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Another £45 million spent on SEND implementation

Laura Parratt
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The Department for Education (DfE) has announced a further £45 million for SEND services The package of support worth nearly £45 million is to provide additional help for children with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities....

Homeschooling and SEN

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A recent article published by the BBC entitled “Horrendous Meltdown: Why I home-educate my daughter” highlights how a lack of school support has led to an increase in the number of children with learning difficulties being home schooled. The...

Mental Health Services in England - the not so shocking truth

Laura Carr
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The Care Quality Commission have today published the phase one report   of their review of children and young people’s mental health services which ultimately reveals, as expected, that too many children and young people “have a poor...

Ombudsman - SEN families face 'disproportionate burden'

Ed Duff
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The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGO) has released a report concerning its investigation into the first 100 complaints it has received about Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs). The Ombudsman’s covering article is entitled...

Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales reports on appeals

Laura Parratt
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HCB Solicitors recently attended the Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales (SENTW) User Group Meeting 2017.   During the user group, the SENTW presented information about the appeals that it had dealt with during the year 2016/17.   In...

When is an EHCP necessary? - New Upper Tribunal case

Laura Parratt
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The Upper Tribunal has recently published its judgment for JP v Sefton MBC [2017] UKUT 0364 (AAC). This case concerns the statutory test of “necessity” for an Educational Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This case can be useful for parents who...

Pupils with Special Educational Needs ten times more likely to be excluded

Ed Duff
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The Welsh Government recently published data concerning permanent fixed term exclusions from schools for the period 2015 to 2016.    This data indicates that children and young people with Special Educational Needs in Wales are at significantly...

Clamp Down on Contract Cheating in Higher Education

Laura Parratt
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A recent news article by the BBC ‘ Essay cheat companies face university ban ’ discusses how new guidance for universities requires them to clamp down on so-called ‘essay mills’; businesses allowing students to purchase essays and...

Adopted Children and Special Educational Needs

Ed Duff
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The BBC has recently published an article entitled “We’re scared of our adopted son”.  The article can be found here , and deals with what psychiatrists have started to refer to as “callous unemotional traits”.  ...

The ongoing battle for SEN support

Laura Carr
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  A recent article published by the Guardian highlights that families are facing significant challenges securing SEN support for their children. It seems that families are simply giving up on seeking EHC needs assessments because of the barriers...

Increase in Social Care labeling SEN parents as "difficult"

Nathan Davies
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It is common, in my experience, for parents of children with autism to feel that concerns expressed to local authority professionals are often discarded, or that there is a distinct lack of understanding of the condition itself. This leads to disputes and...

GCSE results not what you expected? Here's what to do

Laura Carr
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In England today pupils will be receiving their GCSE grades however; they will look extremely different to how many of us remember them. This year students are the first to be awarded numerical grades for GCSE’s with 9 being the highest down to 1,...

HELP! My A Level results are not what I was expecting - what can I do?

Laura Carr
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Today, many anxious students in England and Wales will receive their A-level results. This year in particular there is much apprehension regarding these results due to the changes in the qualification system, which has seen many A-level courses removing the...

School transport and Special Educational Needs

Ed Duff
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The Upper Tribunal has released two cases in the last year which deal with school transport and special educational needs. The judgments particularly look at transport being included in an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). There has been a fair amount...

Unlawful EHC needs assessments

Ed Duff
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We have recently been approached by a concerned parent about one local authority’s approach to EHC Needs Assessments. The concern particularly relates to the apparent policy of the Local Authority to refuse to make a Social Care Needs Assessment as...

Parents of Children with ASD Continue to be Targeted by Local Authorities

Nathan Davies
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Earlier in the year, I wrote a series of blogs regarding the variety of unsavoury tactics employed by Local Authorities across England and Wales who attempt to discredit parents of children with special educational needs. I referred to intervention from...

Pupils with SEN, or in Academies, significantly more likely to be excluded

Ed Duff
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The Department for Education has now published the updated statistics for the permanent and fixed period exclusions that were issued in England from 2015 to 2016. These statistics were published on 20th July 2017 and can be found here . This data covers...

