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Education Law and Discrimination Legal Aid Contracts – Post 1st September 2019

The Legal Aid Agency has changed the way that education law and discrimination law advice will be delivered after 1st September 2019. 

The scope of Education Law advice under the Legal Aid Scheme was significantly reduced from 1st April 2013 by The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO),  but still covers the following areas:-

  • Special Educational Needs advice so anything relating to SEN/Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP) is therefore in scope.
  • Any other matter that primarily relates to the provision of education, in particular:
    • Education Discrimination.
    • Education-Related Judicial Reviews

The Scope of the Discrimination Category of Law covers legal services provided in relation to contravention of the Equality Act 2010.

Mandatory Gateway

  • At present, individuals seeking legal aid must, unless the case is exempted or a non gateway case, (see below), use the CLA Services first, and they are not permitted to contact face to face providers directly.   Individuals must apply for legal aid and legal help for such cases via Civil Legal Advice (CLA) and must go through the telephone gateway, accessed by calling the standard Civil Legal Advice (CLA) number: 0345 345 4 345.    
  • CLA specialist telephone advice providers will determine whether the client should receive telephone or face-to-face advice with an emphasis on any wish expressed by the client to be provided by a face-to face provider. Clients who receive Face to Face Advice will be given the details of Face to Face Providers closest to them and have the option of choosing to be referred to one of those Face to Face providers or another Face to Face provider of their choice.

Non Gateway Cases

There are some cases in the Education category of law that do not need to go through the mandatory telephone gateway and these are:

  • Licensed Work cases : generally representation – issue and conduct of proceedings and advocacy.
  • Initial advice and assistance on an education-related judicial review.

Exempted Person

In addition, face-to-face providers can directly take on a client that is defined as an “exempted person”, namely an individual who:-

  • Has been deprived of their liberty
  • Is a child; or
  • Is a previously assessed person with a linked problem to the original matter they received face to face advice on in Education.

From 1st September 2019, we will therefore be able to advise under the legal aid scheme on education law maters where the person has been through the telephone gateway and have been referred to Bailey Wright & Co or have chosen Bailey Wright & Co as their preferred supplier.

If you would like to discuss an education law matter and whether or not you are eligible for legal aid, please contact Phil Storey or Dion Calder.

Phil Storey

Bailey Wright & Co