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To vaccinate, or not to vaccinate: Issues for the parents of 2021

Antonia Kirby
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There are many decisions which arise in a child’s life that can cause conflict between separated parents; what name they should be known by, whether they should be raised vegan, where or how they should be educate, what religion they follow. However,...

Beyond Crisis?

Amy Fair
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A recent article published by the BBC suggests Support for pupils who have special needs is "beyond crisis".  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-58474416 The article details how a resounding 97% of those who took part in a survey...

A-levels and GCSEs procedure 2021

Robert Slade
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Results day, mitigating circumstances and appealing grades. As the classes of 2021 gets ready for their results to be issued, this has been a trying and stressful time for students and their parents. The uncertainty and doubt surrounding this process is...

National Trial to Continue

Jarrad Williams
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Recently the Department of Education confirmed that the extended powers given to the Special Educational Needs Tribunal to make non-binding recommendations regarding the health and social care aspects of an Education health and care plan would continue...

Government commits to date for introduction of No Fault Divorce

Faye Williamson
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It has been announced that the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020, which will allow couples to get divorced without putting one of them at fault, will come onto force on the 6 April 2022. This is somewhat later than it was hoped, as the Act was...

Fitness to Practise

Robert Slade
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If you are a university student involved in a professional course, you’ve likely been told about fitness to practise. Most professional bodies (like the GMC and the HCPC) make fitness to practise a requirement for anyone looking to register to...

Office of Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education

Rhys Palmer
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As the official website for the OIA states, 1,967 complaints were made to the OIA by students in 2018. However, only 4% of these complaints were declared ‘justified’. The complaints procedure adopted by the OIA is a relatively clear process; so...

Specification within an EHCP - "When enough is enough"

Laura Carr
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London Borough of Redbridge v H O (SEN): [2020] UKUT 323 (AAC) Specification within an EHCP - “When enough is enough”   This recent appeal was brought by the Local Authority in respect of the level of specificity to be included within an...

How Will the Third Lockdown Affect Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs, in England and Wales?

Holly Blacklaws
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Following the respect announcements of a third lockdown for both Wales and England, and the subsequent announcement that schools would be closed to most pupils, the Governments have issued amended legislation and updated guidance as to how this will affect...

Government reforms to make it easier for Leaseholders to buy their houses

John Buckle
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The Government has announced that it will tackle the controversial issue of people who have bought their houses with leasehold title.  Under the current law, many people face paying high ground rents, which are often increased with little or no benefit...

School Exclusion - 2020 update

Rhys Palmer
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Our Specialist Education Lawyers receive calls on a regular basis from parents following a decision by a school to permanently exclude their child. Our expert education solicitors appreciate the concerns that parents have regarding the effect that the...

New Additional Learning Needs System for Wales From September 2021

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Update - New Additional Learning Needs System for Wales From September 2021. In line with my previous blogs regarding the new Additional Needs System within Wales, there have been two recent developments on this same subject. The Welsh Government has...

A further update on the forthcoming new Additional Learning Needs (ALN) system within Wales

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Update ALN Bill - A Written Statement by Kirsty Williams, Minister of Education regarding the  implementation of the new Additional Learning Needs (ALN) system in Wales. Further to my earlier blog, Kirsty Williams MS, Minister for Education has...

Update on the impending Additional Learning Needs (ALN) Transformation within Wales

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Update on the impending Additional Learning Needs (ALN) Transformation within Wales. It is not an understatement to say that this year our lives have been dramatically turned upside down due to the Coronavirus pandemic. For a moment of time, the whole...

GCSE and A Level Results - How can I appeal my results?

Rhys Palmer
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GCSE AND A LEVEL RESULTS: HOW CAN I APPEAL MY RESULTS? The collection of A-Level results and GCSE results are usually a difficult, emotional and trying time for any student. However, this year, students have been collecting their A-level results for exams...

Ban on evictions extended by 2 months to protect renters

John Buckle
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Residential tenants have now been given further protection as the government has extended the suspension of evictions for a further two months. Where tenants do experience financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic, the government is urging...

Prospective University Students - To Accept Or Defer?

