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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 Cambridgeshire

We are education law solicitors in Cambridgeshire who work with parents who have children with special educational needs across the country. We have assisted many parents and young people within Cambridgeshire.

We regularly provide bespoke special educational needs law advice to parents in Cambridgeshire to secure specialist support for children and young people. This can involve an appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.

What are Special Educational Needs?

Special educational needs are any difficulty a child or young person has in accessing education.

Special educational needs (SEN) affect how a person learns. The needs entail a wide range of disabilities including:

  • physical ability
  • hearing and/or visual impairment
  • concentration levels
  • ability to understand
  • behaviour
  • writing
  • reading
  • social skills.

It is likely that a young person will have special educational needs if they have difficulties in accessing education, school or facilities at school and require support beyond that normally made for young people of the same age.

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

SEN teams within Cambridgeshire must comply with the Children and Families Act 2014 and the SEND Code of Practice 2015. In our experience they can also adhere to their own policies which may dilute the law or cause confusion. Often this can lead to SEN teams making poor decisions which is why parents require specialist advice from us. 

We have vast experience of providing special educational needs advice in Cambridgeshire. We have helped many families to successfully appeal via a Tribunal against decisions made by Cambridgeshire County Council.

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

https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/children-and-families/

We always advise parents to make sure they follow the law and guidance rather than relying on Bedfordshire’s SEN policies only. The SEN Code of Practice can be found here.

What is SEN Support in Cambridgeshire?

Cambridgeshire’s SEN page in relation to Education, Health and Care Needs assessments and plans can be found here:

https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/children-and-families/local-offer/education-health-and-care-plan-ehcp/

Cambridgeshire’s special educational needs team has prepared a Local Offer. The Local Offer details what support is available for special educational needs in Cambridgeshire. The Local Offer can be found here:

https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/children-and-families/local-offer/

The Process

Typically, the school will identify that a young person has special educational needs. Following this the class teacher and Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) will put together a plan of additional support. This is delivered via a cycle called “Assess, Plan, Do, Review”.

If the school does not identify a pupil with special educational needs, it may be necessary to request an EHC needs assessment of the child’s needs from the local authority.  

Parents needs to be aware that schools receive a budget, which is an amount of money known as the Delegated Budget, to support children with special educational needs. This can often limit the amount of support that can be available for schools to deliver to children with SEN unless the local authority issues an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

If the child needs more support than the school can provide, an Education, Health and Care Plan may be needed. These discussions should take place between the school and parents. There is no requirement that schools have to try the ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review’ cycle before seeking an EHC needs assessment.

Before an EHCP can be issued, the local authority must make an EHC needs assessment.

At the conclusion of the EHC needs assessment, the local authority will decide whether an Education, Health and Care Plan is necessary. The term “necessary” means that the local authority must consider the subjective needs of the young person, the special educational provision that they need and whether it is reasonably likely that a mainstream school can deliver that support.

If the local authority refuses to make an EHCP, you can appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.

Where can I find SEN legal advice in Cambridgeshire?

Our special education needs solicitors provide advice in Cambridgeshire. To contact our specialist education lawyers, please call 02920 291 704

We are able to help in the following ways:

  • securing an EHC needs assessment in Cambridgeshire
  • securing an EHCP in Cambridgeshire
  • Successful appeals to Tribunal against Cambridgeshire County Council refusal to make an EHCP
  • Successful appeals to Tribunal against Cambridgeshire County Council refusal to make an EHC needs assessment
  • Successfully appealing to Tribunal against Cambridgeshire County Council for additional support
  • Successfully appealing to Tribunal against Cambridgeshire County Council for specialist school places

 

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