PN -v- Kent County Council (anonymity order)

Administrative CourtHigh CourtKing's Bench DivisionAnonymity Order

Claim number: AC-2023-LON-002526

In the High Court of Justice
King’s Bench Division
Administrative Court

6 September 2023


The Honourable Mr Justice Martin Spencer


The King on the application of
PN (by his father and litigation friend, PRN)


Kent County Council


Royal Borough of Greenwich
(Interested party)


UPON READING the claim form (N461), the application for urgent consideration (N463), the Claimant’s Grounds and the further documents lodged by the Claimant

AND UPON consideration of the Claimant’s Article 8 right to respect for private and family life and the Article 10 right to freedom of expression

AND UPON IT APPEARING that non-disclosure of the identity of the Claimant is necessary in order to protect the interests of the Claimant

AND PURSUANT to rule 39.2(4) of the Civil Procedure Rules and Section II of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 and rules 5.4C and 5.4D of the Civil Procedure Rules

ORDER by the Honourable Mr Justice Martin Spencer

  1. The identity of the Claimant shall not be disclosed to any non-party. The Claimant shall be described in all statements of case and other documents to be filed or served in the proceedings and in any judgment or order in the proceedings and in any report of the proceedings by the press or otherwise as PN and the litigation friend as PRN. A person who is not a party to the proceedings may obtain a copy of a statement of case, judgment or order from the court records only if the statement of case, judgment or order has been anonymised such that: (a) the Claimant and his father and litigation friend are referred to in those documents only by the letters “PN” and “PRN” respectively; and (b) any reference to their names have been deleted from those documents.
  2. The Defendant shall file and serve an Acknowledgment of Service and summary grounds of defence by 4pm on 15 September 2023.
  3. The papers shall thereafter be placed before a judge during the week of 18 September 2023 for consideration on the papers of:
    (i) whether the Claimant should be granted permission and, if so, for further directions in relation to the substantive hearing; alternatively
    (ii) whether this matter should be listed for a rolled-up hearing and, if so, for directions in relation to such hearing; and
    (iii) whether interim relief is appropriate so as to secure the education of the Claimant pending the said hearings.
  4. Liberty to either party to apply to vary or discharge this Order, upon the other side
    being given at least 48 hours’ Notice.
  5. Costs reserved.


(i) It would appear from the papers lodged by the Claimant that the Claimant has not been in receipt of any formal education since 16 May 2022, including the whole of the 2022/23 academic year.
(ii) By their letter dated 8 June 2023, solicitors for the Defendant stated: “The LA accepts that there have been flaws in this case. Our instructions suggest that the processes under regulation 15 were not followed and that, as a result, there have been other defects in the LA’s approach, particularly in relation to the holding of an annual review. In practical terms, the LA has accepted responsibility for the EHCP and has undertaken work to identify and name a suitable placement.”
(iii) In the light of the above, it is particularly disappointing that no suitable placement appears to have been identified for the start of the 2023/24 academic year and, on the face of it, the Defendant remains in breach of its obligations under the Education Act 1996, the Children and Young Persons Act 2014 and the SEND Regulations 2014.
(iv) I consider that the Claimant’s proposed timetable and directions lack the urgency which this case now demands, and the above Order is intended to secure that, once the Acknowledgment of Service and summary grounds of defence have been filed (for which I am allowing 9 days), the matter comes back before a judge forthwith for an appropriate Order to be made in the light of those documents with a view, in particular, that the Claimant secures a suitable placement as soon as possible after the start of the present term.