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Protecting Your Rights

Education Law Solicitors

Every child deserves a good education but unfortunately not everyone always gets the support they need. Our Education Law solicitors can help make sure your child gets the best start in life.

Our team of highly experienced experts are ready to provide advice, support and representation on all aspects of education law, at any stage of the dispute. We can help you:

  • Appeal your child's exclusion from school or college
  • Arrange an alternative placement following an exclusion from school
  • Challenge schools or local authorities that fail to provide special educational needs support
  • Challenge your child's statement of special educational needs or Education and Health Care (EHC) plan
  • Challenge SEN funding decisions
  • Make a disability discrimination claim
  • Get admission to a school or nursery after your child has been denied a place
  • Get help with your child's transition to adulthood

We can also help schools and education professionals who are defending against claims, challenging funding decisions, facing regulatory investigation or in disputes about SEN provisions.

Education Law cases can be quite complicated, requiring multiple stages of complaints, appeals and referrals to different organisations. Our education law solicitors will guide you through this process with friendly, professional support and help you resolve your dispute as quickly as possible.

To find out more about how the Public Law & Human Rights team can help you, contact us online or speak to a member of our team by calling 0800 028 1943.


Leading UK Education Law experts
Skilled negotiators and mediators
Experienced with judicial review appeals
Offices around the country

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Education Law - More Information
    • What Is An Education, Health And Care (EHC) Plan?
    • Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans were brought in by the Children and Families Act 2014. They replaced statements of special educational needs for children in schools and learning difficulty assessments for young people in further education and training, which were previously separate.

      EHC plans must be prepared and maintained by the local authority if an EHC needs assessment finds that a child or young person requires special educational provisions. The local authority must also conduct annual reviews and reassessments.

      EHC plans cover children and young people from birth to the age of 25. They include information about health and social care needs as well as special educational needs in one document. They should outline how these needs will be provided for, which educational institution the child or young person will attend and detail what Personal Budget will be assigned to secure these provisions.

      If you would like to challenge the contents of your child's EHC plan or the local authority has failed to make provisions outlined by the plan, our lawyers can help. Call us today on 0800 028 1943 to find out more.

      We also have a number of helpful factsheets and template letters aimed to help you secure the best education for your child.

    • What Costs Are Involved? Can I Get Funding?
    • Each case is different but when you get in touch, we will walk you through the different pricing and funding options available for your case. We tailor each service to every client to make sure that the costs are suitable to your individual situation.

      We offer clear and competitive pricing structures including fixed fees and monthly instalment plans depending on the type of case and legal support required. We can also provide legal aid for some education cases, including judicial review.

      However you are funding your case, we aim to keep costs low by resolving matters as quickly as possible, outside of court wherever possible. If you are funding the case yourself, we will always provide a full quote up-front and provide regular costs updates as the case progresses so you are always in the loop.

      Read our factsheet for more information about legal aid.

    • Will My Case Go To Court?
    • Going to court is always a last resort and we aim to resolve education disputes as quickly and without the need to go to court wherever possible.

      Schools and Local Education Authorities have official complaints and appeal procedures that we can help you with. Having legal representation from one of our knowledgeable and experienced education law solicitors at this early stage can significantly improve your complaints chances of success.

      Once in a dialogue with the school or LEA, we have the negotiation and mediation skills to help you get the outcome you want for your child. Wherever possible, we try to reach an agreement without taking legal action.

      If necessary, we can refer your case to appeals boards or the Local Government Ombudsman, who have the power to make LEAs reconsider their decisions. In some cases, it is possible to pursue the matter with the Secretary of State.

      We will pursue a court-based legal resolution with judicial review only if all other options have failed.

    • What Is Judicial Review?
    • Judicial Review is a way to appeal decisions made by public bodies such as schools and Local Education Authorities. You can apply for judicial review only if you have been through the public body's own complaints and appeal procedures and are still unhappy with the decision made.

