J Wasn’t Receiving the Proper Support in his School Placement
J’s Prospective Adopters came to us looking for advice on his Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) which they felt did not fully describe the extent of his special educational, health and social care needs, and the support and provision needed for him to meet his potential.
The family were particularly concerned about his placement at the time, which had failed to identify or record any of his seizures at school. Additionally, they did not have a seizure management plan in place, and J’s family felt his current school could not meet his sensory and communication needs.
J was being labelled as “challenging” and was, in his Prospective Adopters’ view, in physical danger due to the lack of understanding of his epilepsy. J’s Prospective Adopters had an alternative school in mind, which they had visited, and spoken with already.
How we Helped
We were instructed to assist the family with an appeal of multiple sections within J’s EHCP in what’s known as a National Trial Appeal.
With Legal Help funding, we were able to obtain up to date reports on J’s needs from an Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist and Occupational Therapist. These helped us to negotiate J’s provision and support with the Local Authority, meaning that by the time we got to Tribunal, the areas of disagreement had already been significantly lessened. However, his placement remained in dispute.
Usually, clients who are financially eligible would receive Legal Help funding for legal representation up until the point of the final hearing and would then have to self-represent. But under Legal Aid Exceptional Case Funding, we were able to secure financial support that enabled us to represent J at the Tribunal final hearing.
This financial aid also covered the attendance of several key expert witness on our side – the Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist, and Independent Social Worker. Their presence helped us to defend our arguments on the necessity of provisions for J that had been disputed and the unsuitable nature of his current placement.