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Special Educational Needs help in Shropshire
Our specialist education law solicitors have experience of working across the country. We have helped many parents and young people in Shropshire. We have provided expert education law advice in Shropshire to secure special educational needs support for several children, young people and families.
What are Special Educational Needs in Shropshire?
Special educational needs (SEN) affect how a person learns; if a child or young person has trouble accessing education or facilities at the school, and this hinders their learning, they likely have special educational needs.
A child or young person’s SEN will affect not only their reading and writing skills, but also social skills, concentration levels and a child or young person’s ability to understand. SEN can also affect a child or young person’s ability to access facilities in school.
If you are unsure if your child has special educational needs, specialist education law advice in Shropshire is available.
What SEN support is there in Shropshire?
Shropshire’s main SEN webpage can be found below. You will also find here details of Shropshire’s Local Offer which sets out the services that are available in the local area.
In most cases, the child or young person’s school will identify when a child or young person has SEN. The Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) will take responsibility for planning and monitoring additional help for that child or young person.
SEN support uses the ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review’ model. The additional help that the child or young person will receive will vary depending on the circumstances.
The child, young person and their parents/guardians should be involved in discussions with the school about planning support for SEN. You should be clear on the support that is being provided, by whom, and how the progress will be monitored and evaluated. You should be updated a minimum of three times each year.
Parents should note, however, that schools receive a Delegated Budget which should be used to support children and young people with their SEN. It is important to be aware that this Delegated Budget is finite and this will often limit the support that children and young people with SEN are able to receive from the school.
In some instances, the school will not identify that your child has SEN, or the child or young person’s needs simply cannot be met by the school. It is at this point that you should consider starting the application for an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
How can I get an EHCP in Shropshire?
An EHCP is a legal document setting out the child or young person’s special educational needs. It will also consider the views, interests and aspirations of the child or young person, their health and social care needs and provision, the outcomes sought for the child or young person, and the educational placement they should attend.
Before and EHCP can be issued, the local authority must make an EHC needs assessment. The criteria for an EHC needs assessment in Shropshire is set out here:
It is important to stress that Shropshire EHC needs assessments are based on policies, rather than specifically the law. This can often mean that children and young people are refused an EHC needs assessment wrongly.
An EHC needs assessment can be requested by a parent, a young person over the age of 16, an early years setting or school (but only after liaising with the parent first), and any professional working with the child or young person.
At the conclusion of the EHC needs assessment, the local authority will decide whether an EHCP is necessary. The definition of the term ‘necessary’ is much debated. The local authority must consider the subjective needs of the child or young person, the additional help that they require to meet their needs, and whether a mainstream school are able to provide that support.
If the local authority refuses to complete an EHC needs assessment, or if they refuse to make an EHCP, you can appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST). This process, however, can be difficult and it is useful to take specialist legal advice about a SENDIST appeal.
Where can I find SEN legal advice in Shropshire?
If you have any questions about securing an EHCP in Shropshire, are having difficulties securing one, or are facing any of the difficulties mentioned above, our specialist education law solicitors (SEN Solicitors) are here to help.