Richard is a partner within the education team and has over 20 years’ experience of advising on education law issues. He leads on pastoral and SEND work within the education team. He’s recognised by Chambers and Legal 500 as a leading individual for advice on education law. Richard advises on a range of issues including admissions, exclusions, SEN and disability and equality issues.
Richard has supported schools through transition to foundation and trust status, established school companies, worked on sponsored academy projects and worked with governing board on their conversion to academy status. He has also clerked numerous admission appeals, exclusion reviews and complaint hearings. He advises and supports a number of local authorities on SEND issues and he has been involved in many SEND Tribunal appeals and a number of Upper Tribunal cases arising out of SEND Tribunal decisions.
Richard has provided training on a range of education law subjects. Alongside this, he continues to support schools, local authorities and health bodies on education/children services related issues. Richard is currently Chair of Trustees at Elm Tree MAT in Warwickshire.
Working with Local Authority officers to deal with complex SEND tribunal appeals to ensure the LA’s position was robustly defended.
Representing a Local Authority in respect of judicial review pre-action protocol letters sent in respect of the Authority’s education functions. Successfully defending the LA’s position and avoiding unnecessary legal proceedings being brought.
Representing an academy trust in dealing with complaints made to the Office of the Schools Adjudicator and ensuring the Academy’s position was clearly explained and, where appropriate, defended.
Represented an academy trust in legal proceedings following a decision not to reinstate a child. Successfully defended the school’s position on the basis that it had acted lawfully and in line with statutory guidance.
"He is a very good lawyer for SEN issues."
"Richard Freeth – outstanding knowledge of the education sector, coupled with timely and astute advice."
"Richard Freeth – excellent knowledge and clear concise advice. Able to weigh up practical considerations vs the legal requirements."
"Richard has a wealth of knowledge of the many aspects of the education sector and I am completely confident that he will handle any of my questions appropriately."
Browne Jacobson’s education team has again been confirmed as a national powerhouse after securing five Tier 1 rankings relating to Education in the latest edition of Legal 500 and maintaining a Band 1 UK-wide ranking for Education in Chambers & Partners UK 2023.
As we start the Autumn term, the first part of the process for changing school admission arrangements can begin.
The Department for Education’s (DfE) Green Paper was published on 29 March 2022 and signals the start of another period of reform for all those involved with supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
Watch our on-demand webinar as we explain the proposed changes and help you understand how they’ll affect you and your school.
The School Admissions Code 2021 was recently published by the Department for Education and, subject to parliamentary approval, will be implemented this September. Catch up on the key changes that will impact the way in which your admissions system will need to operate.
The School Admissions Code 2021 (“the Code”) was recently published by the Department for Education (DfE) following a consultation exercise in summer 2020. The Code is currently subject to parliamentary approval, but it will be in force from 1 September 2021.
Strict social distancing measures mean that all admission authorities must adapt their processes to ensure that families who submit an appeal are not disadvantaged and are able to have their appeal heard by an independent panel in a fair and transparent manner.