Education Law

Justice For Us All

“A human being is not attaining his full heights until he is educated.”

The Education Act, 1870, was set-up to manage education for children on a national scale. Today there are many of Education Acts which manage the provisions of our children within the school system.

Relevant Education Law

  • The Education Act 1996
  • The Education Act 2002
  • The Education Act 2011
  • Discrimination in Education

    It is an offence for any education provider in the public or private sector, to discriminate against pupils on grounds of race, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, and religion or belief when admitting or creating access or benefits or services in education.

    There are some exceptions to the rule:

  • Maintenance of faith schools
  • Single-sex schools
  • Some disabled pupils and pupils with a statement of “special educational needs” who may need to be segregated in special schools
  • “This is at the heart of all good education, where the teacher asks students to think and engages them in encouraging dialogues, constantly checking for understanding and growth.”

    Certificate of SEN (Special Education Needs)

    The Education Act of 1996, recognises SEN – a child is considered as having special educational needs if they a learning difficulty which requires special educational provision, more than the average child.

    To be a SEN pupil:

  • The learning difficulty must be greater than that of the average child, of the same age
  • The disability prevents the child from making use of the services provided for other children in the class
  • Children with a Certificate of SEN should be educated in mainstream school, provided:

  • They are gaining the education they require
  • Their education provisions will not intervene with the education of other children in the class
  • The school has made efficient use of resources to accommodate the child with the Certificate of SEN, and the other children in the school also
  • The Governing Body, should recognise a child with ‘special educational needs’ and:

  • Make sure that the child receives the education they require, and is dependent on their ability
  • All teachers and teaching assistants should be aware of the child’s needs, and educate them accordingly
  • Ensure all teachers have the ability to identify a pupil with special education needs
  • Sex Education in Schools

    You may, for Religious reasons, not wish your child to part-take in sex-education within the younger years. Under the Education Act 1996, you are therefore able to convey this request to the school concerned, and they will remove your child from these classes.

    The Education act 1996 specifically states:
    “If the parent of any pupil in attendance at a maintained school requests that he may be wholly or partly excused from receiving sex education at the school, the pupil shall, except so far as such education is comprised in the National Curriculum, be so excused accordingly, until the request is withdrawn.”

    For pupils within secondary school, from Year 7 onwards, sex education becomes compulsory, as it is part of the National Curriculum. You can withdraw your child from certain classes which ‘directly’ teach sex education, however, you will not be able to remove them from biological science classes which teach the natural order of topics such as menstruation, fertilisation and birth.

    Key aspects of The Education Act, 2011

    The Education Act of 2011, was the first shake up of education law by the Coalition Government. It provides schools and teachers with further rights, which may be viewed as a breach of privacy for the pupil concerned however, with issues such as cyber-bullying on the rise, schools will now be given powers of search, without consent.

  • Schools can search a pupil for any item they believe are being used by trouble-making pupils to disrupt lessons or other students in the class, eg. a mobile phone. Under Section 2 of the Act, they are also entitled to examine and delete data from any electronic mobile device.
  • Schools no longer need to provide parents with a 24 hour notice of detentions, (Section 5).
  • School appeals panels (for expelled pupils), will be removed, and the school governing body will maintain full control.
  • Teachers who have been accused of misconduct by a pupil, will be granted full anonymity
  • Headteachers are now granted the power to discipline pupils for any misbehaviour, on their way to school, or on their way home from school.
  • More academy schools will be set-up, (independent schools, directly funded by central government), to which the governing body remains in control of, rather than the local authority.
  • Schools who are judged as ‘outstanding,’ will be granted an exemption from routine Ofsted Inspections, unless problems are reported.
  • General complaints about schools will no longer be addressed to the Local Government Ombudsman (school complaints department), instead, these complaints will be sent directly to the Secretary of State via the Department of Education.
  • Remember though, you will need to address you concerns to the school first before you initiate a complaint with the Department of Education.

  • The Secretary of State will now keep a record of people who have been banned from teaching, due to misconduct, at these records will be made available for inspection by the public, if required.