When might I instruct education law solicitors?
What can education law solicitors bring to your appeal?
As education law solicitors, we are hopeful that other information on our website in relation to secondary school admissions appeals will have assisted parents. This may help them decide whether they should appeal. The information will help with what needs to be in the appeal statement and how the school appeal hearings work.
You will have looked at all of this information. When might you want to consider instructing an education law solicitor to advise in your secondary school admission appeal?
Should I instruct a lawyer?
It may be that you feel that your school admissions authority discourages parents from having legal representation. There may be a suggestion that education law solicitors might make the hearing too formal. It might even be felt that having an education lawyer at appeal might hinder your case.
Unfortunately there is increasing competition for school places. This means the important process of a school appeal will be happening in more and more cases.
Can I present my own case?
Many parents will be capable of presenting their own appeals. It can be seen from our previous posts that there is a lot to consider however. There will be a need for comprehensive research in support of your child’s case.
Part A of the appeal process involves the questioning of a representative of the school. The best education law solicitors will have training and experience in how to ask questions. These will be put in the best way to try and secure a helpful answer.
Most importantly, and understandably, many parents may be too emotionally involved to be able to put their case effectively. They might have difficulty ensuring that their case is properly argued before the appeal tribunal.
As a result, more and more parents are turning to education law solicitors for assistance in writing their initial appeal statements, especially in areas where school places are hotly contested. The original statement will be read by the panel members before the case is put. It will help if your application stands out from others.
Drafting a persuasive argument
Education law solicitors will bring the experience necessary to draft any appeal because they know the types if argument that may persuade the independent appeal panels. We will aim to identify the most compelling arguments and set them out persuasively.
We recognise that parents may require different types of assistance, or decide later that they wish to instruct an education lawyer. As a result, we offer a range of services begin with a free opinion of whether an appeal may succeed; a single meeting to provide guidance; representation at the appeal, or; advice, assistance and representation at each stage.
These will vary depending upon the level of service that you require. We aim to make our fee structure as transparent as possible for school admission appeals so that you can avoid any uncertainty for you about the final cost of our advice or representation.
Our advertised fees are set out here:
- £150 for a one off, one hour appointment to discuss the admission result, next steps and how to structure your appeal document
- £500 to draft the written school admission appeal statement and submit it in accordance with the deadlines. There will be an additional fee of £150 if a detailed response is required to address the school admissions authority’s response.
- £900 to draft, submit and present your school admission appeal. There will be an additional £150 fee if a detailed response is required.
- £500 to provide advocacy only at the appeal hearing where a parent has submitted their own appeal statement. If significant re-working of the statement is needed, or submission of further material is required, then the fee is likely to be the £750 for full advice and representation.
Travel to any hearings will be charged at the rate of £50 per hour.
All of the above fees are exclusive of VAT which will be applied at 20 per cent.
The only disbursement is likely to be mileage to and from the appeal hearing which will be charged at 45 pence per mile.
In some cases there may be a need for reports from professionals in support of any appeal. These experts may well provide a parent the information for free although if we have to instruct them to provide a report or a letter there may well be a charge. We will seek your instructions before incurring these expenses on your behalf.
Second Appeals for Nottinghamshire 2016 and 2017
Education lawyer Clare Roberts was personally involved with some cases arising from an unfair decision that Nottinghamshire County Council made to change admissions criteria for 2016. This removed a priority that had existed for children out of catchment when they had a sibling at the preferred school.
Clare continued to play an active role in the problem which continued with the 2017 intake.
Contact us about Education Law
We have published information that we hope will help you consider whether to pursue a school admissions appeal. The posts will help you to prepare for the appeal itself.
If you wish to receive our advice or representation on this aspect of education then we will offer you the following:
- free initial advice on the potential merits of your appeal
- fixed fees dependent on your instructions and our involvement thereafter as set out above
Please contact education law solicitor Clare Roberts on 0115 9599550 or use the contact form below. We provide our education law service from our offices across the East Midlands.