QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
Sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court
| THE QUEEN (on the application of HA by his father and litigation friend, AA)
|- and -
|THE GOVERNING BODY OF HAMPSTEAD SCHOOL
|- and -
|LONDON BOROUGH OF CAMDEN
Ms Zoe Gannon (instructed by London Borough of Camden) for the Defendant and the Interested Party
Hearing date: 15 December 2015
Crown Copyright ©
Mr Ben Emmerson QC :
The Claimant's educational history
"He is well and truly back to his old ways. I feel like he thinks he got away with it when he narrowly avoided being sent [to college] some months ago."
If views of this kind were communicated to pupils it would perhaps be unsurprising to discover that the Claimant had been left with the impression that off-site transfers were being used as a punishment rather than as a tool of carefully balanced educational provision (although I stress that there is no allegation or evidence of improper motive here).
"[The Claimant's] mother and I are now really worried about [the Claimant]. He has been absolutely distraught since he was given the news last July, and he is getting worse every day. [The Claimant] spends most his time in his room. He rarely comes out to speak to us. He even refused to come out of his room when his friends came to visit him. He sometimes refuses to eat food we bring to his room."
The improper delegation point
"the governing body of a maintained school in England may require any registered pupil to attend at any place outside the school premises for the purpose of receiving educational provision which is intended to improve the behaviour of the pupil".
In principle, therefore, the authority to order an off-site transfer lies with the Board of Governors. However, DFE Guidance issued in November 2014 makes is clear that in matters of internal organisation, management and control of the school (including off-site placement) the Head Teacher is authorised to exercise delegated authority without reference to the Governors.
The procedural protection point
The breach of guidance and/or irrationality challenge
"...good academic achievement on par with mainstream schools – particularly in English, maths and science (including IT) – with appropriate accreditation and qualifications."
The failure to review the placement
"...keep the placement under review and involve the parents in the review. The regulations specify regular reviews but do not specify how often reviews must take place (that should be decided on a case-by-case basis). Reviews should be frequent enough to provide assurance that the off-site education is achieving its objectives and that the pupil is benefiting from it..."