Leigh Day was instructed by a mother of six whose children attend schools on the Isle of Sheppey regarding a proposal to reorganise education on the island from three-tier to two-tier system, with an academy being set up as the secondary school.
She was extremely concerned about this proposal and in particular the manner in which Kent County Council (KCC) was trying to implement it without listening to and considering parents’ views.
Late last year, she issued proceedings challenging the decision taken by the Council to close the first schools and one of the middle schools. The decision had been taken without providing parents and children with any proper information about the proposed academy. Given the link between the closure of the primary and middle schools and the proposed academy, this information was required by parents so they could properly assess the proposal. Without it, they were unable to meaningfully respond to the proposal.
This challenge was successful and the Council conceded the claim. They agreed to withdraw their decision and undertake proper consultation with the local population before deciding whether to go ahead with the reorganisation programme.
Should an undemocratic decision be made to go two-tier, then SMS is willing to take Bedford Borough to a Judicial Review.