• Polly Sweeney

  • Rook Irwin Sweeney LLP

  • Partner

  • Rewards 136

Polly is an award winning and nationally recognised expert in public law and human rights with a strong commitment to access to justice and promoting the rights of vulnerable people.

She specialises in education, community care, healthcare and medical treatment, and the Court of Protection, and has a particular interest in cases involving children and young people. She is an Accredited Legal Representative under the Law Society’s Mental Capacity (Welfare) Scheme and able to act for individuals in applications challenging the deprivation of their liberty.

Polly is also the Chair of the Law Society’s Mental Health and Disability Committee and a contributing author to the leading Legal Action Group publication – Disabled Children Handbook (2nd and 3rd editions). She regularly provides training to organisations as well as individuals, promoting awareness of legal rights and duties. She has been asked to give oral evidence to a number of parliamentary groups including:
- The Westminster Commission on Legal Aid – Inquiry into the sustainability and recovery of the legal aid sector (report published October 2021)
- The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities – Inquiry into the experiences of young people with SEND and their educational transitions during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 (report published Spring 2021)

Polly was named “Gazette Legal Personality of the Year” at the Law Society’s Excellence Awards 2020 for her ‘high profile campaigning role in litigation to maintain the educational rights of children with special educational needs’.

She was named Solicitor of the Year at Bristol Law Society Awards in 2014 and Assistant / Associate of the Year at Birmingham Law Society Awards in 2012. Polly was profiled in the Law Society Gazette in September 2021 about her journey into public law and human rights.

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Questions they have asked

Answers [6]

Questions they have answered

  • Is there somewhere I can go for a quick overview of the EHCP process?

    SEND Kids
    Support SEND Kids

    22 Jun 2021

    Watched by 17
  • Does anyone have any advice about 'school refusal'? My child, aged 14 hasn't been in school since Dec 2020. How can we help breakdown the barriers and help them return to school?

    O T
    Family with ADHD, ASD, dyslexia

    03 Mar 2022

    Watched by 6
  • What are the legal consequences on parents of 'school refusal'? My child, aged 14 hasn't been in school since December 2020. Will be we fined, or imprisoned? (My child is in private school, does that make a difference?)

    O T
    Family with ADHD, ASD, dyslexia

    03 Mar 2022

    Watched by 6
  • When my child has an EHCP, can I choose their school?

    Liz Chappell
    Support SEND Kids

    22 Mar 2022

    Watched by 3
  • Do I need to take a solicitor with me to the EHCP interim review?

    Sara Smyth
    SEN Mum

    28 Jul 2021

    Watched by 118
  • Did you navigate the Needs Assessment/EHCP process without having to appeal? If so, what helped with your success?

    SEND Kids
    Support SEND Kids

    02 May 2021

    Watched by 5