Disability Discrimination

Every child deserves and is entitled to an education within a safe environment. However, there are instances when children and young people are discriminated at school as a result of their disability.

What does the law say?

School are prohibited from discriminating against pupils as a result of their:

  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

Claims against schools with respect to disability discrimination are brought with (i) the SEND Tribunal in England or (ii) the Education Tribunal (ETW) in Wales. All other types of discrimination claims against schools are brought in the County Court.

Discrimination can arise in different forms including:

  • Direct discrimination
  • Indirect discrimination
  • Discrimination arising from disability
  • Harassment
  • Victimisation
  • Failure to make reasonable adjustments

Examples of Disability Discrimination in schools

Disability discrimination at school can arise in many situations including:

  • School admission appeals
  • Permanent exclusion
  • Request for examination adjustments
  • School trips
  • Test, examinations and assessments
  • Use of school facilities

How do I make a claim with the Tribunal?

Claims must normally be brought within 6 months of the alleged discrimination (or 6 months from the last act if the discrimination is ongoing). It is important to make sure that you are familiar with the Tribunal requirements when submitting your claim to ensure that (a) the correct forms are completed and (b) robust grounds and evidence are submitted.

What can the Tribunal actually do?

The Tribunal can set down any order that they deem appropriate to remedy the issues caused to the child or young person. Examples of the types of orders they may make include:

  • A letter of apology
  • Training for staff members
  • Directing changes to policies and procedures
  • Additional support/education

The County Court has other potential remedies available including injunctions, compensation/damages and the award of costs.

Should I instruct a solicitor?

Our Education Tribunal solicitors can help you navigate the complex processes and put forward the strongest case possible for you. We can help by drafting robust grounds and obtain the evidence you need to prove your case.

Scroll to Top

By making a booking, you agree to the terms and conditions