Will Law - outdated and in need of change?

Ellie Richards
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A recent news article on BBC News titled ‘Will Law should be brought into the ‘modern world’ discusses how the Law Commission for England and Wales believes the current rules governing Will Law to be ‘unclear’ and puts people...

How Is School Suitability Assessed?

Ed Duff
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We have recently successfully opposed an Application for Permission to Appeal brought by a Local Authority following a decision of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. The Local Authority did not agree with the decision of the Special...

Higher Education and Special Educational Needs

Ed Duff
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The judgment of the Upper Tribunal in the matter of Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea v GG (SEN) has been released.  This judgment is very important for all learners over the age of 16, particularly those who are wishing to secure courses...

Government Tells Parents to Use YouTube, not Lawyers, in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal

Ed Duff
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We recently wrote about a very substantial release of information by the Department for Education. That release served to review parents' and families' experiences of the new Special Educational Needs and Disability system and their experiences of...

Government Reviews Special Educational Needs and Disability Reforms

Ed Duff
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Over the last few days the Department for Education has released three very substantial documents which all relate to a review of the special educational needs and disability reforms. The first document is entitled "Review of Arrangements for...

Can Outcomes Be Appealed?

Ed Duff
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The judgment of the Upper Tribunal in the case of S v Worcestershire County Council [SEN] has now been released. This new Special Educational Needs decision deals with three key points; 1. The operation of Children and Families Act 2014 in appeals...

Deputyship Explained

Geraint Aubrey
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What is a Deputy? A Deputy is a person appointed by the court to handle the affairs of another person who lacks the mental capacity to do this themselves. The power to handle someone’s affairs when they lose mental capacity does not fall automatically...

Probate Court Fee Changes

Geraint Aubrey
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Despite overwhelming opposition during the consultation period, the Ministry of Justice has recently announced radical changes to the Probate Court fee. Presently, the court fee is fixed at £155 for professionals or £215 for individuals. The fee...

Upper Tribunal Confirms Duties to Provide Post-16 Education

Ed Duff
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The judgment in Gloucester County Council v EH (SEN) has been released today. This is very important for all special educational needs cases involving post-16 young people. It is also very interesting in light of the recent DfE Guidance on the topic. In...

Massive set back for post-19 SEN provision

Ed Duff
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The Department for Education has published a new guidance document entitled “SEND: 19- to 25- year olds’ entitlement to EHC Plans”.  The guidance document can be found here and was published on 21 st February 2017. It is notable...

Are the Welsh Assembly listening to concerns about special educational needs reform?

Ed Duff
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On 26 January 2017 the Welsh Assembly’s Children, Young People and Education Committee sought advice in respect of reforming how children and young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN) are supported. We attended the event on 26 January and,...

SEN and failed adoptions

Andrew Barrowclough
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A very worrying recent BBC news article simply titled ‘I sent my adopted son back into care’ has highlighted a number of significant failings in the UK adoption system. The essential issue is that families are not supported appropriately post...

Welsh Assembly seeks expert advice on special educational needs

Ed Duff
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Wales is currently reviewing how to support children and young people with special educational needs (SEN). Today, we were fortunate enough to contribute at a roundtable event hosted by the Welsh Assembly’s Children, Young People and Education...

Social Care and Autism in Practice - Use of Child Protection Procedures

Nathan Davies
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Following an overwhelming response to a blog on this very subject in December, it would be worthwhile picking apart the specifics of what was discussed in that blog and how social care practice (especially in cases involving children and young people with...

Mental Health and special educational needs

Ed Duff
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Prime Minister, Teresa May, gave a speech on 9 January 2017 to the Charity Commission’s annual meeting. Mrs May took the opportunity to declare her Government’s intention to focus on mental health services. Mrs May set out: “What I am...

Residential schools, home tuition and special educational needs

Ed Duff
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The judgement for East Sussex County Council v TW has been released. This relatively short judgement is likely to be very important for: Special educational needs (SEN) appeals seeking residential schools SEN appeals discussing home tuition Deciding...

