Claim number: CO/97/2023
In the High Court of Justice
King’s Bench Division
16 May 2023
Judge O’Connor (sitting as a Judge of the High Court)
The King on the application of
A Multi-Academy Trust
Notification of the Judge’s decision on the application for permission to apply for judicial review (CPR 54.11, 54.12)
Following consideration of the documents lodged by the Claimant and the Defendant.
ORDER by Judge O’Connor (sitting as a Judge of the High Court)
- These proceedings are stayed until 4pm on Thursday 25 May 2023.
- The matter is to be put before a Judge or Deputy Judge of the High Court in the week of 29 May 2023.
- Any application for an extension of the stay of these proceedings must be made by way of a Consent Order or, if the parties do not agree, then by way of paid application on 48 hours notice to the opposing party.
- Pursuant to CPR.2(4), the Claimant shall hereinafter be referred to in these proceedings as AX, and the Claimant’s son as AXS. The Defendant shall hereinafter be referred to in these proceedings as a “Multi-Academy Trust”.
- Pursuant to CPR rule 39.2(4) there shall not be disclosed in any report of the proceedings the name or address of the Claimant, or the Claimant’s son, or any details leading to the identification of the Claimant, or the Claimant’s son. The Claimant, if referred to, shall only be referred to AX. The Claimant’s son, if referred to, shall only be referred to as AXS. The Defendant, if referred to, shall only be referred to as a Multi-Academy Trust.
- The Claimant’s son was permanently excluded from school on 13 May 2022 following an allegation that he was in part responsible for a serious assault against another student (‘Student B’) on 5 May 2022. The Claimant’s position is that her son was not there, and this is a case of mistaken identity.
- On 13 May 2022, the school’s head teacher permanently excluded the Claimant’s son for the assault on Student B. By letter dated 9 June 2022 the Student Disciplinary Committee (“SDC”) confirmed that it had decided not to reinstate the Claimant’s son to the school. The Claimant sought a review by the Independent Review Panel (“IRP”) which quashed the SDC’s decision and directed the SDC to reconsider. By a decision dated 14 October 2022 the reconvened SDC (comprised of different members to the previous SDC panel) (“the reconvened SDC”) determined not to reinstate the Claimant’s son. It is this decision that is the subject of challenge.
- By way of an email of 9 May 2023, from the Claimant’s legal representatives sent an email to the Court (the Defendant’s legal representatives being copied in), informing the Court that “the parties are in advanced discussions on a draft consent order”. The author of the email requested “that the papers are not considered by a judge at this stage”. No formal application for a stay has been made, but that is the effect of the terms of the email. The imposition of a stay is a matter the Court can consider of its own volition, and I do so. Given the circumstances identified above, the imposition of a short stay on proceedings, to allow for discussions between the parties, is just and reasonable.