There are several ways that a person might feel discriminated against such as
disability, race, age and sex discrimination. The most common form of complaint
in the education law context is with regard to disability discrimination.
Further advice on Disability Discrimination claims is given below. However
should you have concerns regarding race, age or sex discrimination please
contact our office and we will be happy to advise you further on any of
In order to prove that disability discrimination
has occurred you need to demonstrate that you should be considered disabled in
accordance with the relevant legislation. In addition to this the educational
institution would have to have had knowledge of the disability prior to the act
The next step is to consider whether or not
discrimination has occurred. The House of Lords case Lewisham v Malcolm
(2008) essentially prevents a person from now being able to demonstrate
discrimination due to 'less favourable treatment'. Therefore in order to
demonstrate that discrimination has occurred a person would need to show that
'reasonable adjustments' were not made for them and that there was no
justifiable reason for this.
An Example of
A university student wants lift access to enable
them to attend their class on the 2nd floor. The building is a listed building
and therefore the university cannot install a lift. This is a justifiable reason
not to provide the reasonable adjustment requested. However it could be argued
that a reasonable adjustment that could be made would be to arrange for the
class to be held in a different room on a ground floor.
Claims for disability discrimination must be made
within 6 moths of the date of the last act of discrimination. This can be
extended to 8 months if a claimant uses the DRC Conciliation Services.
Claims for disability discrimination are made to
either the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) known
as SEND or the County Court depending on who the claim is against. This is a
complex area of the law and we are happy to provide further information if
For further information on Education Law please contact Solicitor Samantha
Hale at Fisher Jones Greenwood on Colchester (01206) 835230.