How we’re Supporting Children with Cerebral Palsy
Our Education Law Solicitors understand how important it is for your child with Cerebral Palsy to get the extra support they need for their Special Educational Needs (SEN). As it’s World Cerebral Palsy Day on 6th October, we discuss how you can get the support they need.
Cerebral Palsy affects every child differently, in some cases it may be considered to be mild and in other cases it can be more severe. This is why it’s so important that the provision that the Local Authority provides is tailored to your child’s unique needs.
Provision can include making sure your child has the support they need in the classroom as well as making sure they’re at the right school to meet their needs.
As they grow, your child’s needs may change. This means that the provision outlined in your child’s Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) may need reviewing regularly, to make sure that it is still right for them.
The Local Authority have a duty to review your child’s EHCP annually, but you can ask them to do sooner if you feel the provision in the plan is no longer right.
If you feel your child’s needs aren’t being met, for example if the Local Authority is refusing to issue an EHCP or the contents of the EHCP isn’t right, our Education Law Solicitors can help you.
Are the Local Authority Doing Enough?
Some issues that we see often see with the way EHCPs are written is that:
- They are not always up to date
- They aren’t always specific enough
- The Local Authority fail to name a school in the EHCP
Both of these issues could have a big impact on the kind of support that a child with Cerebral Palsy receives.
The EHCP isn’t Specific Enough
Often Section F of the EHCP (the part that outlines the provision and support that your child needs) are not specific enough in the provision listed. For example, it may state that there should be a Teaching Assistant in the classroom. But this doesn’t always specify how much help and time the Teaching Assistant may need to give to just your child rather than the class as a whole.
This vagueness can leave your child’s provision somewhat up to interpretation, which could make a big difference for a child with Cerebral Palsy, as there’s no blanket support that is suitable for Local Authorities and schools to offer every child. It needs to be individual to that child’s needs.
This is why it is vital that your child’s EHCP is specific, and why it’s so important to challenge the Local Authority’s decision if you know it’s not right for your child.
No School Named in EHCP
Some children with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) need a lot of support throughout the school day. This means that some children can benefit from going to schools that specialise in teaching children with SEND.
We know that these schools aren’t always accessible for everyone, and some schools may only be able to admit limited amounts of children. If your child’s school isn’t named in their EHCP, and you only have a type of school named, then the EHCP doesn’t guaranteed a place at a specific school.
How We Can Help You
Our Education and SEN Lawyers can help if your child has Cerebral Palsy and the Local Authority:
- Are refusing to carry out an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment (EHCNA) to reassess your child’s needs
- Have refused to issue an EHCP
- Have failed to name a school in your child’s EHCP
- Haven’t written the EHCP in enough detail, or it isn’t specific enough in Section F
- Are refusing to review your child’s EHCP as their needs have changed
- Aren’t sticking to the deadlines in giving you their decision about the EHCP
If your child has Cerebral Palsy, we know how frustrating and upsetting it can be if they’re not getting the support that they need. We can help you and your child to get provision that’s tailored to their individual circumstances.
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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Bristol, Cardiff, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.