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Disability discrimination

nicw3nicw3 Member Posts: 20 Connected
I am just trying to get a quick simple yes or no answer to a question without having to pay expensive legal fees, can anyone help please?
I recently took school to first tier tribunal special educational needs and disability court. The court have ruled that school did discriminate against my Autistic son and breached the Equality Act 2010. What I want to know now is can I take this further and try to claim compensation from school as they were in the wrong and I guess you can probably imagine the negative long term impact this has had on him and us as a family? Does anyone know can I take it further?
Thanks

Replies

  • janer1967janer1967 Community champion Posts: 2,161 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi I am not totally sure but I think in order to get compensation and take it further there would have to have been some sort of financial loss due to the discrimination eg if adult loss of earnings.

    However I am no legal guru I would advise you contact CAB or welfare rights.

    I will tag in someone who may know @mikehughescq
  • nicw3nicw3 Member Posts: 20 Connected
    He was off school for many weeks and it made me ill with the stress of it so I ended up being off work! Honestly the stress was unbelievable with what they were doing to him. It's not acceptable for schools to continue to get away with this with our very special children
  • janer1967janer1967 Community champion Posts: 2,161 Disability Gamechanger
    I totally agree with you but I cant answer if you can take it further or how 
  • nicw3nicw3 Member Posts: 20 Connected
    I know was just clarifying why Im considering compensation. Thanks for your response. 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,718 Disability Gamechanger
    There’s no simple answer I’m afraid. Very much depends on the facts and context so you will need that advice. I’d suggest someone like Stephensons or Leigh Day. What I can say is that there doesn’t necessarily have to be any financial loss at all. 
  • nicw3nicw3 Member Posts: 20 Connected
    OK many thanks for those names. I shall Google and see what info I can get on them. 
  • hells123hells123 Member Posts: 33 Listener
    I would look to bringing a claim in the small claims court which you can do without a solicitor, you have to advise the governing body of the school beforehand I would also find out which authority the school is responsible to as the council will have an employer and employees insurance policy.  I am in the process of doing this with my daughter who was assaulted 15 times the school and local authority refused to investigate it and stop it, I made a claim for mental and physical abuse, petrol costs due to having to move my daughter to another school,  I originally had my claim refused by the local authority once I said I was going to small claims court, they hired a barrister at 400 an hour I have 15 breaches of health and social services wellbeing act, and safeguarding and child protection breaches, we live in wales so there is breach of Her human rights to go to school and not be harmed,  I am waiting for the barrister to come back to me.  I was lucky that I had an independant report undertaken at the request of the ombudsman service that found the council lied and failed to take action when being advised that my daughter was coming to physical and mental harm, I have reports from her psychiatrist and school psychologist as proof of the effects 
  • hells123hells123 Member Posts: 33 Listener
    I also found that for over 12 months of physical assaults and mental harm and trauma, solicitors said it was too low a value for them to take on, so I decided to have a go myself, if you don’t put a value on the claim it may go to fast track in which case you have to pay their costs if you loose, but if you have evidence to present to the judge then you have to weigh up the risks and costs.  I’m not a lawyer by no means but you can look at pieces of legislation and identify where the breaches are,  in my case I have over 400 emails and numerous phone calls as proof I told them what was happening it’s all about actions being reasonable and appropriate.  The school put two children into a classroom of 32 children with a known history of violence against other children for a 2 year period.  2 schools allowed both children to conduct themselves in this manner and whilst the headteacher told the police that intrusive supervision was being provided, I have recorded evidence from a teaching assistant it wasn’t. 
  • hells123hells123 Member Posts: 33 Listener
    I have a complaint ongoing to the education workforce council against the headteacher, classteacher, teaching assistant, I have other children that witnessed by daughter being slapped in the face getting a pencil out of the pot, telling the teacher she had been punched in the head, the headteacher told the police all the incidents were minor and were not worth reporting. Due to her failure to document them meant no investigations took place, what I have found is that teachers, governing bodies, local authorities are all corrupt.  Bullying and behaviour policies that are not worth the paper they are written on.  I have 3 section 47 assaults, 2 courses of harrassment, and 12 common assaults but as the kids are 8 no police action, on 3 occasions 32 kids had to be removed because one child was kicking the teacher and had to remove the other children for Their own safety, but no risk assessments 
  • hells123hells123 Member Posts: 33 Listener
    Did you get a report from the tribunal.  I would put a letter of claim, enclosing the report and where the teachers failed in their duties and obligations and that as a result of their employees actions and negligence you suffered a loss.  To prove negligence you have to have 3 elements in law, negligence the actions or lack of actions caused the harm,  breach of duty. To prove this it is usually what another person belonging to the same body of professionals, ie would another teacher undertake the same actions or any other reasonable person, and finally causation,  the negligence and the actions have to have caused the harm. For negligence to be proven you have to have all 3 elements in law

