Lesinko Njoroge & Gathogo Advocates

E ducation Law

Educating children is one of society’s most important functions. As a result, there is a robust area of law dedicated to education. Education law is particularly fascinating because it constantly seeks to strike balances: the balance between ensuring each child receives a standard education, while maintaining a parent’s right to decide what her child should learn; the balance between maintaining student safety, while respecting individual constitutional rights; the balance between accommodating students with disabilities and strict budgetary concerns; and the balance between giving teachers job security and intellectual freedom, while ensuring that they competently educate their students. This section has articles with in-depth information on education law for parents, teachers, student, and school administrators.

Sources of Education Law

In one of the most famous decisions the Supreme Court ever decided, Brown v. Board of Education, the Court stated that “today, education is perhaps the most important function of state and local governments.”  In the United States, education traditionally has been considered primarily a function of state governments, and even within states much of the control of education is given over to local school boards. Every state’s constitution mandates a public-school System, making provision of education a fundamental obligation of the state. The languages of state constitutions vary, so the exact extent of that obligation varies, but all states provide public education as a matter of right.


Discrimination in Education

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Special Education

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Title VI

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LGBTQ Student Discrimination

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Questions and Answers Related to Education Law

What legal rights do students at universities and colleges have?

Universities are autonomous in law and make their own rules, regulations, procedures, statutes, ordinances and policies. The primary legal relationship between a student and a university is one of public law and contract law. This was established in a case decided by the Court of Appeal in 2000 – Clarke v University of Lincolnshire and Humberside.

What legal rights do parents and pupils have for their education?

Some of the laws covering educational rights are:

The Education Act 1996 – s.19 of the Act places an absolute, non-delegable duty on Local Authorities to provide education to children of compulsory school age.

The Education Act 2002 – Section 175 of the Act sets out the safeguarding duty of state schools and colleges (for independent schools, safeguarding is covered by the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014, while for Special Schools, the relevant legislation is the Non-Maintained Special Schools (England) Regulations 2015).

The Children and Families Act 2014 – This legislation introduced Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) to help get education, health care and social care services working together more effectively to meet young people’s needs.

The Equality Act 2010 – Providing protection from discrimination on the basis of protected characteristics, such as disability, sex, race and sexual orientation.

For independent schools, parents’ and pupils’ educational rights will also be defined by the terms of the contracts that parents sign with the schools

What sort of educational issues can arise?

There are all sorts of issues parents and pupils can run into with their educational institution. The most common revolve around a school failing to provide sufficient support for a child’s educational needs (especially where a child has an EHCP), bullying, school admissions and exclusions and school complaints.