Reasonable Endeavours: EHC Plans During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Attempting to keep track of the ever-evolving government position on Coronavirus has been compared, by one colleague, to herding cats, and frankly it’s difficult to disagree. The situation in which we find ourselves is fast-moving and, with few signs of it decelerating, there remains much uncertainty as to what the coming months hold for children with SEN. The Coronavirus Act 2020, however, means we now have some indication of how the government intends to proceed.

The Sinclairslaw COVID-19 Education Free Webinar

Sinclairslaw are delighted to be hosting our first ever Webinar about the current COVID-19 pandemic and the effects this will have for parents and students in the education sector, now and in the future. The webinar starts at 3:00pm on Friday 3rd April 2020 and is free and open to everyone and we welcome anyone who wishes to join. The webinar is being hosted by the Zoom platform and should you wish to join please

Sinclairslaw Open as Normal – COVID-19 Message

During these unprecedented times, we understand at Sinclairslaw how vital it is that we keep our services available to clients with as minimal downtime as possible. We must also listen to the Government for the latest advice as well as ensuring the safety not just of our clients and staff but also the wider public. Whilst we are still open for business as usual we do have many staff working from home so that we

The Coranavirus Bill – The Weakest will suffer the most – Message from our CEO – Mr Michael Charles

“There appears to be a lot of discussion regarding the ramifications of the new Coronavirus Bill. Of course it is currently being debated but from media sources it appears it will become law. Some may say of course these are necessary changes, introduced in national emergency to protect us. A world wide response necessitated because of the gross under resourcing of a global healthcare system that could have been better able to detect, research and

Coronavirus Bill – Impact on Education Cases

Coronavirus Bill: Education law impacts   The provisions in the first draft of the Coronavirus Bill, as published on 19 March, that relate specifically to education and schools are in Schedules 15 and 16 (which are given effect by clauses 35 and 36).   School closures   Schedule 15 relates to the powers to close schools. Part 1[1] gives the Secretary of State (or the Welsh Ministers) the power to issue ‘temporary closure notices’ to

Sinclairslaw remains open – but from home

Below I have copied a letter received from Vicky Ford MP Parliamentary Under-secretary of State for Children and Families. I have been asked that we share this as widely as possible. I understand that parents and families of SEN children are anxious and worried at this uncertain time. I want to assure all of my readers (and anyone to whom this is shared) that; 1. Sinclairslaw remains OPEN 2, We are committed to helping families

Sinclairslaw wins Court of Appeal case which ordered Local Authority to compensate for non-inclusion of education costs in Care Act 2014 personal budget.

Senior Associate Solicitor Helen Gill, along with Counsel David Wolfe QC of Matrix Chambers and David Lawson of Serjeants’ Inn, acted for the claimant CP in this case, in which the Court of Appeal ordered North East Lincolnshire Council to compensate our client. The fact that  the council’s Care Act 2014 personal budget did not include the cost of attendance at an agreed educational placement was a “clear breach” of that Act and of statutory

Success for parents in important Disability Discrimination appeal

The Upper Tribunal has rejected an appeal by an independent school which had argued that the First-tier Tribunal did not have the power under the Equality Act to make orders against a school when it had found that the school had discriminated against a pupil on the basis of his disability. The Upper Tribunal accepted that the First-tier Tribunal could make orders that schools were required to comply with, including an order that they reinstate

Nottingham University Student’s Union reverse student group affiliation decision after Sinclairslaw’s intervention

Monday 22 July – The University of Nottingham Students’ Union has reversed a decision to refuse affiliation to our client, Nottingham Students for Life, after the Union was reminded of its obligations under Equality Legislation. The Students’ Union had previously refused affiliation to the Students for Life group on the grounds that the group’s values “did not align” with those of the Students’ Union and officers of the Union had been involved in a public

Exciting Employment Opportunities in Cardiff for Lawyers

Exciting opportunities have arisen within our Court of Protection, Education Law and Public Law Department at all levels from paralegal to qualified lawyers. The Department has grown substantially within the last 2 years and has increased its market share considerably over the last year. Due to this growth and internal promotion new vacancies have arisen at all levels. Predominantly acting for vulnerable adults who lack capacity as well as disabled children, the Department has a

National Court of Protection Professional Training Update Seminar

Kevin McManamon and Sarah Newport from our leading Court of Protection Department are presenting seminars in Cardiff, Bristol and London to provide an update for RPRs, IMCAs and Litigation Friends. Whilst the seminars are free, spaces for the seminars will be limited so booking is essential. If you wish to attend, please RSVP to to confirm your place at any of our seminars. Cardiff – 22 March 2019 (1:30pm to 4:30pm) Bristol – 28 March 2019 (2:00pm

Penarth Office Renovation Works

Our charming Penarth office in the very centre of the town is currently undergoing an exciting renovation to improve both the interior and exterior of the building. Whilst the Penarth office is undergoing renovations, the staff have been temporarily relocated to our Cardiff office where work continues as normal. Should you wish to speak with anyone about making an appointment and you would usually visit the Penarth office, please do call 033 0202 0707 and

Legal Representation at University Hearings – What Rights Does a Student Have?

Those who sit on university panels will often insist they are “not courts of law.” And yet, the hearings they conduct invariably follow a quasi-legal procedure involving evidence, questioning and argument. Nor is it not uncommon for complex legal issues to arise, for example, as to; the limits of academic judgement; the statutory duty to make reasonable adjustments for the benefit of disabled students; or the admissibility of evidence. In view of the above –

Family property: pitfalls and protection

Unfortunately disputes between family members over family property are on the rise and it is becoming increasingly common for such disputes to be reported in the national media. Back in October 2018 various institutions, including the BBC, reported the plight of Clive Shaw, the son of a dairy farmer in Lincolnshire who took his parents to the High Court for the right to inherit the farm upon their demise. More recently, the Daily Mail reported

Top Human Rights Lawyer joins Sinclairslaw

Sinclairslaw today made an exciting announcement through its Managing Director Mr John Ford. “ I am delighted to announce that Paul Conrathe has joined the firm as a senior Consultant Solicitor. Paul used to be the Senior Partner of a leading Human Rights and Education practice in Croydon. His work had a national impact and he was The Times Lawyer of the Week. In 2004 Paul changed career to set up a group of schools

Successful Judicial Review of Local Authority’s failure to deliver provision in an Education, Health and Care Plan

One intention of the SEN reforms in the Children and Families Act 2014 was to bring an end to the need for parents to ‘battle’ with Local Authorities for support for children with SEN. Last week, OFSTED’s Annual Report highlighted that, four years after the reforms came in, this remains an issue. OFSTED’s Chief Inspector said, in presenting the Report, that: “Something is deeply wrong when parents repeatedly tell inspectors that they have to fight

Court of Appeal Overturns Zahid Guidance

Around 18 months ago, we reported that the High Court had approved a procedure to be followed by students who wished to complain to the OIA whilst preserving the right to pursue Judicial Review proceedings directly against their university at a later date. In R (on the application of Zahid) v University of Manchester [2017] EWHC 188 (Admin), Mr Justice Hickinbottom gave detailed guidance to be followed in three types of case, namely: i) OIA

Anti bullying. The Law must change

Sinclairslaw CEO Michael Charles has called for the law to change to better protect children from bullying. Often campaigns raised in regard to anti bullying at schools get responded to by Government saying that more should be done to help. The current law which entitles young people to bring proceedings for negligence involves first having to show that a child has suffered loss and damage. Yet the Children Act emphasises the importance of child protection.

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