Partner, Education and Community Care
Sarah re-joined Simpson Millar in 2018 having previously trained at the firm before spending a number of years working for a different national firm. She has a number of years’ experience in a range of Education Law and Social Care issues, and has focused particularly on getting suitable education and/or services for children with a wide range of special educational needs and/or disabilities.
She has secured such provision through a mixture of negotiation, mediation, Tribunal appeals and Judicial Review proceedings.
Sarah has a particular interest in helping young people aged 16-25 get the funding they need to help their transition into adult life.
Sarah also carries out work in the Court of Protection in best interests and deprivation of liberty cases. She is experienced in representing individuals who lack capacity in proceedings concerning their health and welfare, receiving instructions from the Official Solicitor or from IMCAs (Independent Mental Capacity Advocates).
She works with a number of charities across the country providing support for those with disabilities and special needs. She was a trustee of North East Special Needs Network which merged with Skills for People in 2017. She remains on the Board of Skills for People. She has previously contributed to a range of specialist publications including the Education Law Journal.
Sarah also provides support to litigation Solicitors where difficulties concerning education and community care arise in their cases. She is instructed by a number of professional deputies in relation to securing statutory funding for their clients.
Sarah has represented families in a significant number of successful Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal appeals in England (SEND) and Wales (SENTW) and in discrimination claims.
She has challenged decisions at the Upper Tier Tribunal and secured a number of high-value independent school placements for children with special educational needs, including residential provision. Sarah regularly advises on a range of special educational needs matters such as:
- Applying for SEN assessments
- Advising on the contents of EHC plans
- Securing suitable provision and school placements
Sarah has been recognised by the Legal 500 for her work in SEN cases and they have recently said:" Sarah exudes the right balance of empathy and skill in achieving well-targeted and highly effective responses to tricky situations regarding the needs of a child. She has the highest levels of professional skill and motivation in evaluating the situation and executes this exceptionally."
Interests outside of work
Sarah has a young daughter and a cavachon, Max, who both keep her very busy.