Special School Placement for Boy Out of School for 4 Years

Yolanda Shamash
Author:
Yolanda Shamash
Education and Community Care Paralegal
Date:
23/11/2021

We helped Ross get a special school placement after he was out of school for 4 years and we are helping his family make an EHCP appeal to get even more support for Ross and his family.

Ross* is a young boy with severe Special Educational Needs (SEN) including Autism, Global Developmental Delay, ADHD and severely limited communication.
He had an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), but his family had been seeking a specialist school placement for him for over four years, and he had been out of school for two years when his mother came to our Education Law team for legal advice.

At first, Ross was offered a place at a mainstream primary school on a severely reduced timetable of just 1 hour a day. This arrangement meant that not only was Ross not receiving an education or the therapies he needed, but also it left his family with almost no respite from caring for him.

During the 1 hour a day he did spend at school, around half that time was spent settling him into the class, as he would become upset at being left and found it difficult to adapt to the new environment. This placement did not last long, as the school declared it could not meet his needs.

When Ross’ family came to us seeking education advice, Ross was out of education and not receiving any specialist input from Speech and Language Therapist or Occupational Therapists.

Ross’ mother was at a loss at what to do, having tried for four years to get him into a suitable placement.
I was happy to take the case on, supervised by Education Solicitor Esther Salter.

Threatening Judicial Review

Under Legal Help funding, we helped Ross’ family in threatening the Local Authority with a Judicial Review, on three grounds:

    1. Failure to provide suitable and full-time education to Ross, in accordance with Section 19 of the Education Act 2014
    2. Failure to meet the provision set out in Ross’ EHCP, in accordance with Section 42 of the SEND Regulations 2014
    3. Breach of Ross’ right to education, in accordance with Protocol 1, Article 2 of the ECHR

We sent a Letter Before Action setting out the Local Authority’s failures and what Ross’ family were seeking for him.

After four years of Ross’ family being dismissed and told that there were unpreventable delays and issues with paperwork, by threatening Judicial Review we finally got the Local Authority moving.

After some chasing on our part, the Local Authority amended and finalised Ross’ EHCP, naming a nearby specialist school in Section I.

Getting the Right Support

Ross has now started school, and is having his needs formally assessed for the first time in four years.
Having been without any form of therapeutic support for all those years, Ross now needs additional support to catch up and make developmental progress.

So as well as getting Ross into a better school, we are now also helping his family appeal the contents of his EHCP by bringing an EHCP Appeal at the First Tier Tribunal.

Under Legal Help funding, we can get a variety of expert assessments and reports, such as:

  • Speech and Language Therapy reports
  • Occupational Therapy reports
  • Educational Psychologist reports
  • Independent Social Care assessment and report

These reports can help us identify his needs, and the provision needed to meet those needs.

As part of the appeal, we will get an Independent Social Care assessment and report on Ross under Legal Help funding to work out whether Ross’ family need additional support to care for him, for example respite breaks or social clubs for Ross during the school holidays.

We hope that in bringing this appeal we can get Ross’ plan updated and secure more therapeutic provision for him, so that he can catch up on the education he’s missed and meet his full potential.

If your child is out of school and you don’t know what to do, get in touch with our Education Lawyers today.

*Ross’ name has been changed for legal reasons

For legal advice call our Education Solicitors

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