Christopher McFarland#2992

Christopher McFarland

Christopher joined SinclairsLaw in December 2013 and currently works in the Private Client department under Vanessa Collins. Christopher has an extensive working background that included a paralegal role at the Welsh Government, where he co-authored the Welsh Government white paper on a Separate Jurisdiction for Wales and provided legal advice to Cabinet Members, including the First Minister and Counsel General for Wales.

Christopher’s work with the Welsh Government culminated in being part of the team which prepared the Welsh Government’s successful submissions to the Supreme Court in Local Government Byelaws (Wales) Bill 2012 - Reference by the Attorney General for England and Wales [2012] UKSC 53.
Contributed to

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Accidents in schools—liability in tort
Accidents in schools—liability in tort
Practice notes

This Practice Note mentions that children are often injured at school without any fault on the part of any person, and goes on to discuss case law illustrating the factors that may distinguish a successful claim against a school or its owners from an unsuccessful claim. These factors are a duty of care, vicarious liability, contributory negligence, foreseeable consequences, causation and proximity, the age, disposition and mental capacity of the child, the level of supervision expected in a school, and the extent to which the child was at the material time under the care or control of the school.

Children’s rights in schools
Children’s rights in schools
Practice notes

This Practice Note explains that the main rights of a child in school are the right to an education and the right to receive the level of care and protection which a reasonable parent would give, and that these rights are recognised in statute and common law respectively. It discusses relevant provisions in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 and the Human Rights Act 1998, as well as a number of related issues including the right to change a child’s name, free school meals and the provision of uniform and other clothing, and summarises the case law on taking photographs of children at school.

Land transfers for new academy schools
Land transfers for new academy schools
Practice notes

This Practice Note outlines the basic funding arrangements of an academy school, highlighting who is responsible for the day-to-day running of the academy and the maintenance of the grounds and buildings. The need for a land transfer arises as an academy will often utilise premises that have been vacated by a previous state-funded school. It explains the process and the issues that arise during the transfer of land from a community school, a voluntary aided school, a voluntary combined school and a foundation school to an academy. This Practice Note applies only in England; there are no academies in Wales.

Legislative competence of devolved parliaments
Legislative competence of devolved parliaments
Practice notes

This Practice Note considers the competences of certain devolved Parliaments in the UK. The UK devolution statutes contain schedules setting out the extent of legislative competence of devolved parliaments, as well as matters that continue to be reserved to, or dealt with by the Westminster Parliament. This Practice Note includes a table outlining the level of competence for the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Parliament.

School attendance
School attendance
Practice notes

This Practice Note summarises what constitutes compulsory school age. It explains that under the Education Act 1996, a child of compulsory school age must either be registered at a school or be suitably educated otherwise than at school. It also covers school attendance orders; and that it is a criminal offence for a parent to fail to comply with a school attendance order. It notes that police officers and community support officers are authorised to carry out truancy sweeps.

School land and premises
School land and premises
Practice notes

This Practice Note explains that the ownership of school land and premises depends mainly on the type of school in question, and discusses ownership in relation to community schools, voluntary schools, foundation schools, academies and free schools. It discusses renewed interest in the School Sites Act 1841, under which landowners were encouraged to donate sites for local schools on the basis that, if a school ever closed, the land would revert back to the donor. It also discusses provision for schools to be used for community purposes such as elections.

School transport and out-of-school trips
School transport and out-of-school trips
Practice notes

This Practice Note explains that every English local authority must develop for approval a school travel scheme under the Education Act 1996, s 508E for children of compulsory school age, and that unless and until an approved school travel scheme has been implemented, the local authority must provide other travel arrangements for every eligible child. Each school travel scheme must include a policy on charging the parents (or their children) for home-to-school travel, although protected children must travel free of charge. It also discusses case law relating to school transport, and legislation on out-of-school trips.

Practice Areas

Panels

  • Consulting Editorial Board
  • Contributing Author

Qualifications

  • LL.M
  • LL.B

Education

  • Glasgow University
  • Aberystwyth University

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