  • hells123hells123 Member Posts: 33 Listener
    nicw3 said:
    I am just trying to get a quick simple yes or no answer to a question without having to pay expensive legal fees, can anyone help please?
    I recently took school to first tier tribunal special educational needs and disability court. The court have ruled that school did discriminate against my Autistic son and breached the Equality Act 2010. What I want to know now is can I take this further and try to claim compensation from school as they were in the wrong and I guess you can probably imagine the negative long term impact this has had on him and us as a family? Does anyone know can I take it further?
    Thanks


    hiya sorry to trouble you, but I was wondering if you don't mind telling me, did the school have a barrister at the sen tribunal to act for them


  • nicw3nicw3 Member Posts: 20 Connected
    No they brought in their legal team from within the Academy chain! We had to it where we didn't attend court because of lockdown. At the begin of April we had a conference call between a judge, myself and school. Then we were asked to confirm the argument and their defence and then it was dealt with in by court because of lockdown we couldn't attend. 
  • hells123hells123 Member Posts: 33 Listener
    nicw3 said:
    No they brought in their legal team from within the Academy chain! We had to it where we didn't attend court because of lockdown. At the begin of April we had a conference call between a judge, myself and school. Then we were asked to confirm the argument and their defence and then it was dealt with in by court because of lockdown we couldn't attend. 
    yes im in a similar position, my case is going before the sen tribunal in wales on Tuesday, my boy has been bullied by two kids in relation to his disability and the school have not recorded the incidents and not dealt with it, and investigated it,  but have dealt with similar incidents involving the same two children and those other children who reported it without disabilities  received apologies and my son hasn't.   I only got their paperwork last week and was surprised to find they have hired some hot shot barrister from Cardiff to represent them, they have denied any wrongdoing, and I wonder why the need to hire a barrister if they have done nothing wrong, has kind of put me on the back foot a little bit, I am not legally trained by no means, but going up against a person like that is of some concern.  How did it affect you if you don't mind me asking.  All I want from this is for all children to be treated equally and the decision making afforded to all children the same.
  • hells123hells123 Member Posts: 33 Listener
    hells123 said:
    nicw3 said:
    No they brought in their legal team from within the Academy chain! We had to it where we didn't attend court because of lockdown. At the begin of April we had a conference call between a judge, myself and school. Then we were asked to confirm the argument and their defence and then it was dealt with in by court because of lockdown we couldn't attend. 
    yes im in a similar position, my case is going before the sen tribunal in wales on Tuesday, my boy has been bullied by two kids in relation to his disability and the school have not recorded the incidents and not dealt with it, and investigated it,  but have dealt with similar incidents involving the same two children and those other children who reported it without disabilities  received apologies and my son hasn't.   I only got their paperwork last week and was surprised to find they have hired some hot shot barrister from Cardiff to represent them, they have denied any wrongdoing, and I wonder why the need to hire a barrister if they have done nothing wrong, has kind of put me on the back foot a little bit, I am not legally trained by no means, but going up against a person like that is of some concern.  How did it affect you if you don't mind me asking.  All I want from this is for all children to be treated equally and the decision making afforded to all children the same.

    did you see my replies I posted about the small claims court not sure if it helps
  • nicw3nicw3 Member Posts: 20 Connected
    It is frightening and quite horrendous to be honest. It made me quite ill and the negative impact this has had on my son and his siblings is simply not acceptable or fair!! I did this because I felt so strongly that schools should not be allowed to continue to get away with it. The blatant disregard they had for us just pushed me to breaking point and that made me continue the fight. School have been ordered to review and update policies and have been told to apologise to my son. I don't know who will enforce this? I also feel they should loose their Ofsted excellent status with immediate effect. Schools, especially academies need to realise they are accountable and can not continue to think their can do whatever they like to fit their business plans! Good luck for Tuesday I hope you get the result you want. And just so you know I have no legal knowledge I'm just a frustrated parent of children with SEND and I'm sick of the failings of schools. 
  • hells123hells123 Member Posts: 33 Listener
    nicw3 said:
    It is frightening and quite horrendous to be honest. It made me quite ill and the negative impact this has had on my son and his siblings is simply not acceptable or fair!! I did this because I felt so strongly that schools should not be allowed to continue to get away with it. The blatant disregard they had for us just pushed me to breaking point and that made me continue the fight. School have been ordered to review and update policies and have been told to apologise to my son. I don't know who will enforce this? I also feel they should loose their Ofsted excellent status with immediate effect. Schools, especially academies need to realise they are accountable and can not continue to think their can do whatever they like to fit their business plans! Good luck for Tuesday I hope you get the result you want. And just so you know I have no legal knowledge I'm just a frustrated parent of children with SEND and I'm sick of the failings of schools. 

