I'm Head of Education at Irwin Mitchell, and have spent the last 14 years representing parents, children and young people in all areas of education law, including:
- Special educational needs and Education and Health Care Plans (EHCPs)
- Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Tribunal Appeals
- Children out of education
- Admissions and exclusions
- Home education & education otherwise than school (EOTAS).
I also act for families in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
I secure the provision of education and associated health and social care services for children and young people with SEN, funded by local authorities.
The types of provision I secure include independent specialist placements, highly specialist equipment (including software), extensive therapeutic packages and teaching support.
I’m experienced in supporting learners with a breadth of needs including autism, Cerebral Palsy, Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs), language difficulties, physical and sensory impairments.
I frequently work with medical negligence and serious injury lawyers, court of protection deputies, and case managers to achieve the right placement or support to allow children and young people to fulfil their potential.
I also advise schools and colleges on a wide range of education and public law matters.
I regularly run parent information sessions for charities and support groups and I'm a trustee of a children’s visual impairment charity.
What inspired you to get into law?
Wanting to make a real difference to people’s lives. I certainly get that satisfaction in education law.
Whether it’s successfully securing a placement at a particular school, or getting the necessary level of teaching and therapy support implemented in an existing placement, I get to see the improvement to the child or young person’s future.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your role?
Seeing children and young people fulfil their potential. That can be anything from achieving academic qualifications to developing a consistent communication system or developing some independence skills. I’m still as overwhelmed by this as when I first came into this work!
What do you like about working at Irwin Mitchell?
The people and the ethos, both of which echo one another. Across the firm, we work collaboratively and proactively, underpinned by a solution focussed approach.
What do you do away from the office?
I’m really passionate about cooking and baking. I also love to travel. Whenever I get the chance, I enjoy being able to combine my two loves by taking a cookery course in a new country.