Parents Face New Obstacle in Fight for SEN Support

Nathan Davies
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Parents of children with complex needs, by and large, already have great difficulties in obtaining the required level of support, understanding from Local Authority professionals and also funding for a suitable placement that would meet the needs of the...

Can super parenting cure autism?

Laura Carr
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A recent news article on BBC News is titled “super parenting improves children’s autism”.  The article talks about the latest trend of communication specialists providing parents with ‘super’ parenting techniques in...

Parents in Wales Still Getting a Raw Deal

Nathan Davies
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The specialist education law solicitors at HCB often hear very concerning stories from parents about misinformation that is provided by Local Authorities to parents as to their rights in obtaining additional support for their children with additional...

The current LEA approach to dyslexia

Andrew Barrowclough
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A number of our SEN solicitor experts have noticed a concerning trend throughout England and Wales concerning the policies being implemented to support dyslexic children. Dyslexia is a recognised disability and can have a devastating effect on a young...

Students and stress: why mental health matters

Laura Carr
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It's that time of year again where students are arriving or returning to University with parent's cars full of belongings and enough tupperware of Spag Bol to feed the entire campus. The physical wellbeing of students is often discussed openly...

Exam concessions are not cheating

Nathan Davies
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A quite astonishing article published recently in The Daily Telegraph in Sydney illustrates how mainstream schools and in many respects the media deal with special educational needs in schools. The article ...

GCSE Results and the Law

Andrew Barrowclough
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Today thousands of students across the U.K have been given their GCSE results and the vast majority will have worked hard and will have been appropriately rewarded with good grades. Our specialist education law solicitors are however often contacted at this...

How to Support Your Dyslexic Child

Nathan Davies
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The SEN solicitors at HCB are often instructed by parents who are worried about their child who has specific learning difficulties (dyslexia). Parents often seek the assistance of the special educational needs solicitors within the department at various...

The legal rights of PHD students

Andrew Barrowclough
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Our expert higher education lawyers are often asked to advise PHD students further to an unsuccessful attempt to obtain a doctorate and this area of education law is in itself a very specialist niche area. The legal position regarding PHD students is...

Concern over Lack of Support for SEN Pupils

Nathan Davies
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A recent poll conducted by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers revealed that a large proportion of staff interviewed (over 80%) were of the opinion that more needs to be done to assist vulnerable and disabled pupils. One of the key concerns raised by...

Should I go to Mediation or the SEN tribunal?

Andrew Barrowclough
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Our specialist education law solicitors are often asked about the issue of mediation and whether it is worthwhile for parents in England. The Children and Families Act 2014 introduced for the first time the need for mandatory mediation to be considered by...

Special Educational needs and school transport

Nathan Davies
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A recent article has highlighted the significant problems that parents face with school transport for their disabled children. Brandon Presley, from Torbay in Devon, has profound learning disabilities and travels to school on the privately-operated...

The misuse of fitness to practice procedures

Nathan Davies
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The specialist education law solicitor team at HCB have many years of experience in assisting students who are subjected to a fitness to practice process. Fitness to practice procedures are a common way in which Universities discipline students for conduct...

Student penalised for opening a message

Andrew Barrowclough
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A recent article that appeared on the BBC website helps to highlight the difficulties that students often face when being accused of an act of dishonesty. The unusual situation came about when eighteen-year-old A-Level student Fabienne Ruttledge was...

Academic appeals advice

Andrew Barrowclough
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Higher education law is a complex area where students often need expert guidance from specialist higher education law solicitors. Recently many students have discovered whether or not they have been successful with obtaining their desired University Award...

Compulsory Autism Training for School Staff Announced

Nathan Davies
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Last week in a Daily Telegraph article  it was revealed by the Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan MP that autism training will now become a key aspect of core teacher training in future. Until this new initiative was announced, no formal training for...

How Parents Can Save Money on Additional Education

Nathan Davies
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In practice, it is becoming more commonplace for the specialist education law solicitors at HCB to see parents of children with additional learning needs paying privately for additional intervention and/or therapies to help them make progress. Parents will...

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