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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 Bedford

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

We often provide specialist education law advice in Bedford to secure special educational needs support for children and young people. This can entail 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:

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

If a young person has difficulties in accessing education, school or facilities at school and requires support beyond that typically made for young people of the same age, they likely have special educational needs.

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

Bedford SEN teams must comply with the Children and Families Act 2014 and the SEND Code of Practice 2015. They also adhere to their own policies which in our experience can water down the law and confuse the legal criteria.  Often this can lead to SEN teams making unfortunate decisions which is why parents require specialist advice from us. 

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

Central Bedfordshire’s SEN policies and guidance can be found here:

http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/children/sen-disability/landing.aspx

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:

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

What is SEN Support in Bedfordshire?

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

http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/children/sen-disability/education/ehcp/overview.aspx

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

http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/children/sen-disability/local-offer/overview.aspx

The Process

Usually, 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 Central Bedfordshire 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.

How can I get an EHCP in Bedfordshire?

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

http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/Images/ehc-needs-assessment_tcm3-4952.pdf

Parents are reminded that Central Bedfordshire have to follow legal procedure.

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.

 

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