Preferred School Placement Secured for Child with Dyslexia Case Study

Client Situation

Our Education Law Solicitors were contacted by the family of a child with additional support needs attending a mainstream primary school. The family’s son had a diagnosis of dyslexia and they required legal advice and assistance on challenging the Local Authority’s decision not to place him in a specialist dyslexia placement.

The family were understandably anxious as their son was not making the age-related expected progress in his learning and was significantly behind his peers. The family was concerned that his speech and language needs were not fully addressed in his current primary school setting. The child was becoming increasingly isolated and was becoming increasingly aware that he was not in line with his peers’ learning levels.

The family’s son had a full time 1:1 Teaching Assistant. However, they were still dissatisfied with the progress he was making. His mainstream primary school was unable to meet his respective Special Educational Needs (SEN). The family therefore required legal advice and assistance on appealing to the First Tier Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEN) Tribunal following the issuing of the final Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

How We Helped

Our Education Law Solicitors considered the merits of the case and provided legal advice on the appeal to the First Tier Tribunal. The client instructed us to run the appeal in its entirety from lodging the SEN Tribunal appeal to then negotiating with the Local Authority to resolve the matter without the case proceeding all the way to the Tribunal.

The clients had numerous reports and instructed our Solicitors to negotiate with the Local Authority to help the Local Authority understand that the current placement was no longer suitable.

Through careful and detailed negotiation with the Local Authority, the clients were able to successfully highlight that the current placement was not suitable and further that there were no other suitable alternatives that the Local Authority could provide. The only option therefore was the client’s proposed school.

The Outcome

The Local Authority agreed the client’s preferred school was the only viable alternative for their son. It agreed to a Consent Order amending the plan to name the school at an early stage rather than fighting all the way to the First Tier Tribunal.

As well as a successful result, the benefits for the client included much lower costs than had the matter proceeded to a hearing.

The appeal was lodged in late September 2018. The client’s son started in their preferred placement in January 2019.

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