Parents instruct Lawyer over Dean Trust Scandal


The parents of seven disabled youngsters due to start Ashton-on-Mersey school in September have begun legal action against the secondary academy (which is run by The Dean Trust) after they were told their children would now be attending Broadoak school in Partington instead (another secondary academy run by The Dean Trust).

Secondary school children

James Betts, a specialist Education lawyer at Simpson Millar solicitors, is representing the parents. He says:

"These parents are right to be angry. Schools have a duty under the Children and Families Act to admit a child to the school if it is named in their Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan by the local authority. I doubt very much that any parent who had secured a place for their child at a particular school would accept being told late in the day that their child would be attending a different school. This smacks of discrimination against children with special educational needs and that is unacceptable.

"I firmly believe that what the Academy has done is unlawful and on behalf of the parents, I have sent a formal pre-action letter to the Academy which sets out why that is the case. They have until Friday to respond.

"For the sake of these seven families, I am hopeful that this will be the end of it - that the Academy will honour the EHC plans and provide a space for these children at Ashton-on-Mersey. If not, we will need to consider action through the courts. Time will tell. "

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