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Saturday, 20 June 2009 19:17


In mythology Sisyphus was a first king of Corinth , punished by the god Zeus , compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill , only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this throughout eternity * , the word "Sisyphean" describes a pointless or interminable activity "

Administrators in large bureaucratic organisations who define themselves as problem solvers are often deaf to such legitimate grievances. Decisions on how to allocate time and resources instead are based on fire fighting criteria, the urgent , the mundane often crowds out the important . In a civilized society when systems break down or stop serving the user the law steps in to speak for the ultimate consumer of services

We would like to stress our site does not endorse a class action . Our section on class action is just for information purposes only . In our opinion a class action will succeed only . If you can first establish that all things being equal , if you had your time again the outcome of education or training would be materially different .Something has to have changed , a loss has to be identifiable . Saving exceptional circumstances it should not be about apportioning blame but making amends for those who are willing and able to try again .

The precautionary principle better safe than sorry is the doctrine of risk aversion , it is commonly used argument to preserve a status quo .The precautionary principle can also be invoked to include the risks associated with inaction and oversight . A professional should leave no stone un turned . In legal term this is called negligence . It is characterized by an arrogant or overbearing hubris . Despite strong evidence to the contrary a negligent course of action is pursued to the bitter end and that inflexible course of action causes harm . In our view a successful class action would also have to demonstrate willfully obtuse behavior .

We have a system at the moment that arbitrarily chooses winners and losers on the basis of nothing more than an accident of birth . I am not sure if this is enough .However if it takes the threat of a class action to move the debate on , then lets have a class action and if change means more work , lets do it . If it means existing professionals being taken out of their comfort zone . Let us hire and train new professionals and let us support them . In the meantime let the individual , family and extended family take on more responsibility .

' Suggest changing education in any fundamental way, and powerful voices argue that we should not put generational opportunity at risk . Those are valid points, but too often made to defend shocking under performance , to often oppression is dressed up as equality . US charter schools, Swedish , that's Swedish profit-making schools and even old-fashioned discipline , respect for others and oneself can improve learning .In the UK approximately 7% attend private school yet they account for around 50% of the Oxbride intake . Change is pushed by people outside the system, and fiercely resisted by those within . Principled stands are admirable but only when it is your life , your opportunities and not others that you limiting . In Disrupting Class and The Innovator’s Prescription: Christensen has written that regulators are protecting out-of-date models in health and education. In democracies, he says, the beneficiaries of the status quo are far more powerful than “disruptive entrants who petition to shift the focus of obsolete regulations away from professionals and institutions, and towards processes and outcomes "". The surprising thing is that more of us don’t push for change. We voters tend to be scared of change and to assume that the professionals and those who speak for them are on our side ' Source abridged times article June 2011 .

In the late nineties education and legal history was made when the High Court told a London borough it had provided a substandard education and must pay thousands of pounds in damages.An award of Pounds 45,651 against Hillingdon education authority established a precedent , the first successful attempt to sue the school system for its educational failings. At the time Hundreds of new cases were expected to follow.

Pamela Phelps, then 23, told the High Court that her life chances had been damaged because her school failed to identify and deal with her dyslexia. At the age of 10 she was four years behind in reading and writing, but nobody discovered why.Her barrister, Cherie Booth QC, wife of then Prime Minister Tony Blair, said that the authority had "failed to take reasonable steps to overcome her learning problems".

Once she left school, Ms Phelps was obliged to take menial jobs. Hillingdon claimed that it was unfair to impose a duty of care on the council as it had to teach a large number of students of differing abilities.The judge, Mr Justice Garland, awarded Ms Phelps 6,566 in special damages to cover the cost of additional educational courses; Pounds 12, 500 for the lost chances of getting better employment; Pounds 25,000 for the loss of future earnings; plus interest.

A spokesman for Hillingdon said: "The council is disappointed that the court has found in favour of Pamela Phelps. We are currently considering the outcome with our insurers. As yet we have not reached a decision on an appeal." The court's ruling finds that the educational psychologist who was responsible for Pamela had behaved unreasonably in failing to diagnose dyslexia. The judge does not blame the school for taking her advice, but he holds Hillingdon to account as her employer. However, after the ruling, Ms Phelps' lawyer, Jack Rabinowicz, insisted that schools should in fact carry a major responsibility for ensuring that a child's special needs are met. At the time pupils and former pupils would have had to prove not simply that an authority is at fault, but that it has behaved quite unreasonably. Pupils will also have to demonstrate that they have been damaged by their educational treatment.As if to demonstrate the point, a very similar case failed in 99 . Another dyslexic, 23-year-old Mark Christmas, had been claiming damages from Hampshire County Council, again for allegedly failing to pick up his condition.

Since 99 much water has passed under the bridge , In 2004 Julian (Joe) Elliott joined Durham University from the University of Sunderland where he was Acting Dean of the School of Education and Lifelong Learning. Prof. Elliott taught in mainstream and special schools prior to practising as an LEA educational psychologist. Professor Elliot argued that Dyslexia had been framed incorrectly that it was too closely associated with reading . Reading he showed had little to do intelligence . If reading has little to do with intelligence then a high IQ makes no difference . Dyslexia had become a proxy for learning to read and not reading to learn . Going forward this means that a similar action based on reading and writing age is likely to fail , rather than dyslexia any action would be based on a failure to engage in early high quality literacy intervention . As regards Dyslexia , future actions would possibly revolve around a lack of flexibility and willingness to offer and implement a different type of learning experience .

A new class action would arises from the right to an adequate education , training and protection .The potential defendant the education authorities , large institutions , trainers and employers . Such an action would include but would not be limited to negligent omission and a failure to exercise due care and diligence . The omission to do something , that a reasonable person or body, guided by ordinary considerations that regulate human affairs, would do .A failure to act resulting in damages , the calculation would be a multiple of future earning potential loss of amenity and a reasonable expectation of quality of life .

There are 5 requirements to proceed with a class action.

  • 1. Numerosity - enough plaintiffs to make class action an efficient way to handle the claim.
  • 2. Commonality - common issues of fact and law for each claimant
  • 3. Adequacy of Class Rep - the person who is the class representative needs to have claims that are the same as the class members and that they are capable of serving as the representative.
  • 4. Adequacy of Counsel - that the law firm representing the class has sufficient skill and resources to represent the class.

  • 5. Action Specifics - The omission to act , must be unreasonable , what an expert can reasonably be expected to know and when they know are important questions , so we ask as a matter of urgency that you to bring issue to the appropriate body or person attention , you need to raise the issue first . Hopefully an amicable resolution is reached but regardless the clock starts ticking .

    A certified class action suit is one brought on behalf of a large group of people as plaintiffs who have suffered some similar harm from the same actions of the defendant or defendants . A certified class action suit is one brought on behalf of a large group of people as plaintiffs who have suffered some similar harm from the same actions of the defendant or defendants

    NEXT STEP

    Registration

    Once numerosity has been achieved a class rep should nominate themselves by approaching a law firm with sufficient skills and resources to represent the class

    FINAL STEP

    What happens to my registration?

    If you have registered for a pending class action, your information is forwarded to one of the law firms handling the case. In most cases, your registration is not a requirement to be a part of a pending class action, as you are automatically part of the case if you fit the class description, and must "opt-out" if you do not want to participate. Submitting a registration on this site does not imply communication with an attorney handling a pending class action.

    Please note: there is no attorney-client confidentiality implied when you submit a registration to [Source LawyersandSettlements.com]
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