Scottish Education Law Services
Dunfermline based law firm Caritas Legal are excited to announce the launch of their Education Law service this week. Managing Director, Lorna Brown will be heading up the initiative which she has launched a little ahead of schedule in response to the overwhelming number of parents and children who are struggling to secure an appropriate education package.
Caritas Legal has focussed on protecting vulnerable groups since its inception in 2011. Located in the Business Centre on Izatt Avenue. The award winning law firm has always sought to do things a little differently from the traditional stereotype, steering away from the corporate image of a law firm preferring to offer clients a more down to earth relaxed environment and approach without compromising on professionalism.
Over the years the firm has established a strong reputation in advising families in relation to obtaining guardianship orders if a relative has reduced or lost capacity, planning for and paying for care and future planning. Last year, they welcomed Danielle Stevenson as Head of Family Law who specialises in separation, divorce and child law matters, such as contact arrangements. As part of it’s growth plans the issues facing parents, carers and children in relation to education have been on the radar of Caritas Legal for a while, and now as the new academic year approaches the service is ready to offer advice and advocate for the right of every child in Scotland to an education.
Through her own personal experience, Lorna Brown realised that there are many children facing exclusion from school, losing the opportunity to make friends and placing immense pressure on parents to home school, and in doing so accept a very different education model to that which we would expect for our children.
She said “ Getting it right for every child is a phrase which is used a lot within the education sector. From my own personal experience I realised that as a parent the phrase “every child” is too generic, we want it to be right for our child, and that includes our children who don’t fall within the traditional ambits of mainstream education. I understand that Local Authorities face their own internal constraints, however I was not willing for this to dictate my child’s education (or lack thereof) and I do not think that any parent should be expected to compromise on what is effectively their child’s basic human right. Personally, I have generally had a positive experience in advocating and securing a positive education package for my child, however I am aware that this is not the case for everyone and am keen to help as many parents, carers and children as possible.
I have acted for clients who have been told that their child can’t be accommodated at school and that home schooling is the only option. The negative effects from this extend far beyond the child being denied a school based environment to learn, it impacts on their confidence, their ability to make and maintain friends, it can see them left out of extra-curricular activities and birthday parties and make them feel as if they have done something wrong. The wider effect on the family in terms of childcare, altering working arrangements, managing with a reduced income and still being able to maintain a normal home life for siblings can be very difficult indeed.
I hope that the launch of this service will provide families with the support, advocacy and reassurance to secure positive outcomes for the family as a whole. No matter what stage your child has reached, be it primary, secondary or further education we will be happy to listen to you and offer you professional advice in a down to earth manner”.