How We Help

Who provides the support?

Postgraduate students at City University are given training on the law of school exclusions and disability discrimination by Tom Ogg and Mathew Purchase, the barrister directors, who have expertise in each of these fields. Each student is then assigned to a barrister mentor at 11KBW or Matrix Chambers. These practitioners, ranging from KCs to more junior practitioners, are all people with extensive experience of running education cases.

These students volunteers are managed by a team of dedicated student directors. These students are responsible for the day-to-day running of the project’s cases. The profiles of the student directors can be found here.

What happens when I contact the project?

When a parent whose child faces permanent exclusion from school contacts the Project, a student director has an initial discussion to ensure that the case is one that the Project can take on. If the case is one within the Project’s remit, the parent is assigned a student representative who prepares and conducts the appeal on their behalf. Approximately 75-80% of our cases involve children with special educational needs.

The student representative will then appear on behalf of the parent before the appropriate decision-making body: the governing body of the school, before the Independent Review Panel (IRP).

Since Sarah Hannett KC started the Project in September 2011, it has provided assistance to over 250 parents whose children face exclusion. Over half of these are children who are disabled and/or have special educational needs. Given the catastrophic effect of a school exclusion on a child’s education and on their life chances, the impact on each child whose unlawful exclusion was removed from their school record is highly significant.