I am a lawyer. I have specialised in public law, including education law, since 1992. I work as a barrister, advising, writing, training and acting in court on behalf of parents/children, schools and NGO’s around issues such as admissions, exclusions, SEN and school reorganisations. For several years, I was also a part-time chair of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.
Over the last 6 years, academies have been a particular focus of my work.
I have followed with great interest the legal shifts which have taken place as the approach of Governments (Labour and now the Coalition) to academies has altered over that period
I have appeared in most if not all of the major cases in the High Court and Court of Appeal dealing directly with academies. But, as it happens, very few of the legal disputes about academies and free schools ever get to court. That is particularly so when it comes to parents and pupils trying to enforce their rights on things like admissions, exclusions and SEN issues. In my experience, academies are desparate not to end up being scrutinised in court. And the Department for Education seems particularly keen for that not to happen. So they often give in! That helps keep the lid on the ‘can of worms’ which is the law of academies and free schools.
Anyway, people regularly ask me questions about academies and free schools and the law. So I thought I’d put them all together in this blog and give my answers.
I will add to it over time. Let me know if there are issues which I have not covered and I will try and add them.
David Wolfe, Matrix, October 2011Tweet