Case No: CO/4537/2022
In the High Court of Justice
King’s Bench Division
2 December 2022
The Honourable Mrs Justice Lang DBE
The King on the application of Gizle Landman, Principal of Harris Academy Bermondsey
London Borough of Southwark
Mr A and MS R (interested parties)
On the Claimant’s application for anonymity orders, abridgement of time for filing Acknowledgments of Service and an expedited hearing;
Following consideration of the documents lodged by the Claimant;
- Pursuant to CPR r.39.2, in any report of these proceedings, there shall be no publication of the name and address of the pupil or her parents (the Interested Parties), nor any other particulars likely to lead to their identification. In the proceedings, the pupil shall be anonymised and referred to as “ZA” and the parents anonymised and referred to as “Mr A and Ms R”.
- The application for anonymisation of the school is refused.
- The claim is to be expedited.
- The application to abridge time for filing an Acknowledgment of Service is refused. The Defendant and Interested Parties shall file and serve their Acknowledgments of Service within 21 days from the date of service of the claim upon them.
- Within 1 week of the filing of the Acknowledgments of Service, or if no Acknowledgment of Service has been filed within 21 days of the date of service, a Judge shall determine the application for permission on the papers.
- Liberty to apply to vary or discharge this order on 2 days notice to the other party.
- Time will not run between 22 December 2022 and 5 January 2023 because of public holidays.
- Costs reserved.
The Claimant challenges the Defendant’s decision dated 3 October 2022 to confirm the EHC Plan of ZA, and confirm Harris Academy Bermondsey as the appropriate school in section I of the Plan.
The Defendant and the Interested Parties must be given a fair opportunity to respond to the claim. I do not consider that abridgement of time can be justified, given the complexity of the claim.
Once the Acknowledgments of Service have been filed (or if they are not filed), a Judge will consider the application for permission to apply for judicial review on the papers, in accordance with standard practice. If permission is granted, directions will be given for the further steps to be taken to prepare the claim for a substantive hearing. Although I have made an order for expedition, there is little prospect of a full hearing in January 2023.
In my view, the Academy is likely to be the appropriate Claimant, not the Principal. This should be investigated by the Claimant’s solicitor and counsel. If the identity of the Claimant does have to be changed, an application to do so must be filed and served as soon as possible.
I have granted an anonymity order for the pupil and her parents as she is a minor. However, I do not consider that it is necessary for the school to be anonymised in order to protect the anonymity of the pupil. I do not consider that anonymising the school can be justified as a departure from the principle of open justice.