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"unwarrantably interfering parents” criticised by court

5 August 2013

In T v Hall Schools of Wimbledon LLP the High Court criticised “self-absorbed” and “unwarrantably interfering parents” who made “relentless” complaints against an independent school, “as if their children were the only ones that mattered”.

The court rejected the parent’s claim that the head teacher had breached an agreement to provide them with a positive, or at least not a negative, reference to allow them to obtain alternative independent school places for their children. The court found that there had been no such agreement and “a prohibition on the free flow of information between head teachers would put children and schools at risk”.

Managing difficult parents effectively through the formal complaints process can save schools a huge amount of time in the long run. Whilst a school can pass information on to future schools, a state-funded school cannot refuse a child a place on this basis and copies of any written references may be obtained by parents under data protection legislation.

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