    If the remedies that they have been asked to undertake are not done, report it back to the tribunal, ask for the review and the updated policies and the evidence of your son's apology.   I would report the matter to ofsted so that the next time they carry out their assessment they are aware of it,  ofsted may be similar to estyn in that they do not deal with individual complaints, but you should make them aware.  estyn are aware of the issues that I have  but mine in relation to my daughter are safeguarding issues.


    yes im in that position too, the situation with my daughter was far worse of over a longer period of time that did cause me to be ill and stressed, that I am only just recovering from, so when things started to happen with my older child I thought oh here we go again, the difference with him is the welsh government brought in new statutory guidance to deal with bullying that was not in force when my daughter was suffering,  


    Estyn regulate our schools and they had a excellent rating saying children felt confident with the bullying policies, and that the school robustly deal with bullying, load of nonsense.  in the first few weeks, there was 5 physical fights that my son witnessed against other children  and have not been recorded correctly and the police have not been informed as they should be within these new guidelines.  they are expected to record all incidents of bullying, and have to indentify a good reason to depart from their expectations, the reason they have given  is that they did not record the incidents is that because corey did not report the incidents he came home and told me, the guidance does not allow or specify schools can only record incidents of bullying when only learners report it.  Be interested to hear their response and defence for them not recording all the incidents as reported to them, especially given that I have conversations that verify the other two mums also reported the incidents on behalf of their children and not the children themselves and received apologies. 

    For the tribunal to have decided that the school had descrimnated against your son, must of meant there were flaws or errors in their defence, did the tribunal advise you what these were.   How long did the conversation last for



  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 473 Pioneering
    The Equalities law means Disablism is illegal,  like Racism.    But nobody enforces the law on Ageism or Disablism.  

    My infallible test is, if you set out the same situation,  but made it an issue of Racism,  would the response  be  a horrified rush to drastically correct the system,  retrain staff, apologise, and management in fear of getting sacked with loss of pension  and no union to back them up because what they did was unlawful and reprehensible?
  • hells123hells123 Member Posts: 33 Listener
    newborn said:
    The Equalities law means Disablism is illegal,  like Racism.    But nobody enforces the law on Ageism or Disablism.  

    My infallible test is, if you set out the same situation,  but made it an issue of Racism,  would the response  be  a horrified rush to drastically correct the system,  retrain staff, apologise, and management in fear of getting sacked with loss of pension  and no union to back them up because what they did was unlawful and reprehensible?

    im not quite sure about the point you are trying to make, however the law is the law and must be obeyed, otherwise why have laws in the first place. The law is there to protect people with certain protected charactics and to ensure fair treatment and decision making. 
  • nicw3nicw3 Member Posts: 20 Connected
    Basically school broke several sections of the Equality Act 2010 and clearly discriminated against him because of his disability.
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 473 Pioneering
    Sir Trevor  Phillips stated correctly that (despite being theoretically illegal)  "Disablism is invisible,  institutionalised,  widespread,  publicly accepted as normal and inevitable,  and in it's  effects on peoples  lives, is in many ways worse than Racism "

    He was Chair of Equality Human Rights at the time.  He could have said the same of Ageism, which is virtually  encouraged and government  policy, but it is so deeply accepted as normal it must have been completely invisible even to him. 
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 473 Pioneering
    P.S. A law with no meaningful effective enforcement is no law.  
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,718 Disability Gamechanger
    newborn said:
    Sir Trevor  Phillips stated correctly that (despite being theoretically illegal)  "Disablism is invisible,  institutionalised,  widespread,  publicly accepted as normal and inevitable,  and in it's  effects on peoples  lives, is in many ways worse than Racism "

    He was Chair of Equality Human Rights at the time.  He could have said the same of Ageism, which is virtually  encouraged and government  policy, but it is so deeply accepted as normal it must have been completely invisible even to him. 
    I have never been able to see what is gained by claims that if x was y then x would have been treated differently. The evidence of his accurate that is in terms of discrimination on grounds of disability v on grounds of race is #BLM and you only have to listen to Doreen Lawrence to realise that nothing has changed. Both are bad and making such comparisons is pointless and odious in my personal view. 

    The issues with EA 10 are that it requires individuals to take action and the EHRC is only just getting it’s act together after a period of nothing much at all.
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