Russell is a Barrister in the Education team.
He has extensive experience of advising and representing in all aspects of education, employment and public law.
Russell regularly advises schools and colleges regarding issues involving special educational needs, disability discrimination, social media, admissions, exclusions, governance, OFSTED inspections, exam board decisions, academy conversions and employment related matters. He also provides training to schools on a variety of topics, including managing complaints, managing legal risk, safeguarding and regulatory matters.
He has a long standing interest and commitment to education, having been a College Governor with responsibility for safeguarding issues. As a local Councillor, he was also a member and chair of the Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee, where he contributed to the development of policy relating to the education of children in the care system and special educational needs.
Since 2007, Russell has been an elected Councillor and has served on a very wide range of committees, including planning, licensing, housing, education and community matters. He was Cabinet Member for Housing for two years which involved having political responsibility for 12,000 tenants living in 10,500 Council houses and a budget of £46m. He is currently serving in his fourth year as Cabinet Member for Finance, with overall responsibility for a net budget of £138m as well as responsibility for performance, human resources and benefits.
Russell is currently providing a number of schools with advice on the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). He has provided seminars at which over 60 schools have been represented and has developed particular expertise in this area. Russell can provide bespoke training, advice and help with GDPR policies.
- Providing representation in the First Tier Tribunal in relation to special educational needs and disability discrimination.
- Appearring in important cases in the Upper Tribunal and Court of Appeal concerning the weight to be given to the views of a child, school transport, Tribunal procedure, the role of the Local Authority in providing education and calculating costs of school placements.
- Acting in cases concerning judicial reviews of decisions of the Office of the Schools Adjudicator, school transport decisions and special educational needs issues.
- Successfully representing a teacher in the NCTL who was cleared of all allegations.
- Acting in cases concerning breach of contract claims against private schools and educational negligence claims.
- Acting in a number of cases relating to the age assessment of unaccompanied asylum seekers, provision of housing and associated services for asylum seekers and cases involving the duties of the Local Authority under the Children Act 1989 and Care Act 2014.
- Experience of public and planning law and extensive judicial review experience in relation to education issues and social welfare issues.
- Providing advice in representation in cases involving all aspects of unfair dismissal, constructive dismissal, discrimination, equal pay claims, TUPE claims and has experience of judicial mediation.
- Appearring in the Employment Appeal Tribunal in cases concerning the Tribunal substituting its own judgment, natural justice, the power of the Tribunal to strike out a case and victimisation.