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Vineet S
Vineet S,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1247
Experience:  Freelance Solicitor at Self Employed
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I would need an advice from a lawyer specialising in

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Hi. I would need an advice from a lawyer specialising in education in UK.

Welcome to JA. I’m Vineet, a UK qualified & practicing Solicitor and I will be dealing with your case today.

Kindly note, I am not available for phone calls at the moment, however I can easily assist you via this online chat. So, please ignore any phone call request pop-up,they get generated automatically without any input from the expert, so I have no control over these requests.

Customer: replied 1 day ago.
Are you specialising in education law?

what is your specific question, please?

Customer: replied 1 day ago.
My request is to speak with a lawyer, specialising in UK Education law. Are you this please?

Yes, and what is your question regarding the UK Education Law?

Customer: replied 1 day ago.
OK. Our question - we are a family - is regarding the start of the school year and the little anti-COVID19 measures that the school of our daughter has taken. The facts are as follows: my husband, 51yo, has a long term condition - Post viral fatigue syndrome, with which every infection he gets, it takes him months to recover; For this he is considered in the risk group for contracting COVID. Being in this, and also his company are working for the UK government and considered a key worker - his team are all working distantly for the time being. We've managed to ensure we were pretty well isolated for the whole summer. From Sept 5th, our daughter was supposed to go to school, year 10. She's a straight A student, in the highest set for all subjects. But in the school the measures against spread of the virus are minimal. Sending her to school every day, would enlarge the risk for our family being infected, and my husband most probably not surviving it. We've been in discussion with the school at which they said the only thing they can do is have my daughter sit in the classroom at the back, enter last, and exit first, and wear a mask all the time. We find these 'measures' completely inconsistent to the scientific findings about the virus and to the advice given to schools for proper measures. The near by boys' school has already three cases since the start of the school year, for which they had to be closed for two more days this week. We need legal advice as of what is possible, as we don't want to take our daughter off school. Thank you.

Thank you for your reply.

I will go through it and will get back to you with my answer shortly.

Customer: replied 1 day ago.
We've talked with the school and as I know - each school has a Medical policy in which if a student can not visit school for medical reasons for more than two weeks, the school has to ensure they are up do date with the learning. Now, our daughter doesn't have medical condition herself, but I presume all the schools need to amend their school medical policies and procedures for the pandemic and this to include how they treat cases like ours. They only state so far that it has to be her with the medical condition and that they can't do much more than this. We also know that actually is up to the school head to proceed further regarding an absent student and report them to the county council where they start a procedure for dealing with the case. We've been there with our older daughter, so I know how this works.

Thank you for your patience.

Right now, the normal law on school attendance has restarted from September. Children of compulsory school age (5-16) must attend school. This includes children in the clinically extremely vulnerable group who were previously shielding, or living with someone who has been shielding.

As per the current govt guidelines, Pupils will not have to attend school if they are required to self-isolate because:

  • They have Covid-19 symptoms, or have tested positive for Covid-19.
  • They are a close contact of someone who has Covid-19
  • They have been advised to shield on clinical or public health advice. This can be because they are in extremely vulnerable group

So, in your case, your child is in the group of extremely vulnerable group , because of the health and age of your husband.

So, you might get a note from your local GP or from NHS website for shielding.

Customer: replied 1 day ago.
that's right. Our family consists of 4: myself, 51, (with a mild heart condition), my husband, 51, and slightly overweight, and with compromised ummunity, my older daughter, 19, (she's had the virus already, and it was a nightmare!, she's got chronic migraine), and our 14-yo daughter, who is the subject of this discussion.
Customer: replied 1 day ago.
What does 'shielding' include please? We haven't heard about it? And I wonder why the school has not point this to us, as they claim they want the best for our daughter...

Hi there,

If you're at high risk (clinically extremely vulnerable) from coronavirus (COVID-19), then you can be advised by NHS to take extra steps to protect yourself . If your husband and other family members is in that category and has been advised to shield , then it further means if your child attends the school, then that person ( your husband) as they are in the same household/group , is in danger.

Customer: replied 1 day ago.
I understand this. What are the steps we need to undertake in order to prove the school he is shielding, and also what the law says the school needs to do when my husband is shielding? Shortly: what are our rights in regards ***** ***** school - what is the school obliged to do in this case? Thank you.

if anyone in the house is shielding following NHS advice, then you need to speak with the school , as your child is from the household with vulnerable people, it is not safe either for the family member and if your other daughter is having symptoms, then it is not safe for the school and other pupils as well.

Customer: replied 1 day ago.
NHS has not explicitly contacted my husband telling him to 'shield' as they've considered so far mostly people over 65, with diabetes or heart disease most vulnerable. So, it might mean we contact NHS and ask them for clarification and a proof.
Customer: replied 1 day ago.
My older daughter has had it in April, not now. We've been through hell with her, also trying to protect my husband.
Customer: replied 1 day ago.
We spoke with the school, we explained them the situation, just haven't used the term 'shielding', neither have shown them any note from a GP. That's why I am asking you, what are the steps to undertake in this case. 1. To contact a GP asking how to get a status of 'shielding'??? What's next, etc. Thank you.

Right now there is a lot of confusion going on with ambiguous govt guidelines and little hasty decision in reopening of schools.

Yes you would need to get a note from the GP that you are vulnerable group , and you can speak with your school after getting that note from your GP.

Customer: replied 1 day ago.
this is clearer now. Thank you. Especially about the 'confusion' :) Is there anything else you could add to your advice - just in case? Thanks.

Hi there,

Unfortunately there is no other legal advice that can be added to the one already given.

Hopefully schools and govt would use bit of common sense , in clearing the current confusion and keeping everyone safe from this pandemic.

Customer: replied 1 day ago.
Thank you, ***** *****'s really sad how people are left to survive as they find best - by NHS, by education, by all systems. Restart is needed :). Cheers.

Many thanks

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