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How Parents Can Save Money on Additional Education

View profile for 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 often engage the services of specialist teachers to provide additional support if their child has specific literacy and numeracy difficulties (such as that offered by highly recommended organisations like Smart Kids) or occupational/speech and language therapists to provide direct therapy to assist children with communication and motor skill difficulties.

The cost of such provision can understandably become substantial over time. However, it is important to note that once a parent has identified that additional provision is required for their child, or that they are not making progress with their learning, then the most beneficial first step is to request a statutory assessment of their child’s special educational needs from their Local Education Authority. By doing so, the Local Authority would determine special educational provision for the child (should they conduct an assessment) and thus should fund provision that the parents have already been paying for up until that point. This would ensure that parents are not funding additional support that the Authority has a legal obligation to provide.

This area of SEN Law can be very complex and the wording of the Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or Statement of Special Educational Needs is very important in setting out precisely what the Authority are liable to fund. It is always advisable that the provision sections of these documents are legally appropriate and thus very specific in the language that they adopt. Vaguely worded EHCPs are very difficult to enforce, especially in the circumstances where a dispute arises between the Authority and the parents.  

The specialist education lawyers at HCB regularly deal with these types of matters which often relate to children with complex needs. Should you be in a similar position and require advice as to how to proceed, then please do not hesitate to call the department today on 02920 291704.