Rhys Palmer
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  The coronavirus pandemic has affected all aspects of our day-to-day lives and this has particularly affected university students.  The effect spans out to prospective students, current students and those students who are due to graduate this...

University Fees & Student Finance - Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Rhys Palmer
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  There are many current and prospective students across the UK who will have a variety of questions regarding tuition fees and student finance following the outbreak of COVID-19.  Our university solicitors have considered the current position,...

COVID-19: Making a new Will

Adele Stewart
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We are now three weeks into the government's advised lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, something that none of us could ever have imagined experiencing in our lifetimes. As we are all starting to adjust to the “new normal”, many of us are...

New measures to protect commercial tenants from aggressive rent collection and closure

John Buckle
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The Business secretary has set out further measures to protect commercial tenants and has asked them to pay what they can during the current coronavirus pandemic. In order to stop what the government describes as tenants being put under undue pressure by...

Universities and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Rhys Palmer
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The coronavirus (COVID-19) has resulted in a state of lockdown throughout the world; which applies to universities throughout the UK. The pandemic has had a significant impact on every aspect of our day-to-day lives. Our university solicitors appreciate that...

Business Interruption insurance - Can you claim?

John Buckle
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Covid-19 is now a notifiable disease and has been officially designated a pandemic by the World Health organization. Businesses should now consider making a claim under any business interruption policy it has. Most policies require any claim to be notified...

Coronavirus and Independent School Fees

Rob Price
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We are now nearly three weeks into the Government’s lockdown measures due to the Coronavirus and we have all had to adjust our lives significantly.  The education landscape has changed dramatically in that time with school closures across the...

Guidance on your children having contact with their other parent during the coronavirus pandemic.

Faye Williamson
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On Monday 23 March 2020 Boris Johnson informed the nation that it will no longer be permitted to leave your home unless you are carrying out one of the following: Essential food shopping Essential work Obtaining medicine/attending to medical needs Daily...

Coronavirus Bill

Holly Blacklaws
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It has been announced today that the Government will be introducing a Corona Virus Bill. The Bill is designed to ease the burden on front line staff and make amendments to the education arrangements currently in place in England and Wales. This Bill, if...

COVID-19 And What That Means For My Property Transaction

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Property transactions can be stressful at the best of times, with the added Coronavirus (COVID-19) uncertainty, naturally, this has increased concern surrounding exchanges and completions, even what impact this may well have on the future market. ...

COVID-19 - GCSE and A Level Examinations

Rhys Palmer
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The Prime Minster has confirmed that examinations in May and June will not be taking place due to school closures following COVID-19. Mr Johnson claims that assurances will be given to make sure that students get the qualifications they need. Students have...

What Coronoavirus (COVID-19) means for your child with Special Educational Needs

Ffion Davies
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The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has officially announced that schools across the United Kingdom are to close indefinitely in an effort to curb the increasing spread of coronavirus. The decision came hours after Wales announced their own blanket school...

HCB Corona Virus Statement

Michael Gahan
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Although our offices now cannot provide public access, HCB is open for business in every other way! HCB Network of Companies is well-prepared for the unprecedented level of disruption to UK business as result of the Corona Virus pandemic. We are writing to...

University Strikes

Rhys Palmer
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  Members of the University and College Union (UCU) have commenced strikes due to disputes relating to pensions, pay and working conditions. These strikes are due to commence for a period of 14 days from 20.02.2020 to 13.03.2020. This will effect...

HCB Solicitors win Best Legal Services 2019 award ​

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We are delighted to announce that HCB Solicitors have won the 2019 ‘Best Legal Services’ award from the Manchester Lifestyle Awards. Our northern offices represent a full service law firm, offering a full range of support for both Individuals...

House of Commons Education Committee - Special educational needs and disabilities - First Report of Session 2019-20

Ffion Davies
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  In 2014, Parliament legislated with the intention of transforming the educational experiences of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. The Children and Families Bill sought to place young people at the heart of...

Thomas Guise joins the HCB Network

Michael Gahan
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    HCB are proud to announce that Thomas Guise Solicitors will be joining our national network. Thomas Guise Solicitors has offices in Worcester, Studley and Birmingham City Centre. In April 2019, managing partner and owner of Thomas Guise,...

