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Special Educational Needs in Ceredigion
Our special education needs (SEN) solicitors have helped many parents and young people in Ceredigion and have experience of working across the country.
We have provided expert education law advice in Ceredigion to secure special educational needs support for several children, young people and families.
Our specialist education law solicitors have dealt with Ceredigion County Council on numerous matters. This can involve an appeal to the Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales.
What are Special Educational Needs in Ceredigion?
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 can affect everything from:
- physical ability
- concentration levels
- ability to understand
- hearing and/or visual impairment
- reading, writing and spelling
- social skills.
If a child or young person has difficulties in accessing school, education, 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.
Ceredigion SEN teams operate under their own policies, but also must comply with the Education Law 1996 and the SEN Code of Practice for Wales. Whilst the law can be complicated, in our experience the policies can overly simplify the law and confuse quite complex rules. This can result in poor decision making. That is often why parents in Ceredigion seek special educational needs advice from us.
If the special educational needs team in Ceredigion relies on policies exclusively, rather than the law, this can lead to difficulties. We have extensive experience of providing special educational needs advice in Ceredigion. We have helped several families successfully appeal to SENTW against decisions taken by Ceredigion County Council SEN team.
Ceredigion’s SEN policies and guidance can be found here.
We would always advise parents to make sure that they focus on the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice and current legislation, rather than Ceredigion County Council’s SEN policies only. The SEN Code of Practice can be found here.
What is SEN Support in Ceredigion?
Normally, schools will identify that a child or young person has special educational needs. When this happens, the class teacher and Additional Learning Needs Coordinator (ALNCo), will plan additional support and arrange provision from the school’s own resources.
If the school does not identify a pupil with special educational needs, it may be necessary to seek a statutory assessment of their special educational needs from Ceredigion County Council. This is a formal and legal process.
If the child or young person needs more support than the school can provide, a Statement of SEN will be required to assist them. It is very important to note that there is no requirement to try the graduated response of School Action or School Action Plus before seeking a statutory assessment or a Statement of SEN; this can be requested at any time. An Individual Education Plan (IEP) is also not a document that has any legal force.
How can I get a Statement in Ceredigion?
The guidance for securing a statutory assessment and Statement of Special Educational Needs in Ceredigion can be found here.
This can be a helpful guide to know how to qualify for a Statement of SEN in Ceredigion. However, it is important to know that the Authority must comply with its legal duties, as well as operating its own policies.
Before a Statement of SEN can be issued, Ceredigion County Council must make a statutory assessment.
At the conclusion of the assessment, Ceredigion County Council will decide whether a Statement of SEN is necessary.
The term “necessary” has been the focus of much litigation. It means that the Local Authority must consider the subjective needs of the child or young person, the special educational provision that they need and whether it is reasonably likely that a mainstream school can deliver that support.
If Ceredigion refuses to make and maintain a Statement to cater for the child’s additional learning needs, you can appeal to the Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales.
Where can I find SEN legal advice in Ceredigion?
We have helped in the following ways:
- Formally requesting a statutory assessment with Ceredigion County Council
- Successful appeals to Tribunal against Ceredigion’s refusal to make and maintain a Statement of SEN
- Successful appeals to Tribunal against Ceredigion’s refusal to conduct a statutory assessment
- Successfully appealing to Tribunal against Ceredigion for additional support
- Successfully appealing to Tribunal against Ceredigion for placements at specialist/independent schools