Phelps v LB of Hillingdon [2000]

Educational psychiatrists failed to spot dyslexia.
House of Lords held education authority liable.
No justification for blanket immunity in respect of
education officers performing the authority’s functions with regard to children
with special educational needs.
House of Lords decision in X v Beds doubted.
[NB this was after Osman
but before Z v UK]
Employee, such as education psychologist, exercising a
particular skill or profession, might owe a duty of care to particular pupils
where it could be foreseen that those pupils might be injured if due skill and
care were not exercised.
However, court should also have regard to public
policy reasons for not imposing such a duty and should be slow to find
negligence since this might interfere with authority’s duties.
[NB Lord Nicholls seemed to realise true implications
of decision – might mean that education authorities owe duty of care to
children, through teachers etc, to show reasonable care in their education.
Not possible to sue for educational malpractice even
in US]