Our 3PB education law team represents parents, pupils, schools and their governing bodies (both from the maintained and the independent sectors), academies, universities and colleges, NGOs including charities, students, teaching and academic staff and local authorities in education law. Barristers also specialise in other complementary areas of law, notably public law, personal injury, human rights, employment and discrimination and misconduct and compliance.

In relation to schools and academies, the team has particular expertise in Appeals to the first-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) (‘SEND Tribunal’) concerning statements of special education needs and education-related disability discrimination claims at all levels, including but not limited to SEND Tribunal proceedings and Independent Review Panel proceedings within the context of school exclusions. The team also handles Upper Tribunal Appeals arising from decisions of the SEND Tribunal.

The team routinely handles claims against schools and academies for all other forms of discrimination - for example in county court, employment tribunal proceedings and before specialist regulatory tribunals - and frequently advises and represents on school admissions and exclusion/reinstatement appeals before independent panels. The team has an outstanding record in judicial review proceedings arising from decisions of local authorities or independent panels.

Our casework increasingly covers advisory work and disputes arising from exam results, school complaints procedures, attendance issues, school closures and re-organisations as well as issues of governance and funding. Our barristers act on breach of contract claims concerning independent schools and education negligence claims and other damages claims arising at schools and academies. The 2020 pandemic has seen us advise specifically on video hearings in the SENDIST, judicial reviews, the impact on private schools, special education provision, A-Level, GCSE and Btec exam results,  redundancy and the furlough scheme and flaws in the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Bill.

We routinely accept direct access instructions from higher education and further education institutions, individuals and schools, academies and colleges/universities and are also able to provide legal assessors to advise and support independent lay panels dealing with a wide range of educational issues.

The Legal 500 2021 describes "3PB is an 'excellent set with strength-in-depth' in the education field with members described as 'approachable and committed'; and "A set that is 'increasingly becoming a powerhouse in education law'".

Practice Director Chris Mitchell is assisted by Tom Cox and Gemma Faulkner.

Head of Team

Charlotte Hadfield

Telephone: 020 7583 8055

Practice Director

Chris Mitchell

Telephone: 020 7583 8055

Practice Manager

Tom Cox

Telephone: 0117 928 1520