Education law barristers for children, parents and institutions
Our education law barristers represent parents, pupils, schools and their governing bodies (maintained and independent sector), academies, universities and FE colleges, NGOs including charities, students, teaching and academic staff and local authorities in all areas of education law.
Our work includes County Court, High Court, and disciplinary/Independent Review Panel proceedings across all areas of school and university life. The team also accepts instructions in appeals to the Upper Tribunal from decisions of the First-tier Tribunal. Members are frequently instructed in claims for judicial review arising out of the decisions of local authorities and other institutions exercising public functions in the field of education.
The team has a particular expertise in discrimination claims, acting for students, pupils, schools, universities and FE colleges in claims before the County Court, High Court, Employment Tribunal and all specialist regulatory tribunals. Members frequently advise and represent in school admissions appeals and challenges to school exclusions before independent panels. We are frequently instructed in judicial review proceedings arising from decisions of local authorities, independent panels and other public bodies exercising public functions in the field of education.
Our barristers are frequently instructed in breach of contract claims concerning universities and independent schools, as well as education negligence claims and other damages claims, frequently in combination with discrimination claims.
Our team has particular expertise in appeals to the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) (‘SEND Tribunal’) concerning Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans and education-related disability discrimination claims at all levels. Members act for Ofsted and Early Years providers in Tribunal appeals relating to the deregistration/disqualification of childminders and nurseries; we also have expertise in appeals relating to the cancellation of registration of care homes by the CQC.
Our casework covers advisory work and disputes arising from exam results, school complaints procedures, safeguarding/child protection issues, attendance issues, school closures and re-organisations as well as issues of governance and funding. The Covid-19 pandemic has seen members advise specifically on disability discrimination claims, 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 alongside flaws in the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Bill.
As a specialist education law team, members routinely accept direct access instructions from higher education and further education institutions, individuals and schools, academies and colleges/universities.
We are also able to provide mediators and legal assessors to advise and support institutions and independent lay panels dealing with a wide range of educational issues. Members also accept instructions to conduct investigations into allegations of misconduct between pupils or staff at educational institutions.
Team members are available to work from any of our six offices in London, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Oxford, and Winchester. We offer state-of-the-art technology for remote meetings.
Legal 500 describes 3PB's Education team as home to “genuine specialists in education law,” and a "very strong education set with counsel always available for support, no matter the level of complexity." Chambers & Partners reports that 3PB is "increasingly becoming a powerhouse in education law” with an “impressive offering in the education sector,” and “you can rely on the 3PB clerks to provide a prompt response and help progress a matter forward and throughout the entire case. They are unsung heroes and deserve a lot of credit for the work they do.” The education team are “experienced in the handling of a broad range of matters, including school admissions and exclusions, special educational needs and discrimination claims.” The set exhibits “very strong knowledge and experience in education work.” 3PB's education specialists are well-regarded for their understanding of education matters, with particular experience acting in tribunal claims and judicial reviews related to SEND matters and academic and disciplinary decisions in schools and universities. Chambers and Partners 2024 remarks that "the quality of legal advice, detailed submissions and clear sensitivity towards vulnerable clients have been impressive. 3PB also has strong and calm conduct of contentious cases."
Door Tenants and Pupils are marked by the DT and P symbols.
John Friel Call: 1974
Lachlan Wilson Call: 1996
Charlotte Hadfield Call: 1999
Caroline Stone Call: 2005
Katherine Anderson Call: 2005
Sarah Bowen Call: 2006
Aimee Fox Call: 2007
Jennifer Agyekum Call: 2009
Emma Waldron Call: 2011
Alice de Coverley Call: 2014
Matthew Wyard Call: 2014
Naomi Webber Call: 2017
Alex Leonhardt Call: 2018
Jim Hirschmann Call: 2018
Olivia McGonigle Call: 2021
Door Tenants and Pupils are marked by the DT and P symbols.
