This two-day course provides a detailed introduction to education law in England and Wales, from the development of education law from legislation in the 1940s to the modern challenges for schools and education providers in a diverse and inclusive society.
Education law draws on many different areas of the law including public law, local government law, employment law, equality law and also aspects of private law such as contract and tort. In addition, there are increasing differences between the law applicable in England and that operating in Wales, as a result of devolution to Wales. In recent years, important areas of education law have undergone radical changes, notably to the law relating to children and young persons with special education needs and the rights of young people in the post-16 sector. The course will devote several of its sessions to these topics.
Disputes between parents and education bodies about the education of children are common. These can concern disputes about school admission matters, school transport, school uniform policies, curriculum issues (such as religious education and sex education) and discipline and exclusion matters. Disputes about education provision for children with special needs are very topical, as are concerns about the powers of state education providers to charge parents for certain school services. In addition, the interaction of equality law and education law is complex and has been the subject of several high-profile cases in the courts. The course will consider some of the leading cases in education law and review the law on appeal rights and dispute resolution, including alternative dispute resolution, in modern education law.
Day 1: Overview of Education Law
- Development of education law in England & Wales and key legislation
- Organisation of schools, including academies, free schools and independent schools
- Equality law and education providers, including prohibited classifications, direct and indirect discrimination, and justification for differences in treatment
- School admission arrangements, including law and guidance, selection criteria, faith schools, interviewing parents and children, consultation requirements, and admissions appeal arrangements
- School transport law and guidance, including resolving disputes about school transport
Day 2: The Law and School Curriculum (The Curriculum and Exceptions)
- Special Education Needs (SEN): from statements to education plans including mainstream schools and special schools, the education and health overlap, equality law and SEN law, and dispute resolution and SEN
- School discipline and exclusion, including:
- SEN, disability discrimination and School discipline
- School uniform rules and school discipline
- Appeal and dispute resolution arrangements in discipline matters
- Young people and post-16 education providers
- Overview of dispute resolution in the education Sector, including complaints, appeal arrangements, ombudsman schemes, judicial review, tort and breach of contract claims, discrimination claims, mediation and alternative dispute resolution