Joanna is a Senior Associate who has expertise in regulatory compliance for the state funded education sector, with over 25 years' experience in family law, criminal law and education law to draw upon.
She can help your maintained school, academy or multi academy trust with a wide range of legal issues including behaviour and exclusions, admissions, SEN/EHC plans, parental complaints and claims, family disputes, charging and remissions, safeguarding, equality matters and data protection/freedom of information requests.
Joanna can help you deal with problematic pupils/parents and disputes with local authorities, the ESFA or Ofsted, review your school policies to ensure they are compliant/fit for purpose, and draft correspondence to parents and other parties in a way designed to resolve issues promptly.
She can advise you on proposed changes to your academy requiring significant changes or other consent by the Secretary of State and variation of your funding agreements, as well as serious incident reporting under charity law and other legal issues following a critical incident.
Joanna regularly defends clients in relation to discrimination claims against pupils or parents in the First Tier Tribunal (SEN and Disability) and County Court, and claims for judicial review against decisions made by schools/academies.
She has a special interest in all admission related matters, including drafting complex admission policies and other related documents (including for faith schools) and assisting with statutory consultation, dealing with objections lodged with the Schools Adjudicator, and helping schools to challenge the admission of particular children, where appropriate.
Joanna works with trustees, governors, CEOs, CFOs and COOs, headteachers and staff in a practical and sympathetic way, aimed at achieving the desired outcome in a timely manner, allowing them to get back to their normal duties with the minimum of fuss.
She will quickly establish the issues that need to be resolved and what you would like to achieve, and identify the best and most cost effective way to achieve this.
Joanna is an animal lover who enjoys swimming and cycling, and regularly enters sportives and swimathons for charity, particularly animal charities and those who support people living with cancer.
She is a PADI Advanced Open Water certified scuba diver, a qualified First Aider and a governor at a local school.