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I wish to sue my child's academy


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Father used his parental responsibility to stop our child accessing anything online, photos and film. 


I warned the school that his mental health was in decline and they received evidence of this themselves. The school did not consult me, said their hands were tied and went ahead with the SAR and erasure request, they insisted twice that they were right, then admitted they should have consulted me according to the children's act (i think),


I believe this is a case of misapplying law to policy, but I also feel discriminated against but have not been. Despite this they still wont reverse the decision back and have told me to take it to court (which I am doing and fully expect it to be ordered back in use ).


I have been effectively locked out of my sons education as the main caregiver for 6 months now and wish to sue.

I do not know who to address it too though.


Is it to the academy itself or the board,

can you actually sue a school for this?


Thanks in advance for any help..


.it will be much appreciated

Edited by dx100uk
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We need more information.


How old is your child?


Is this a state school or a private school?


I assume from your post that you and your child's father no longer live together. Is that correct?


Do you both have legal parental responsibility or have there been any previous court orders saying who has parental responsibility if not both of you equally?


Who does your child live with, you or his father?


When you say "Father used his parental responsibility to stop our child accessing anything online, photos and film" do you mean at home or he told the school that your child could not use the internet in school?  Why does he want yo prevent your child having internet access?


Whose mental health is in decline? Your child's or his father's?

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Hi Ethel Street, 

Thanks for replying.


It's an Academy School, my child is 7. Been separated 5 years (been controlling and coercive throughout). We both have PR, child lives with me and sees father for tea weekly and fortnightly weekends, half of all hols.


We used a school portal like fb during lockdown and for school information, the school says using this portal is now their main communication to parents account also. This has now gone and permission for school photos and vids withdrawn. This is due to fathers conspiracy beliefs which is also the decline of his fathers mental health.


Thank you



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It's a state academy so the day to day responsibility for what it does is with the Principal (Headteacher) and the ultimate responsibility is with the Academy Trust Board.


Who put in an SAR and erasure request? What information did they want erased?


It seems that you have been unable to get access to certain information about your child's education because of something your child's father told the school. I hope this has been reversed now. The school must know that you must have the same access rights as any other parent. What else do you want the school to do?  What is the decision that you want them to reverse?


Did the school tell you formally in writing to sue them? Or was it just a comment in a conversation? How senior was the person who said it - was it the Principal (Headteacher) or someone junior?


I'm still unclear what you want to happen next for your child, or how your child has been disadvantaged. Presumably none of this affects your child's access to the internet in school? It's not legal for a school to prevent a child accessing the internet as part of the child's teaching just because a parent requests it.


In any case you are a long way from needing to sue the school. First you need to use their Complaints Policy. Every academy must have a Complaints Policy and it must be on their website. The first stage is that you make a complaint to the Principal (Headteacher) [unless the complaint is about the Principal personally]. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of that you take your complaint to the Academy Trust Board where it will be considered by a panel of two Trustees and an Independent Chair not connected with the school.


It might also be helpful to read the Departrment for Education's guidance to schools on dealing with the situation where the people with parental responsibility give the school conflicting instructions.


Understanding and dealing with issues relating to parental responsibility - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


I don't know what it is you want to sue the school about but depending what the issue is it might cost you thousands of ££££££.


Before doing anything ask your local council if there is a Parents Advice Centre or similar in your Local Authority that can give you free advice about this.


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Who put in an SAR and erasure request? What information did they want erased?


Father put in the request, during the last summer holidays. They wanted all the work we had done in our Childs portfolio over lockdown (it was an impressive portfolio) and any photos of film of him removing. The information officer said he gave the reasons ‘to safeguard his son’


I have asked them to reverse the decision and restore the portal, they say they can’t  and I will need to take him to court ‘as they don’t get involved with parental disputes’ Ironic. They said that father told them I had given permission, but even when I told them I hadn’t (this was quite obvious) they carried on with the request.


I have sent to letters, one for more information and another to chase up the increased information from the first reply which also stated that I was dissatisfied. I have a prepared letter of complaint but have not sent it yet. I have mainly be dealing with head of information at the academy head’qs.


No one has said sue them but this is the third time they have undermined me in three years and its a big and has caused no amount of chaos.


The school said that they would test the marketing cookies that Father complained about on a dummy account, they also said they would anonymise an account for our son to use. They also said they would arrange reward points for our son. (He has autism and numbers and competing are very important to him. The portal was very important to him to look at his work and picture of activities etc. It’s also left him feeling left out from his peers.) 


The school hasn’t been in touch since or done anything they said they would do. Its just ‘take it to court’ - we are at court on the 1st and cafcass has already said it should be instated. One solicitor I spoke to said they couldn’t understand why they didn’t just change it back. We have been in court for 6 years for various things.


I would just want a small money claims court and I would represent myself.

I just don’t know the title in law of what I have experienced (is it misapplying law, indirect discrimination etc) or who to address it too. (just maybe the school address. 


Fathers mental health has declined to a point where he has been cautioned, arrested again and what he’s done towards another public body to do with our sons medical treatment has seen the police get involved and possible a section on the cards.


I have been in touch with the ICO also, who said that the school had no right to act upon fathers request for the reasons given.


The amount of agencies I have been in touch with is  a huge list inc social services, lea, Idas, clock, no one seems to be able to help.


I know the academy have done the wrong thing, they admitted as much but they won’t change it.


Thanks very much for you advice - it’s most appreciated

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There's a lot more information there that would have been helpful to know earlier!


Seems to me that you have already had advice from


-  a solicitor


- social services

- your local authority



and you in court (Family Court presumably) soon with the opportunity to raise this.


I don't feel I can add anything more to this. The people you are already in contact with, and who will know the full picture, are more able to advise you.


For what it's worth I still cannot see how you would have a MCOL claim because the remedy you want isn't money. Judicial Review is the more likely route you would have to take. Expensive. But the solicitor you have spoken to is better placed to advise you.


I still think you need to pursue this through the Academy's formal Complaints procedures first.


Good luck

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Thanks for all your help Ethel. I want to sue because having lost that control, this spiralled into something quite stressfully epic, then the stress of having to take it to court, the phone calls I have had to make and paperwork, my child's feelings and the fact they have done nothing they said they would do and have ignored me since. That the information officer told me I'd given my permission and then ignored my lack of consent. 6 months later I am still locked out of this decision. It should have never happened.

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