Children in prison twice as likely to have special needs

Ffion Davies
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A recent article published by The Independent states that children in prison are twice as like to have special needs. Data from the Ministry of Justice reveals 30 per cent of children who entered custody over 2018-19 were assessed as having special...

New exclusions powers

Ffion Davies
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It has often been reported within the media that children and young people with Special Educational Needs are at significantly greater risk of facing exclusion if they Special Educational Needs. A case was brought to the Special Educational Needs Tribunal,...

Ofsted inspections for top-rated schools to be reinstated

Ffion Davies
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Since 2012, once rated outstanding, English schools have been exempt form routine inspections to free them from external intervention. However, the Department of Education has recently announced the reintroduction of inspections of top-rated schools to...

University - Complaints

Rhys Palmer
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Students spend significant sums of money time and effort studying at University. As such, seeking assistance from a university solicitor is integral to raising a valid complaint and increasing your chance of a successful outcome.   Record numbers...

University - Academic Appeal Advice

Rhys Palmer
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  Our expert higher education lawyers are often asked to advise students who wish to appeal a decision made by a University   Many students have recently been advised whether they have obtained a successful placement at their university of...

Should I use a solicitor to write my Will?

Adele Stewart
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Why should you have a Will? A Will is the only way to ensure that your estate passes to the people that you want it to after you die. It can also lessen the burden on your family when it comes to dealing with your estate, as a Will clearly sets out who...

What is happening with Grant of Probate applications?

Adele Stewart
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  Whether it is an individual executors dealing with an estate or a professional, one thing we both have in common is having to apply for a Grant of Probate. Normally this is a straight forward process and the Grant of Probate or Letters of...

Key terms to be on the look out for in Commercial Leases - Part Three

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  In the final part of this series on the key areas that both Landlords and Tenants need to consider during Lease negotiations, we will cover the Obligations and Liabilities to be covered under this Lease as we as assignment.   Obligations /...

Key Terms to be on the look out for in Commercial Leases - Part Two

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  In a continuation of this series, we continue to cover some further key areas that both landlords and Tenants will need to consider. Previously we covered the important of the Term of the Lease and Property definition. This part covers the important...

Key Terms to be on the look out for in Commercial Leases - Part One

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  As we approach the next quarter date, Landlords and Tenants across the country are looking to enter into new commercial leases. The key requirements of Landlords and Tenants in such lease negotiations tend to vary, with Landlord and Tenants often...

Are wealthy families more likely to win school appeals?

Ellie Richards
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A recent article published by the BBC suggests that families in affluent areas of England are more likely to succeed in getting a school place on appeal.  But why is this case? https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-47881893 The article discusses a...

Council Tax Discount - 'Severely Mentally Impaired'

Rhys Palmer
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  Thousands of individuals who are classed as ‘severely mentally impaired’ may be entitled to a council tax discount AND a refund of overpaid council tax fees. There has been a distinct lack of guidance from councils across England and...

Ofsteds Recent Inspection of Unregistered Schools

Mollie Jones
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  The number of Unregistered Schools continues to increase and a recent article published by the BBC confirms that Local Authority’s are now contributing thousands of pounds a year to such provisions. The information published within the...

Malcolm Dear Whitfield Evans joins the HCB Network of Solicitors

Michael Gahan
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Malcolm Dear Whitfield Evans is proud to announce that they have joined the national network HCB Solicitors.   Membership allows us to increase the size and depth of our solicitor teams to over 300 legal specialists in 25 offices through...

Are Local Authorities failing children with SEN?

Ellie Richards
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A recent news article on Devon online discusses the how Devon County Council is failing children with Special Educational Needs. The article is based on an inspection report carried out by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission which highlighted that too...

School brings landmark judicial review against Medway Council

Ed Duff
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We have recently acted for a school that was forced to bring a Judicial Review of its own local authority, Medway. This case was brought by the school purely because it had clear, evidenced, concerns that it was not able to support a young person’s...

Families waiting too long for special needs support in England

Mollie Jones
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A recent article published by the BBC calls attention to the significant delays that families who require SEN support face. With an increase in applications for Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP’s), families are far too often facing unnecessary...