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Jenny
Jenny, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor specialising in Employment Law and general legal matters. Please start your question For Jenny Only
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i am looking for advice on disability discrimination in sc

Resolved Question:

i am looking for advice on disability discrimination in schools
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jenny replied 3 years ago.
taratill :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today.

taratill :

What is the complaint in connection to?

Customer:

Hello Jenny its a long story so i will try to make it as brief as possible. Our son was in year 9 when he was diagnosed with Leukaemia of which the chemo damaged his legs and resulted in him temporarily using a wheelchair or crutches. His school had no lifts and would not allow anyone to push him around due to health and safety .We battled for 2 and a half years for the school to make adjustments so as he could be in class with his peers but in the end the school employed a teaching assistant for him and he spent most of the time with her in the library. We opened an official complaint which went to a panel meeting, after the results of the meeting stated school had made reasonable adjustments we then sent a complaint to the eduction funding agency who investigated and decided the panel meeting did not apply t its procedures and would have to re hear our complaint. The school held the second panel meeting without us present so we again contacted the EFA. In the mean time we requested all information via the freedom of information act from school and received all the paperwork regarding our complaint this included several nasty emails between senior members of staff and proved that the panel meeting was staged at their favour. Presently the EFA have sent our paperwork to a solicitor and we just want some advise to be able to deal with any reply.

Customer:

Our son is now at college and finished treatment and we have waited 3 years for a proper panel meeting to get answers why school did not make it easy for him to attend

taratill :

Ok please can you answer my follow on questions and then I will respond in full, it may be this evening or tomorrow before I can respond in full if that is ok?

Customer:

yes thats fine

taratill :

1. Did your son remain in the school or did he leave due to the failure?

taratill :

2. Have you brought a claim of any nature in the court against the school for their failure?

taratill :

3. What outcome do you seek now that he is no longer attending the school?

Customer:

He remained at school, school asked us to leave but he did not want to

taratill :

4. How long ago did the failure to make adjustments occur?

Customer:

no claims as we are waiting to see what the EFA decide

taratill :

5. Did you suffer a financial loss as a result of the failure?

taratill :

6. Have you previously taken any legal advise as to the obligations under the Equality Act and potential time limits to bringing claim?

taratill :

I need to go off line now but will respond in full once I have had all the information and a chance to consider your situation in full..

Customer:

he was diagnosed December 2010 and our complaint went in originally October 2011 we have had mixed messages about disability discrimination claims, i rang a solicitor who told me it would cost £2000 to take school to court and then if they were found guilty they would be sent on training.We have involved our local MP and he has been quite helpful,but OFSTED and EFA have not helped us at all, there is also the fact that no risk assessment was carried out at the school before he went in in his wheelchair and i cannot get any answers as to who is responsible for this.We have more time and energy to fight this case now and ideally would like the school to apologise and lose its academy status as the school is answerable to nobody while if it was a state school local education authority would not allow this behaviour

Customer:

just want some advise to see if we have a case to take to court or not, i look forward to your reply.Just to add.The hospital treating our son sent a letter to the school stating that their treatment has had an effect on his recovery and still they did nothing.

Customer:

Many thanks

Customer:

Hi Jenny, do you have an answer to my query yet.

Customer:

hi

Jenny and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

ok so have rated so do i get my answer now

Expert:  Jenny replied 3 years ago.
I am sorry you did not need to rate until after I answered your question. I have been caught up with something today and have not had chance to answer your question yet.
I do have one follow on question for you. You say that the consultant has said that the school's failures have resulted in the treatment taking longer than otherwise. Has this caused any permanent harm to your son and/or has he suffered a financial loss as a result of this?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The consultant letter states that the schools treatment has in there eyes hampered his psychological recovery

Expert:  Jenny replied 3 years ago.
Ok but so far as you know no lasting harm has been caused and no financial loss suffered?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

his self esteem is very low and has no confidence, but financially no loss

Expert:  Jenny replied 3 years ago.
oK thanks, ***** ***** now prepare a response.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thanks

Expert:  Jenny replied 3 years ago.
I am sorry for the delay in responding to your question.
I am very sorry that your son has experienced this at school and feel it is dreadful that he has had to go through this but I am afraid that it is going to be difficult for you to take action against the school.
The appropriate course of action would be under the Equality Act by bringing a claim to the Special Education Needs and Disability Tribuanl (SEND) However, this tribunal does not have jurisdiction to hear any claims brought more than 6 months after the date of the failure to make reasonable adjustments. That failure would have been ongoing for the duration of your son's time at the school but if more than 6 months have passed since he left they will not be able to hear a claim.
I also asked about whether he has suffered any permanent harm as a result of their actions with a view to determining whether a personal injury claim might be suitable in the cirumstances but, sadly, I do not think that it will be.
I do understand your concerns with regards ***** ***** fact that the school has an academy status and that you feel that this has impacted the care you son received. I think that this is a political issue though more than a legal one. You have done the right thing by getting your local MP involved. I would suggest you continue to press them to try to get the answers you want.
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