In a remarkable turn of events, Legal Aid has been granted to commence the pre-action stage of a Judicial Review into the decision to close the High Weald Academy school. The news came just hours after the working group, brought together by local MP Helen Grant, had achieved their target goal to fund the legal challenge themselves.
The initial application for Legal Aid was refused, and instead the group looked towards crowd funding to help them mount a legal challenge. Today, they received confirmation that their appeal for legal aid funding had been granted. Solicitors and an eminent QC are now preparing a ‘letter before claim’ to go to the Secretary of State.
Helen Grant MP, chair of the working group, said, ‘I am delighted that legal aid has been granted to help fight this decision. Clearly the Legal Aid Agency believe there may be genuine merit to our case, which justifies the use of public funds to investigate the situation. It is no less than the pupils, parents, teachers and our local communities deserve.
Our working group’s efforts have been rewarded by the generosity of the Cranbrook community and its surrounding villages and parishes. I want to express my upmost thanks to all those who have donated and been instrumental in getting this campaign off the ground.
Each donation shows just how important this school is for the town and that the people of Cranbrook will not let it be taken away from them so easily’.