Judicial reviews

At Tees our highly experiences education solicitors can advise on all aspects of public and administrative law, including judicial review

Polly Kerr, Royston
Polly Kerr, family and school specialist in Royston

It is immensely frustrating when public bodies make decisions that damage your child’s education and that didn’t follow protocols correctly. Applying for a judicial review is a way of seeking to remedy this – but it’s complex and it’s essential that you seek legal advice before embarking on this course of action, not least as you might become liable for costs should you not be successful. 

Our services

We can help with:

  • drafting pre-action protocol letters
  • making the application for permission to bring the case; this may involve a hearing
  • representing you at the hearing if the review proceeds
  • making sure your application is made in good time. The time limits involved are short (three months) and ideally you should apply as soon as possible. 

What is a judicial review?

A judicial review is a process to challenge decisions made by a public body, such as a local authority, a school, a government department or a health authority.

A judge will look in detail at the decision made by the public body and consider whether the law has been followed correctly or not. It considers decisions and actions (or lack of actions). It is important to note that the court will not consider whether it agrees with the decision that was made. The success or otherwise of the review will turn on a detailed analysis of whether the decision was made lawfully and as such you will need support from a legal expert with a detailed knowledge of the relevant laws. 

Judicial reviews only cover public bodies such as local authorities and state-maintained schools; therefore it does not apply to private schools or non-maintained schools.  

We’re here to help

You’ll find our team of education lawyers friendly and easy to talk to and we understand the ins-and-outs of education law. 

Our education law team is based in:

Cambridgeshire: Cambridge

Essex: BrentwoodChelmsford, and Saffron Walden

Hertfordshire: Bishop's Stortford and Royston 

But we can help you wherever you are in England and Wales.

Call our specialist education solicitors on 0808 231 1320

What decisions can be challenged with a Judicial Review?
  • content of health provision in an Education Health and Care Plan 
  • content of social care provision in an Education Health and Care Plan
  • refusal to provide a Personal Budget
  • refusal to make Direct Payments
  • school Transport
  • failure to comply with an Education Health and Care Plan
  • unlawful exclusions
  • school / local authority policies
How long does a judicial review take?

An application for a judicial review must be made as soon as possible and in any event within three months of when the decision being complained about was made. It can then take between two to three months for the trial and then a decision to be made. 

What is the procedure for a judicial review?

All judicial review applications must be made in the High Court and have to be within three months of the final decision being made by the public body. You may need a lawyer to submit a formal letter setting out what it is alleged the public body has done which is thought to be unlawful, and what action it is proposed to remedy that. It is allowed for a lay person to write this letter themselves, but we recommend that you seek specialist legal advice. The organisation concerned will then be given 14 days to respond. The next step would be to make an application to the court for permission to proceed with the judicial review. 

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