Our Education Law Solicitors and SEN Lawyers provide legal advice and representation on Special Educational Needs (SEN) matters to parents and professionals including other Solicitors and case mangers.
We also have significant experience of social care work, so we’re very well-placed to advise when there is crossover between the care and education elements of a child’s provision, or when a residential placement may be required.
We’re happy to discuss and provide legal advice at any point which is most beneficial and helpful to you as a family.
For initial advice get in touch with our Education Law Solicitors.
Our Special Educational Needs Legal Advice Services include:
- Initial advice/diagnosis in respect of options to secure the appropriate provision for your child.
- Assisting with requests for education, health and care assessments
- Advising on the timeframes and procedure required for education, health and care assessments (and enforcing those timetables and that procedure)
- Appealing decisions not to carry out education, health and care assessments to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal
- Dealing with disputes over the content of and provision contained within an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
- Disputes relating to provision specified in a plan not being made
- Appeals to obtain placements at independent special schools
- Appeals to obtain a placement at a residential school
- A failure to name a school within a plan
- Disputes over college and post-16/19 provision for young people
- Appeals to the Upper Tier Tribunal on points of law
- Appeals to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal for Wales (SENTW)
We offer a range of packages for Tribunal Appeals and related matters and can tailor our input to suit both your needs and your budget. Our Education Solicitors and Lawyers don’t tend to instruct Barristers to attend Tribunals, as we’re experts in these appeals and conduct the representation ourselves, which assists in managing costs.
Our Solicitors can also act if a provision specified in an Education, Health and Care plan isn’t being made, or there is a delay on the part of a Local Authority, as we have a Legal Aid contract in Education Law. For those parents who aren’t eligible for Legal Aid, we can do the initial work on a private fee paying basis, and if pre-action correspondence doesn’t work, look to obtain Legal Aid in the child’s name to bring Judicial Review proceedings to enforce their rights.
More Information on SEN
We understand that the law can be complicated when it comes to SEN. Ensuring that appropriate provision is in place for children isn’t an easy task, and parents with children with SEN have to navigate a difficult and often confusing system, at the same time as trying to meet their child’s day to day requirements.
Meanwhile, Local Authority budgets are being squeezed, they’re reluctant to agree to conduct Education, Health and Care Needs assessments, and produce appropriately resourced Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs).
Pressures on schools also mean that children with special educational needs might not always be getting the support that they require. There’s sometimes a reluctance on their part to ‘rock the boat’ and advocate for children to get support they need, and they may also internalise the likely negative response from the Local Authority.
In addition, Local Authorities often put barriers in the way to obtain support, not all of which are lawful.
Although the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal try to be as “parent-friendly” as possible, the system is inevitably adversarial and focused on statutory tests and legal procedures.
This means that getting appropriate legal advice is essential. Our Education Law Solicitors are experienced in assisting parents secure provision for children with special educational needs. While some of our Solicitors have previous experience working for Local Authorities, which is very useful, we don’t represent Local Authorities. We represent parents and their children, as opposed to institutions.
For advice and help join our Education Matters Facebook community group here
SEN Legal Advice for Solicitors
Our Education Lawyers are experienced in working closely with other Solicitors who are dealing with children and young people with special educational needs. We assist a number of Deputies and Medical Negligence Solicitors on a regular basis, both whilst litigation is ongoing and after settlement.
We can provide support in ensuring that the future costs of education support are appropriately quantified within a litigation claim. When SEN disputes arise, we can work with other professionals to ensure that their client has access to appropriate support and can secure suitable advice.
SEN Legal Advice for Case Managers
Similar to when we work with other Solicitors, we’re often instructed to work alongside Case Managers either during or after litigation. Typical cases that we have been involved in with case managers include:
- Securing appropriate statutory services for children with SEN (i.e. therapy or 1:1 support within school)
- Advising on disputes with schools, including school exclusions or informal exclusions which are also unlawful
- Difficulties with schools preventing access to external therapists
- Dealing with disputes over school placement and the funding of placements
- Disputes with social care and health services.
For legal advice call our Education Solicitors
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