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Education Law

In line with FTB’s excellent reputation for local government law, members of chambers advise and represent clients in a broad range of educational disputes including those involving:

  • Special Educational Needs
  • Community Care
  • Admissions
  • Exclusions
  • School attendance
  • School governance
  • School inspection and professional regulation
  • Examinations
  • Student finance
  • School governance
  • Human rights
  • Discrimination and equalities legislation
  • Religious liberty
  • EU law

Clients include claimants and defendants, ranging from individuals, local authorities, maintained schools, academies, independent schools, higher education colleges, universities to other public bodies. Barristers at FTB regularly appear before the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal and in admissions and exclusions cases. Members also have particular experience in the judicial review of decisions of colleges and universities as well as actions in contract and negligence. Some of the cases in which members have been involved include:

Tribunal work

  • Cityside Primary Trust v Secretary of State for Education (First Tier Tribunal (Health, Education and Social Care), [2016] 2600 INS: appeal against the decision of the Secretary of State to remove a school from the register, on the basis of failure to meet the independent school standards)
  • Alam v Secretary of State for Education (First Tier Tribunal (Health, Education and Social Care) 2016: appeal against a direction prohibiting the Director of an academy chain from taking part in the management of any independent school following his alleged role promoting extremist views in Birmingham schools as revealed by the Trojan Horse scandal)

Judicial review

  • Agarwal v University of Nottingham [2013] EWHC 1015 (Admin) (university admissions; fitness to practise)
  • R (Sandhar) v Office of the Independent Adjudicator [2011] EWCA Civ 1614 and R (Budd) v Office of the Independent Adjudicator [2010] EWHC 1056 (Admin) (test cases on the scope of the OIA’s powers of investigation)
  • R (Maxwell) v Office of the Independent Adjudicator [2010] EWHC 1889 (Admin) (approach of the OIA to claims of disability discrimination)
  • R (Siborurema) v Office of the Independent Adjudicator [2008] ELR 209 (amenability of the OIA to judicial review; exercise of discretion and fairness)
  • R (Griffiths) v Lewisham College [2007] EWHC 809 (Admin) (fairness to a student subject to disciplinary proceedings and the use of final learning contracts)
  • R (Gunasinghe) v Henley Management College [2006] EWHC 346 (Admin) (student exclusion and relationship breakdown)
  • R (Varma (Amit)) v HRH Duke of Kent, Visitor of Cranfield University [2004] EWHC 1705 (Admin) (powers of visitor, ability to delegate functions and fairness)
  • R (Nash) v Chelsea College of Art and Design (No.2) [2002] EWCA Civ 69 (giving of late reasons)
  • R (Haracoglou) v Department for Education and Skills [2001] EWHC Admin 678 (meaning of “ordinarily resident”)
  • R v Cambridge University ex parte Persaud [2001] EWCA Civ 534 (fairness and duties of disclosure when considering de-registration of PhD student)
  • R v Chelsea College ex p Nash (No.1) [2000] ELR 686 QBD (fairness, disclosure of documents and ability of chair to make unilateral decisions)

Contract and Tort

  • Conrad Nyamutata v The University of Lancaster (Claim No: HC09CO4585: consumer Contract Regulations 1999 giving effect to EC Council Directive 93/13/EEC on Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts whether it is lawful for a university to withhold the award of a student's degree on the basis of alleged monies owing)
  • Maria Lavelle v Winchester University (High Court, Chancery Division: whether it is lawful for a university to withhold the award of a student's degree on the basis of alleged monies owing to it in its capacity as a landlord of student residential accommodation). Press coverage:
  • Tam v The Chancellors, Masters and Scholars of Cambridge University (case on the operation of limitation periods and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in Higher Education contracts – settled out of court)
  • Georgaki v Greenwich University (County Court: student alleging negligent supervision of MSc)
  • Herglie v Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College (claim for alleged breach of contract/negligence in respect of the quality of teaching provided by the Ealing College on a plumbing course)
  • Samantha Lawal v The London Institute (Claim No 4CL05451: claim for racial discrimination)

Members who practise in Education Law

Mark Hill QC
Gregory Jones QC
Jeremy Phillips
John Jolliffe
Pavlos Eleftheriadis
Annabel Graham Paul
David Graham

Caroline Daly
Charles Streeten

Charles Forrest
Horatio Waller 
Charles Merrett 
Esther Drabkin-Reither 
Conor Fegan 
Michael Brendan Brett