Special education barrister Emma Waldron shares her top 10 takeaways from the long-awaited Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and Alternative Provision Improvement Plan which the Government published on 2 March 2023.
Emma is regularly instructed on behalf of parents, young persons, independent schools, academies, charities, local authorities and universities advising on all aspects of Education Law.
Emma regularly works in the following areas of Education Law:
- Disability Discrimination
- Educational Negligence
- Judicial Review
- Complex admissions arrangements and appeals
- Breach of Contract
- Debt Recovery
- Deprivation of Liberty (DOLS)
- Academic Appeals and Fitness to Practice
- Ofsted Appeals
Within Emma’s practice, she has been instructed on a number of cases on the National Trial involving complex social and health care issues. In a recent B, F and I appeal, Emma successfully negotiated a settlement at the door of the court which lead to a local authority naming a 38-week placement at a specialist Independent school.
As a former Teaching Assistant and Governor at a Maintained Special School for children with severe profound and multiple learning difficulties, Emma has a strong interest in matters within the SEND field.
Emma also has extensive experience in providing training to Schools and Expert witnesses on Ofsted Appeals. In her practice, she has advised numerous clients on challenging Ofsted decisions. Most recently, she advised a nursery school manager whose provision was faced with imminent closure. The case comprised complex legal argument and the provision of sensitive advice to a client who was under a huge amount of pressure (her livelihood and future career prospects being at stake).
Latterly, Emma has been instructed by one of the most prestigious universities in the country to act on a Disability Discrimination claim. She has found that her commitment and passion for working with universities across the country to offer them clear and commercial advice has been very well received.
Emma has significant experience in dealing with Disability Discrimination claims both in the FTT and County Court and has recently held training sessions and lectures on this subject. Emma is passionate about passing on her vast knowledge and experience within this sector and openly attracts the opportunity to host training days and lectures to a number of our clients.
A Guide to The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and Alternative Provision Improvement Plan30th Mar 2023
Virtual reality: I’m here live… I’m not a cat2nd Apr 2021
Emma Waldron reflects on the last 12 months of virtual hearings in the SEND Tribunal and looks at the many benefits as well as the disadvantages of the "new normal".
“Low arousal” environments examined by the Upper Tribunal21st Sep 2020
“Low arousal” environments examined by the Upper Tribunal
Emma Waldron reviews JI and SP v Hertfordshire County Council (SEN), in which the Upper Tribunal examined whether sufficient reasons had been given by the First Tier Tribunal for rejecting expert evidence and for finding that a school could provide a “low arousal environment”.
Emma Waldron has a broad practice encompassing a wide range of education matters. She offers expertise in special educational needs and discrimination issues, and is also able to advise on admission and exclusion appeals. She regularly represents universities, schools, academies and local authorities, as well as parents and young persons.
Strengths: “She is a very caring barrister, very approachable and a formidable advocate - firm but fair.”
“Emma is the go-to counsel for my team. She provides practical advice, including reputational and commercial considerations.”
“Emma is thorough, careful and considerate. She is sensitive to clients, good to work with and responsive to questions.”
Chambers UK 2024/Education/London Bar
Strengths: “Emma is extremely calm and able to work on very complex, emotive work. She is incredibly bright and collaborative.”
“Emma is a gifted and persuasive advocate who is able to get to the heart of the matter.”
“Emma is an extremely kind, caring and compassionate barrister, providing very thorough and detailed counsel.”
Chambers UK 2023/Education/London Bar
Strengths: "Very good and knowledgeable about education law." "A very sensible advocate."
Recent work: Successfully acted for the university in Etowe v Newcastle University, a case in which the claimant sought damages of approximately £200,000 for misrepresentation, breach of contract and negligence.
Chambers UK 2022/Education/London Bar
Strengths: "Her questioning of witnesses is really good - sensitive and to the point. Her written submissions are also really clear." "She has the ability to calm anxious clients and makes them understand why they are there and what the issues are."
Recent work: Represented Southampton City Council in an appeal against a decision by the First-tier Tribunal to refuse to name a particular specialist provision in a child's education health and care plan.
Chambers UK 2021/Education/London Bar
Emma Waldron notably acted for a childminder in successfully appealing an Ofsted suspension notice
‘Emma is a joy to work with. She is incredibly professional. Her knowledge of the law in all things SEND tribunal is second-to-none, and her advice is always very clearly explained and accurate.’
Legal 500 2024/Education/Leading Junior/London Bar
‘Emma provides clear, accurate and concise advice in the most difficult cases. Her advocacy is impeccable.'
Legal 500 2023/Education/Leading Junior/London Bar
‘Emma is our go-to counsel on contentious education matters; she is very knowledgeable and provides thorough, practical advice.’
Legal 500 2022/Education/Leading Junior/London Bar
‘Emma is an excellent advocate, very tenacious and has a high level of mental fortitude. She is passionate about the work she does and instils confidence in clients, even those who are anxious and vulnerable.’
"Emma Waldron successfully acting for Queen Mary, University of London in a discrimination claim."
Legal 500 2021/Education/Leading Individual
‘Does a very good job even in difficult circumstances.’
Legal 500 2020/Education/Leading Individual