Alice de Coverley

Year of Call: 2014
Email Address:
Telephone: 020 7583 8055

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Alice is particularly passionate about Education Law and children’s rights.

Prior to commencing pupillage, Alice was the Chief Director of The School Exclusion Project for four years. This is an award-winning pro-bono unit dedicated to representing parents of permanently excluded school children.

Alice is currently instructed on a part-time secondment at the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted). She provides advisory and advocacy services to Ofsted in all areas it inspects and regulates, from social care to independent schools to unregistered schools.

Alice also acts for Ofsted in the Care Standards Tribunal, and is currently acting for Ofsted as Junior Counsel on the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA).

Alice continues to take education law instructions outside of her instruction with Ofsted.

Alice is particularly focused on Equality Act 2010 matters.

Alice acts for parents, children, young people, schools, Universities, Local Authorities, charities and government bodies.

Alice is instructed to act and advise in relation to a broad range of education law matters, including:

  • Appeals to the SEND Tribunal on the content of EHC Plans
  • Discrimination (particularly disability discrimination) claims in the FTT and County Court
  • Compliance with the Equality Act 2010
  • School Exclusions
  • Judicial Review
  • Breach of contract and negligence claims involving education providers
  • School Admissions
  • Home Education
  • Internal academic appeals
  • Fitness to Practice appeals
  • Appeals to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator
  • Public consultations
  • Public inquiries
  • Data protection and subject access requests.

Recent education law matters which Alice has been involved in include:

  • Successfully representing a child with epilepsy in a disability discrimination claim against his school, with the decision being sent by the Tribunal to the EHRC, the DfE and to Ofsted as a result.
  • Successfully representing a number of children in their Section I appeals, enabling their progress at the right school which meets their needs.
  • Successfully representing children in appeals against “refusal to assess” or “refusal to issue” EHC plans.
  • Drafting Ofsted policies and consultation responses on schools, social care settings, unregistered schools, and equality law matters.
  • Policy drafting in relation to counter-terrorism measures taken by schools.
  • Advising medical and nursing students in claims under the Equality Act 2010 where the University’s competency assessment standards conflicted with the duty to make reasonable adjustments.
  • Advising in relation to negligence claims for failure to spot learning difficulties.
  • Advising in relation to breach of contract claims involving Independent Schools.
  • Advising parents of school pupils with disabilities who have been unlawfully permanently excluded.
  • Drafting funding applications to the European Human Rights Commission, to support client’s cases concerning discrimination in education.
  • Drafting submissions to the Health and Conduct Committee/Fitness to Practice Committee.
  • Drafting submissions to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator.

Alice has also helped to create a number of BBC Radio 4 programmes about school exclusions.

Whilst Alice was Chief Director of The School Exclusion Project, it featured in the press several times addressing unlawful exclusions – for instance this Guardian article.

She is also a volunteer for the charity Inspiring the Future, which connects young people in state schools and colleges with those from the world of work. She has recently been part of their Inspiring Women campaign, mentoring girls from various schools to raise their aspirations and break down sex stereotypes.

Alice is happy to provide training in relation to education law. Of late she provided training on school admissions appeals to Local Authorities, a talk on disability discrimination to a children’s charity and ran a seminar on school exclusions for solicitors. Please get in touch with her clerks should this be something you would wish to organise.


“I spoke with my client last night and wanted to relay to you how pleased she was with yesterday. She could not praise you enough and said that you went above and beyond what she expected.”

“I thought I would pass on Mr C’s comments as to how much he appreciated your time on Friday and he said what a fantastic Barrister that you are. I thought you should know how much he thought of you.”

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Academic qualifications

  • City Law School GDL (Commendation)
  • City Law School BPTC (Very Competent)
  • Durham University BA Hons Theology (2:1)


  • "Just Rights" Human Rights - the Big Voice Mooting Competition Champion, 2013, winning in the final at the Supreme Court
  • In 2012 the School Exclusion Project won the Bar Pro Bono Award
  • In 2014 the School Exclusion Project was runner up in the Attorney General LawWorks Pro Bono Awards for ‘Best Contribution by a Team of Students’.

Professional qualifications & appointments

  • Editorial Board Member of Counsel Magazine.

Professional bodies

  • Education Law Association (ELAS)
  • Personal Injury Bar Association (PIBA)
  • Freehold Real Estate Networking Group

Direct Access

Alice de Coverley is qualified to accept instructions directly from members of the public and professional clients under the Direct Public Access scheme.

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