      The purpose of judicial review is to make sure that a public body acts within the law. We may be able to help you appeal an education decision at judicial review if it is:

      • Irrational
      • Unfair
      • Discriminatory
      • Illegal

      We have one of the top judicial review teams in the country and have experience with successfully appealing a variety of education cases. Judicial review is a lengthy and complicated process with strict time limits for claims but our education law experts will guide you through the process from start to finish.

      Find out more on our Judicial Review page.

    • Meet The Team
    • Our experience of education law means that we are noted in leading independent guides to the legal profession, the Legal 500 and Chambers UK, for our litigation work. We are also members of the Education Law Association so you can be confident that you have real experts fighting your corner.

      Education law is complex and ever-changing and we understand that it can be a bit intimidating for our clients. You can rely on our lawyers provide professional and friendly guidance and support and explain every step of the process so you are always kept in the loop.

      Meet our team of education law solicitors

Without Irwin Mitchell challenging the Local Authority we would still be waiting for an answer.”

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Can I Do If My Child Has Been Excluded?

If your child has been excluded from school - either temporarily or permanently - you are entitled to challenge the decision by making a complaint to the school.

If your complaint doesn't make any progress, you can appeal to the Local Education Authority (LEA) as long as the exclusion is for longer than 5 days.

If your complaint still doesn't make any progress, you can refer the decision to the Independent Review Panel. This panel does not have the power to revoke the exclusion, but it can tell the school or Local Education Authority (LEA) to reconsider the decision again.

If you still disagree with the LEAs decision after this, you may also be appeal to judicial review. Our education law solicitors can help at any stage of the complaints and appeals process but there are strict time limits in place if your case gets to the judicial review stage so it is vital to contact us as soon as possible.

If your challenge is unsuccessful and your child is excluded, the Local Education Authority (LEA) has a responsibility to minimise disruption to the student's education. They can do this by making sure that the student received sufficient education at home or an alternative educational environment. Our lawyers can also help you appeal if your child does not receive enough support while they are excluded. Call us on 0800 028 1943 to find out more.

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Can You Help With School Admissions?

School admissions can be very competitive but parents have a right to tell their Local Authority which school they were prefer their child to go to.

The Local Authority must consider parents' preferences and follow the School Admissions Code when during the admissions process, but don't have to give any reason for their decision when they do reach a verdict. If you feel that your preferences have been unfairly dismissed, you can appeal the decision with the Local Authority, the Independent Admissions Appeal Panel or even judicial review.

Our expert education law solicitors can provide advice and representation at every stage of the appeal process to resolve your dispute as quickly as possible. Education law is complicated and always changing but we will guide you through the whole process to ensure the best possible chance of success.

Call our team on 0800 028 1943 today to find out more about how our education lawyers can help you.

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How Do I Make Sure My Child Gets The SEN Support They Need?

Every child deserves the support they need to receive an education and education authorities have a responsibility to provide it. We can help with:

  • Having your child’s special educational needs assessed
  • Transport to and from school
  • Statutory funding for independent school placements
  • Accessing support in schools and colleges
  • Organising home education
  • Challenging discrimination

Our dedicated team of specialist education law solicitors will help you voice concerns you may have about your child's education and negotiate solutions with schools, colleges and local authorities. If necessary we can raise your dispute at a Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal or appeal to judicial review.

To find out more, see our Special Educational Needs page.

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Awards & Accreditation

We're always proud to be recognised for the work we do for our clients and have been named as a leading firm in the latest legal guides - which provide information and recommendations about lawyers and law firms in the UK

Private Client Team of the Year - Legal Business Awards 2017
"'One of the best’ and ‘go-to firm’ Irwin Mitchell covers the full range of work, and specialises in complex, unique cases."
"The lawyers are heavyweight individuals in a big firm, but they never compromise on client care. They handle cases with striking compassion and insight."

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