Education providers face challenges and complaints on a daily basis, the majority of which are resolved amicably. However, sometimes these challenges can escalate to a point that it is necessary to seek independent expert advice.
Kennedys’ expertise in this sector means that we are ideally placed to advise you on the potential issues you face and guide you through any formal complaints that are brought either through the courts or otherwise.
Student and parental complaints
Whilst most of the time a school, the pupils and its parents work together, there are occasions when issues arise that might give rise to litigation.
The recent High Court court case in which it was ruled that a father who took his daughter out of school for a family trip to Florida did not break the law, paving the way for more parents to take pupils on term-time holidays, is a prime example of such a scenario.
Litigation such as this can be costly and time consuming for education establishments. However should such an unfortunate situation arise Kennedys’ education specialists are on hand to guide you through proceedings and provide you with clear and effective advice in order to allow you to make informed and commercial decisions.
Claims arising out of the sale and supply of goods and services
Like any business, education establishments can suffer from problems with their suppliers or suffer from purchasing faulty goods. Whether this is in respect of malfunctioning IT equipment or poor quality sports equipment, these are issues that can cause a real problem for schools and education establishments.
Kennedys have a wealth of experience in dealing with claims of this nature and are able to guide you through the process of seeking recovery of loss caused via pre-litigation correspondence or informal dispute resolution or the courts (if necessary).
Once their internal complaints handling processes has been exhausted, education establishments, as public bodies, can face further challenges to the way in which a decision has been made by Judicial Review.
This process can be instigated in respect of issues such as a school’s admissions policy, its dress code, requirements of certain faith schools and its policies in respect of excluding students.
Judicial Review can be a daunting process to face. However our specialist team at Kennedys are on hand to provide focussed and practical advice.
Exclusions and student behaviour
Education providers are sometimes faced with the tough choice to discipline or exclude students as a result of their behaviour. However these decisions are often highly sensitive for the pupils and parents concerned and as such, are open to risk of being challenged. This can create problems for the school and take its focus away from its primary role for educating students.
Kennedys’ education experts are able to guide you through an appropriate and fair process to follow when deciding upon the suitable course of action to take against a student in order to try and minimise the risk of potential challenges.
We are also on hand to assist you with any challenges that may arise as a result of the schools decision to discipline or exclude a student.
Issues arising in respect of admissions
Every parent wants to ensure their child is accepted at their chosen school and, where this is not possible this can lead to a host of challenges brought against the education provider.
Kennedys are able to draw upon their expertise in the education sector to guide you through these challenges. We provide clear and effective advice to help you identify and manage the challenges you face in respect of the schools admission process and are able to deal effectively with any challenges that may be brought against the school.
As part of any fair complaints process it may be necessary to meet with the concerned party in order to hear their version of events and try and resolve any grievances. It is important that any such meetings are conducted in the appropriate manner and the outcome is recorded accurately.
Kennedys’ team of experts can provide you with clear and effective guidance on how to properly prepare for these meetings, an appropriate agenda to follow and how to accurately record any outcomes from these meetings. This should help to ensure the school is well placed should any further action be taken by the parties concerned.