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Education Law

Expert Education Law advice courtesy of the dedicated team of nationally respected specialist lawyers at HCB.

  • Comprehensive advice on all aspects of education law
  • Proven expertise in special educational needs and higher education law

Special Educational Needs help in Lincolnshire

Our education lawyers have helped many parents and young people across Lincolnshire and we have provided expert advice to secure special educational needs (SEN) support for children, young people and families not only in Lincolnshire, but also across the country.

What are Special Educational Needs in Lincolnshire?

The Children and Families Act 2014 defines special educational needs.

Children with Special Educational Needs all have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than most children of the same age. These children may need extra or different help from that given to other children of the same age. Children with Special Educational Needs may have a range of difficulties with for example:

  • Cognition and Learning (Thinking and Understanding)
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Helath (How they behave)
  • Sensory and/or Physical difficulties
  • Communication and Interaction

If you are not sure whether your child or young person has special educational needs, you should seek specific legal advice.

Whilst all local authorities must comply with the Children and Families Act 2014, and the SEND Code of Practice 2015, most local authorities, including Lincolnshire, operate under their own SEN policies. These policies, however, will usually over simplify the law and confuse quire complex rules and often lead to poor decision making. This is often why parents in Lincolnshire seek SEN advice from us.

You can find the SEND Code of Practice here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/398815/SEND_Code_of_Practice_January_2015.pdf

 What is SEN Support in Lincolnshire?

Lincolnshire’s SEN policies and guidance can be found here:

https://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/parents/schools/sen/

You can also find below details of the Local Offer that Lincolnshire’s special educational needs team has prepared. This explains what support is available for special educational needs in Lincolnshire.

http://search3.openobjects.com/kb5/lincs/fsd/localoffer.page?familychannel=2

A child’s school will usually identify where a child has SEN and, in this scenario, the Special Educations Needs Coordinator (SENCo) within the school should plan additional support for the child. This follows a cycle called “Assess, Plan, Do, Review”.

The child, young person and their parents/guardians should liaise with the school regarding planned support for the child’s SEN. Schools receive a delegated budget to support children and young people with special educational needs, however this is finite and will often limit the support that can be available unless the local authority makes an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

In some instances, however, the school do not identify that a pupil has SEN and in this case it is necessary to request and EHC needs assessment of the child’s special educational needs from the local authority. It is also recommended that you seek an EHCP where the child or young person needs more support than the school can provide. It is important to note that there is not requirement to try the ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review’ cycle before seeking an EHC needs assessment.

How can I get an EHCP in Lincolnshire?

The guidance for securing an EHC needs assessment and EHCP in Lincolnshire can be found here:

http://search3.openobjects.com/kb5/lincs/fsd/site.page?id=FeKONq-TA8M

Whilst this guide is useful to explain how to qualify for an EHCP in Lincolnshire, it is important to note that the local authority also has legal duties they must comply with.

Before the local authority will issue an EHCP, they must complete an EHC needs assessment. If the local authority determines that it is necessary for an EHCP to be implemented, one will be issued.

The definition of the term ‘necessary’ has been the focus of much litigation. The local authority must take into consideration the special educational provision that they require, and whether a mainstream school can provide adequate support.

If the local authority does not feel that an EHCP is necessary, and refuse to issue one, you can appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.

Where can I find SEN legal advice in Lincolnshire?

If you need advice from our specialist SEN solicitors about any of the issues discussed above, please contact us on 02920 291 704.

 

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