Payne Hicks Beach

Payne Hicks Beach

Education - Students, Schools & Higher Education

"Payne Hicks Beach have carved out a niche for this work, and have unparalleled expertise in this field. They are able to work effectively and strategically and demonstrate a multi-disciplinary approach" The Legal 500 UK 2020

Schools and higher education bodies face an increasingly complex set of challenges and opportunities at the same time as taking a pivotal role in the development of children and young people. Education law is complex, needing expert advice to navigate and get the solution that meets your needs. Our highly regarded team is equally experienced in advising students and their parents as it is in providing bespoke advice to senior management teams and governors of schools, colleges and other educational establishments.

Students and parents

We have extensive experience in advising students and their parents in connection with allegations of misconduct and discrimination, exclusions or suspensions, complaints and appeals at top UK independent and international schools. Our sensitive advice is tailored to the situation and we take particular care when individuals and their families are facing allegations of misconduct or are a victim of wrongdoing. We offer advice behind the scenes to help parents seeking to resolve these issues themselves or we can also formally engage with the school concerned. Dealing with matters in a sympathetic and understanding way, we always focus on our clients’ ultimate objectives and are used to managing time-critical and stressful situations. 

Schools, colleges and educational establishments

Our experienced team understands the complexity of regulatory implications in the education sector, as well as commercial and reputational considerations. As trusted advisers to head teachers and governors, we provide pragmatic support recognising that your aim is to deliver the best outcome for all students in the community.   

We provide tailored and effective advice on everyday issues and more complex challenges. We are always mindful to ensure that the appropriate procedures are in place to minimise the risk of disputes occurring and to avoid them escalating. We are acutely conscious of the competing forces at work when claims come to light and experienced in navigating these often highly charged situations.  

What can we help you with?

We regularly represent students and their parents attending independent schools in connection with a wide range of issues that can arise in the particular educational context. We also advise schools in managing such issues. Drawing on our expertise and experience we can help address issues including:

  • suspension and exclusion
  • alleged misuse of drugs or alcohol
  • allegations of sexual abuse and harassment
  • social media and private information
  • bullying and cyber-bullying/trolling
  • disputed qualifications (including examination appeals, A level and GCSE grading results)
  • complaints and panel hearings
  • breach of contract (including fee disputes)
  • discrimination
  • school administration policies
  • applications for judicial review (claimant or defendant)
  • safeguarding concerns
  • UK independent private and international school problems

Please note that we do not take on legal aid work.

Key contact: Ane Vernon










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