Rosa Thomas Call: 2023
24 November - Black Friday discount on ‘A Practical Guide to EHC Plan Appeals' by Katherine Anderson
Law Brief Publishers have announced a one-day ‘Black Friday’ discount of 25% on Katherine’s detailed practitioner’s guide to this fast-growing and changing area of law, launched in June this year. The book, which usually retails for £69.99, will be on sale for £52.50. If you want to access the discount on ‘A Practical Guide to EHC Plan Appeals,' please click here anytime on Friday 24 November. About the book: This is a detailed practitioner’s guide to...Continue reading
Charlotte Hadfield and Alice de Coverley successful for parent against London Borough in appeal over EHCP
Charlotte Hadfield, head of 3PB’s nationally ranked specialist education law team, led fellow member of chambers Alice de Coverley in successfully representing the Respondent parent in this recent appeal brought by London Borough of Camden regarding the Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) put in place for a teenager with a range of additional needs. The appeal concerned the Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) authorised by the First-tier Tribunal for the claimant's son, P, a child...Continue reading
3PB celebrates its specialist Education Law team’s achievements in the latest set of results published by Chambers and Partners today. The team is once again ranked in Band 3 with 7 of our barristers attracting top marks for their talent, skills and dedication. In the words of clients, there is little 3PB’s education law barristers cannot achieve be it in terms of strategy, advocacy and pleadings, understanding of vulnerable clients, drafting of procedural issues and...Continue reading
3PB Barristers (3 Paper Buildings) breaks another record in the latest edition of Chambers and Partners with a total of 81 accolades. The national set is rewarded with rankings in 18 areas of law, in the London Bar as well as in the South Eastern, Western and Midlands Circuits and exceptional comments on its service delivery, including praise for its “sublime service” and its "ability to manage matters in a professional and comprehensive manner second...Continue reading
3PB is delighted to report the promotion of its Education law team to TIER 3 in London. The team has attracted a total of 9 rankings in the Legal 500’s 2024 edition published today: 7 of our barristers are ranked in London, 2 of them are also recommended for the work they do in the Midlands and Wales. This promotion in the Legal 500 follows a great year for the team, in which Alice de...Continue reading
3PB Barristers (3 Paper Buildings), the UK's third largest chambers, is delighted to report this year again an outstanding number of rankings - totalling 145 - in the Legal 500 2024’s edition published today, a 12% increase on last year’s 130. The set has achieved its rankings across 5 large UK regions - or Circuits (London, South Eastern, Western, Midlands and Chester and Wales) - in 21 areas of law. 3PB is also ranked in...Continue reading
The four pupils starting their twelve-month pupillages, pictured left to right from the top, are: former global brand strategy director and behavioural science researcher Alice Horn who be focusing on commercial litigation and arbitration; former legal assistant Jack Felvus who will be focusing on public law and regulatory matters and criminal law; fellow legal assistant Laurie-Elizabeth Ketley will be focusing on family law and civil disputes; and former City financial analyst Suffian Hussain who will...Continue reading
3PB are pleased to announce that their four 12-month pupil barristers - Poppy Watson, Liz Adams, Emma Greening and Dr Angel Matoke-Njagi (pictured left to right from the top) - have all successfully completed their pupillages today and become tenants with the 240-barrister, national chambers. Former in-house energy lawyer Poppy Watson (call:2021) is joining 3PB's London office and will be focusing on commercial litigation and arbitration. Former in-house lawyer and domestic violence and disability campaigner...Continue reading
Welcome to the 9th edition of our education law newsletter. Edited by Jim Hirschmann and Katherine Anderson, it features analysis and contributions from head of team Charlotte Hadfield, Katherine Anderson (who celebrated the publishing of her book), Emma Waldron, Olivia McGonigle, Jim Hirschmann and pupil Rosa Thomas.Continue reading
Case analysis covers: R (on the application of Swalcliffe Park School) v Wokingham Borough Council and another  EWHC 1451 (Admin); R (on the application of AI) v London Borough of Wandsworth  EWHC 2088 (Admin); MXX v A Secondary School  EWCA Civ 99; and Manchester University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust v JS and Others  EWCOP 33. The team also looks at potential student litigation that could arise out of the university marking and assessment boycott.
