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Watkins Solicitors takes Wiltshire to judicial review over special school closures

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Watkins’ solicitor Dr Keith Lomax, who specialises in challenging public bodies, is instructed by parent groups supporting two of the schools that the council plans to close. Friends of Larkrise School in Trowbridge and St Nicholas School in Chippenham...

Dementia-friendly Bath conference

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We were delighted to exhibit at the dementia friendly Bath conference, which was excellently organised by Bath & North East Somerset Dementia Action Alliance (“Bath DAA”) at the Guildhall in Bath on Thursday 7th February 2019. There was...

Keith Lomax discusses legal challenge to council plans for special schools on BBC Radio Wiltshire

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Dr Keith Lomax , our judicial review & regulatory specialist, was interviewed by Ben Prater on BBC Radio Wiltshire this morning. The topic of conversation was Wiltshire Council's proposals to close special schools in Chippenham and Trowbridge....

Supreme Court judgment today - a public law classic example

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As you may have heard in the news today, a judgment has been handed down in the Supreme Court in a case that involved a number of linked appeals including ’W’ for whom our Judicial Review & Public Law Specialist, Keith Lomax , has been...

Could this be the biggest reform employment law has seen in the last 20 years?

Kirsty Hunt
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New proposals issued by the Government to protect workers following Matthew Taylor’s Good Work Review.  Could this be the biggest reform employment law has seen in the last 20 years yet? Proposals include workers’ rights (not just employees)...

Uber drivers get an early Christmas present

Kirsty Hunt
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Uber drivers get an early Christmas present and win Court of Appeal case!  After an ongoing battle to obtain basic employment rights, Uber drivers have finally been declared “Workers” thereby entitling them to the minimum wage and holiday...

SEN pupils being failed by system

Emma Grimbly
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The Guardian has published an article in relation to ‘special needs pupils being failed by system on verge of crisis’. Their investigation has shown that the current rate of success for parents at SEN Tribunal hearings is now at 89%. It is...

New Tribunal Bundle Guidance

Emma Grimbly
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The Tribunal Service has launched new guidance for Tribunal bundles in SEN appeals which could have key ramifications when providing independent reports as evidence. Whereas it is often the case that these reports are highly detailed and therefore lengthy,...

School Exclusion

Liz Smith
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The Government has been seeking views and evidence on school exclusion practice as part of a review of school exclusions.  In 2015/16, 0.08% of children were permanently excluded from Local Authority maintained schools in England, although children...

School Records

Liz Smith
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We receive a number of phone calls from parents who want to know if they can access their child’s school records.  The answer is generally, yes.  If your child attends a maintained school, you have an independent right of access to your...

Weak points in the newly reformed SEND system

Liz Smith
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Speaking to MP’s on the Commons Education Select Committee, Baroness Warnock, who issued a report 40 years ago about services for children with special educational needs and disabilities needing to change, along with other key figures that led to the...

Implementing the Disability and Special Educational Needs Reform set out in the Children and Families Act 2014

Liz Smith
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Following on from previous articles, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission have continued to carry out joint inspections to consider how Local Authorities have implemented the changes set out in the Children and Families Act 2014 in relation to the...

Special Educational Provision during school holidays - an update

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A recent decision from the Upper Tribunal, GK v North Somerset Council (2018) has upheld a parent’s appeal in respect of when a Local Authority is required to provide special educational provision outside of school term times. The child in question...

Bristol parents successfully challenge Local Authority SEND budget cuts

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Two sets of parents have recently taken Bristol City Council to court for a judicial review of the council’s continuing cuts to funding for pupils with SEND (Special Educational Needs & Disabilities). The first case of its kind, the basis of the...

Very happy client gives Angela flowers and chocolates

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Our Head of Conveyancing, Angela Dunlop, is pictured with a lovely bunch of flowers received from a very satisfied client!...

Dementia Action Week

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The week of 21-27 May 2018 was Dementia Action Week and the emphasis this year was on taking action “to improve the everyday lives of people affected by dementia”. Our trainee solicitor, Lisa Morgan , who is also a Dementia Friends...

On the up after the Unison judgment?

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Back in July, the Supreme Court removed the requirement to pay a fee in order to bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal. Recent statistics from the Employment Tribunal show that the number of cases received by Employment Tribunals rose by 90% to...

Shortage of suitable school places for children with special educational needs

Liz Smith
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News in the last few days has focused on statistics that demonstrate there is a shortage of funding for children with special educational needs, which is leading to a growing number of children being left without suitable school places and more children with...

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