Look beyond legal action

21st September 2001 at 01:00
I would like to echo the comments made (TESS, September 14) about our publication The A-Z of Scots Education Law. We see legal action very much as a last resort, and have been arguing for a long time for the development of alternative dispute resolution and independent advice services for parents.

Should anyone be in any doubt about that, the book's section on legal action begins with several reasons for treating it as a last resort, not least because jumping to legal action can damage important relationships. However, there will still be times when the legal route is the only one left open to parents. In most cases, though, clear information about where people stand with respect to their rights and responsibilities can go a long way towards solving problems at an early stage. How often do simple problems become complex ones due to misunderstandings?

We hope our book will help to promote an understanding and mutual respect for the rights and responsibilities of all involved in children's education, and we will continue to push for advice and conciliation services across Scotland.

Jackie Welsh

Policy manager

Scottish Consumer Council

Queen Street, Glasgow

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