3PB's specialist Employment, Discrimination and Education barrister Sarah Bowen has joined Birmingham Law Society's Employment Law Committee, chaired by Shoosmiths LLP's Charlie Rae. The Employment Law Committee, formed of senior employment law practitioners from across the Midlands region, meets monthly to consider recent and proposed changes in employment law and practice. The Committee also undertakes annual discussions with senior representatives of ACAS, the regional judiciary, and various trade unions, as well as responding to government...Continue reading
Katherine Anderson authors ‘A Practical Guide to Education, Health and Care Plan Appeals in England’
With just under 1.5 million pupils in England identified to have special educational needs (‘SEN’) and a record 473,300 Education Health and Care (‘EHC’) plans issued as at January 2022, HMCTS tribunals have recorded 11,000 registered SEN appeals in the academic year 2021/22 alone, an increase of 29% year on year. SEN appeals are all about resolving disputes between a Local Authority and parents or young people relating to EHC needs assessments and plans. Since...Continue reading
3PB Barristers’ (3 Paper Buildings) specialist education and employment law barristers Charlotte Hadfield, Lachlan Wilson and Alice de Coverley are set to contribute at an Irwin Mitchell webinar next week on sexual abuse and harassment in the education sector. The webinar, taking place on Thursday 4 May, will offer information and practical guidance on a range of topics including: spotting the signs of sexual abuse and harassment (with reference to the Independent Inquiry into Child...Continue reading
3PB Barristers' Inaugural Education Law Conference
Date: Wednesday 31st Jan 2024 Time: 9:00 am Venue: National Liberal Club, London
The full-day event will include a variety of presentations from 3PB’s specialist education law barristers Charlotte Hadfield (Head of Group), John Friel, Lachlan Wilson, Katherine Anderson, Caroline Stone, Alice de Coverley, Jim Hirschmann and Olivia McGonigle. Presentations will cover topics of interest to private practitioners, local authorities, and schools, including: The H and C in EHCPs – health and social care; are 'extended appeals' fit for purpose? The latest in Equality Act claims involving educational institutions Judicial Review in Education claims Safeguarding and Sex Education in…
Chambers UK 2022
3PB Barristers is a well-regarded set with a growing presence in the education sector. Members are experienced in the handling of a broad range of matters, including school admissions and exclusions, special educational needs and discrimination claims. The team also offers expertise in disciplinary matters arising in the higher education sector. The set's varied client base encompasses several education institutions, such as schools, universities and academies, as well as pupils, governing bodies and NGOs, and its barristers regularly appear before the First-tier Tribunal, Upper Tribunal and Court of Appeal.
"The clerks are very efficient and friendly. They are always willing to help and try to accommodate our requests." Chris Mitchell directs practice management at the set and is ably assisted by Tom Cox and Gemma Faulkner for education work.
Legal 500 2022
‘3PB are an excellent source of specialist education law barristers, whose expertise also crosses over into relevant and often complimentary areas such as public law, community care and mental health. They are one of my go-to sets.’
‘Lots of education experience which we really appreciate. They always manage to find an expert who can provide top quality advocacy in education law.’
‘3PB is an excellent set of chambers with a wealth of expertise in SEND appeals.’
'3PB is highly regarded for its members' 'wealth of expertise in special educational needs and disability appeals' and are 'an excellent source of specialist education law barristers'.
Legal 500 2021
3PB is an 'excellent set with strength-in-depth' in the education field with members described as 'approachable and committed'.
"A set that is 'increasingly becoming a powerhouse in education law'"
The team has a total of 9 barrister rankings, including 7 in London where the team is listed in Tier 4, one in the Midlands and one in Wales and Chester.
Legal 500 2020
3PB has a 'strong education practice', where it 'offers a good choice of counsel'. Its members are 'efficient, friendly, and expert in their field'. Charlotte Hadfield acted for an interested party in an application for judicial review of a refusal to carry out an assessment of an individual's education needs. Aimee Fox successfully represented a local authority in a major judicial review on the application of section 19(1) of the Education Act 1996.
"The combined clerks’ room across the set’s six offices is a ‘well-oiled machine’."
Chambers UK 2021
3PB Barristers is a well-regarded set with a growing presence in the education sector. Members are experienced in the handling of a broad range of matters, including school admissions and exclusions, special educational needs and discrimination claims.
The team also offers expertise in disciplinary matters arising in the higher education sector. The set's varied client base encompasses several education institutions, such as schools, universities and academies, as well as pupils, governing bodies and NGOs, and its barristers regularly appear before the First-tier Tribunal, Upper-tier Tribunal and the Court of Appeal.
Client service: "The clerks are very user-friendly, open, engaging and extremely accommodating. They will always try to find someone for you." "The clerks are all very helpful and will go out of their way to deal with enquiries." "The clerking team really go the extra mile for their clients."
Chris Mitchell directs practice management at the set and is ably assisted by Tom Cox and Gemma Faulkner for education work.
Chambers UK 2020
3PB Barristers is noted for its expert handling of a wide range of education disputes. Its members act for a varied client list which includes governing bodies, schools, pupils, local authorities and parents. The team is called upon to act for and advise on matters arising across all levels of the education system, and offers expertise in special education needs, school exclusions and both pupil discipline and professional discipline matters.
The set's tenants are also regularly instructed in complex discrimination claims, and have experience appearing before the Court of Appeal, as well as the Upper Tribunal and the Administrative Court.
Client service: "The clerks are very efficient, helpful and quick to respond to queries." "The clerks offer a very good service. They're so responsive and ensure that instructions and papers get to counsel without delay."
Chris Mitchell directs practice management at the set and is ably assisted by Tom Cox and Gemma Faulkner for Education work.
Working with 3PB is a team approachThomson Reuters