Campbell Mair

Education Law

We act for clients in relation to public sector education issues including out of catchment and in-catchment area placing requests.  We also act for clients in disputes regarding independent school education and also University Academic Appeals.

As far as local authority placing requests are concerned, the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 is the most important piece of legislation governing the Scottish system of pre-school (nursery), school (both in the public and private sector) and community education.  In terms of Part II of the 1980 Act, the principle is that, broadly, pupils are to be educated in accordance with the wishes of their parents (section 28) and Part II provides a mechanism for parents to have the right to choose which school they wish their child to attend – this is commonly known as making a “placing request” (section 28A).

In our experience you can increase the chances of the local Council granting your placing request by obtaining expert legal advice at the earliest opportunity.

We can advise you in the following areas:-

For ease of reference, we can appear at Education Appeal Committees and Appeals to the relevant Sheriff Court in the following local authority areas on your behalf: Aberdeen City Council; Aberdeenshire Council; Angus Council; Argyll & Bute Council; Clackmannanshire Council; Dumfries & Galloway Council; Dundee City Council; East Ayrshire Council; East Dunbartonshire Council; East Lothian Council; East Renfrewshire Council; City of Edinburgh Council; Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council); Falkirk Council; Fife Council; Glasgow City Council; Highland Council; Inverclyde Council; Midlothian Council; Moray Council; North Ayrshire Council; North Lanarkshire Council; Orkney Islands Council; Perth & Kinross Council; Renfrewshire Council; Scottish Borders Council; Shetland Islands Council; South Ayrshire Council; South Lanarkshire Council; Stirling Council; West Dunbartonshire Council; and West Lothian Council.

Our experience tells us that our clients were relieved that they engaged our services to appear at the Education Appeal Committee and/or the Sheriff Court on their behalf.

Call us today on 0141 314 3569 or 0131 344 4239 for a free no obligation discussion.  Alternatively, please e-mail us at the following e-mail address:



Parents have been advised to act now if their primary or secondary school placing request for their child has been refused by the local authority. There are tight deadlines for appealing against the decision. Local authorities are finding it harder than ever to grant placing requests for pupils living outside school catchment areas.

Under the Education (Scotland) Act 1980, education authorities must have regard to the general principle that, so far as is compatible with the provision of suitable instruction and training and the avoidance of unreasonable public expenditure, pupils are to be educated in accordance with the wishes of their parents.  However, there are various guidelines and statutory exceptions which may result in the placing request being refused by the local authority.

Now a team at Campbell Mair Solicitors are offering parents a free 20-minute telephone consultation for parents whose placing request has been turned down by the local authority.

Martin Campbell, Solicitor Advocate and Senior Solicitor with Campbell Mair Solicitors said: “Although local authorities try to grant as many out of catchment area placing requests as they can, the fact is that local authorities are experiencing increasing budget pressures and there is a limit to the number of out of catchment area placing requests which they can grant.  This is particularly the case where there is exceptional demand for places in schools such as St Ninian’s High School, Mearns Castle, Eastwood High School, Bearsden Primary and Bearsden Academy in the west and Flora Stevenson Primary in the east.  Last week was one of our busiest ever, with worried parents telephoning us for advice after receiving refusal letters from the Council.  There are tight timescales for appealing the decision so parents must act now.”

He also added: “Year after year, we act for parents whether it be at the Education Appeal Committee Stage or the Sheriff Court stage in the unfortunate cases where their placing requests were turned down by the local authority at first instance.  Our experience tells us that many parents do not appreciate the full extent of the placing request process.  Many parents who come to us are simply overwhelmed by a process which often causes significant anxiety within their household.  Therefore, by offering these free telephone consultations, we hope to provide parents with more information on the whole appeal process from the very outset so that they have the correct information at their fingertips should they wish to appeal.  Parents are welcome to contact us on 0131 344 4239 or 0141 314 3569  or to arrange a free appointment.”


Notes to Editors


For further information please contact Martin Campbell, Solicitor Advocate at Campbell Mair Solicitors: / 0131 344 4239 / 07557 132 683


Campbell Mair Solicitors ( are solicitors who have expertise in a wide variety of areas.  These areas include both contentious public law cases (e.g. Education, Licensing) as well as general civil and commercial cases.

Our Martin Campbell is a Solicitor Advocate who has a wide variety of experience in both public sector court cases as well as general civil and commercial court cases.  As a Solicitor Advocate, Martin is qualified to appear in the Superior Courts, such as: the Court of Session (Edinburgh); the Supreme Court (London); the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (London); the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU, Luxembourg); and the European Court of Human Rights (Strasbourg).  Martin is also a member of the Society of Solicitor Advocates.

Martin also regularly appears at Licensing Committees and Education Appeal Committees. He also appears in the Sheriff Court and the Court of Session.

Martin’s particular areas of expertise include licensing (e.g. pubs, taxis, second hand dealers’ licences), education placing request appeals and general commercial litigation.

We can also provide specialist legal comment on topical issues.

If you have a media request or enquiry please contact Martin Campbell on 0131 344 4239  or John Mair on 0141 314 3569  or email and/or