and a wide range of judicial review and Upper Tribunal cases concerning matters such as the establishment and operation of academies and free schools, the legality of the RS GCSE Subject Content Specification, and the jurisdiction of the First-Tier Tribunal.

We can provide assistance with the following issues, among many others:

  • Special Educational Needs appeals (including relating to Statements of SEN and Education, Health and Care Plans),
  • Judicial review challenges about the delivery of provision specified in Statements and EHC Plans,
  • Allegations of discrimination including on grounds of disability, sex, race, sexual identity or religion/belief,
  • Discipline matters and challenges to the decisions of school governing bodies and Independent Review Panels,
  • Challenges to admissions procedures and admissions criteria for schools and other institutions,
  • School closures and re-organisations, including the creation/expansion of academies, free schools and grammar schools,
  • Employment law issues in schools and other educational institutions,
  • Educational negligence and related damages claims,
  • Higher education, university and college matters including admissions, discipline and academic assessment,
  • Challenges to the decisions of qualifications bodies.

Matrix, in association with the 11KBW, is involved in the School Exclusions Project, which trains young members to represent individuals at exclusion tribunals. See leading junior in this area, Sarah Hannett, explain our role in the School Exclusions Project in her interview.

We also host regular roundtable events for members and others who work in education disputes. For more information, please contact Marketing.

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Nick Armstrong
Called: 2001 Solicitor: 1998
Chris Buttler QC
Called: 2004 Silk: 2021
Ayesha Christie
Called: 2014
Claire Darwin
Called: 2005 Called: 2018 (Ireland)
Raj Desai
Called: 2010 Solicitor: 2007
Emma Foubister
Called: 2016
Tom Gillie
Called: 2013
Mark Greaves
Called: 2016
Sarah Hannett QC
Called: 2003 Silk: 2021
Darryl Hutcheon
Called: 2014
Janet Kentridge
Called: 1999
Helen Mountfield QC
Called: 1991 Silk: 2010
Aidan O’Neill QC (Scot) QC
Called: 1996 Silk: 1999
Mathew Purchase QC
Called: 2002 Silk: 2021
Ben Silverstone
Called: 2009
Paul Skinner
Called: 2010
Dan Squires QC
Called: 1998 Silk: 2016
Aidan Wills
Called: 2015
David Wolfe QC
Barrister since: 1992