Inquests & Inquiries
The death of a school child is a devastating event. Unfortunately, it is something that many teachers will experience at some point during their career. Whether or not the death occurs in school, teachers can find themselves being called to give evidence to a coroner at an inquest.
Assertions can be made by distressed relatives that the school has failed the deceased child, for example through failing to report safeguarding concerns, an ineffective anti-bullying policy or having unsafe premises. Teachers can find themselves facing hostile questions from lawyers acting for the deceased and/or the local authority and/or their own school. It is essential that teachers called to give evidence to a coroner seek legal advice.
We have experience of advising and representing teachers involved in inquests relating to suicide at school by both staff and pupils and accidental deaths resulting from sporting activity, equipment failure and road traffic collision. We have also acted where the death has occurred away from school but teachers are called to give evidence about safeguarding procedures within school.
We also have experience of carefully advising and assisting headteachers called before the ongoing Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and we defended several teachers accused in the “Trojan Horse” Birmingham Schools Inquiry of 2014.