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Who We Help
“The team simply change lives for so many kids and have never lost at trial; confident and excellent advocates.”
We provide special educational needs legal advice for:
We never act for local authorities.
Our special educational needs experts have extensive knowledge of special educational needs law in England and Wales.
English special educational law was split from Welsh special educational needs legislation by the introduction of the Children and Families Act 2014 which brought in Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) as opposed to the Statutory Assessment of Special Educational Needs system which remains in operation in Wales.
We understand that caring for a child or young person with special educational needs is challenging. You are likely to face difficulties securing adequate support for their special educational needs throughout their education.
Every child deserves the best possible education and the opportunity to learn and develop to their very best potential. This is rarely straightforward when it comes to special educational needs. Funding cuts, lengthy local authority processes and system failures all too often stand in the way of your child receiving the support they need.
At HCB Solicitors, we understand that your child has every right to a quality education. Our nationally regarded special educational needs solicitor team is dedicated to sharing the challenges you are facing and to work with you, side-by-side, to ensure your child has the ability to make progress with their education.
We provide you with expert, practical guidance and specialist advice. We understand that you have to have a relationship with other professionals after our involvement. Unlike many solicitors, we make sure that you have a positive working relationship after our involvement.
In England, young people over the age of 16 are expected to bring special educational needs appeals in their own name. That is unless they lack mental capacity to do so.
Our special educational needs solicitors have experience of supporting young people with learning difficulties. We have supported young people, many with complex difficulties, to successfully navigate the appeals process.
In order to provide this level of support, only expert knowledge of special educational needs law will do. We are able to provide clear, straightforward advice and explore options open to a young person.
Our team has created leading case law to ensure that parents can support young people in brining an appeal. This is very important for the vast majority of young people with special educational needs and disabilities. It is important that parents understand the scope, and limits, of their involvement as supporters. However, if young people are in disagreement, we are perfectly happy to assist the young person directly.
We provide special educational needs advice for case managers.
A young person who is supported by a case manager can often have complex special educational needs and specialist legal advice is often crucial.
When a case manager is involved, the young person tends to have received compensation as a result of personal injury or clinical negligence. In our experience, local authorities often attempt to reduce the amount of support they provide on the basis that the child or young person has the finances to purchase their own educational support.
No child or young person should have to pay for support that they need as a result of their special educational needs. This includes therapies, specialist teaching and / or 1:1 support.
We support case managers by reviewing their client’s case, assessing what they are currently paying for and advising what support they can access from their local authority. We can help before and after settlement to help ensure that your client’s finances are protected as much as possible and they receive the support that they need.
Our expert special educational needs solicitors have strong connections with advocacy groups that support families.
Special educational needs appeals can become very complex, not least because local authorities tend to involved solicitors or barristers early on. This can mean that special educational needs appeals can become very legalistic. This can require a detailed understanding of the law, particularly at the final hearing.
We often support special educational needs advocacy groups by representing their clients at final hearings. Whilst we may not be able to provide full support throughout the appeals process, our assistance at the final hearing for a special educational needs appeal can be crucial. Appeals can often be successful purely on the basis of what happens during the appeal hearing.
We often support other special educational needs advocates by providing a fixed fee for representing at a final hearing.
We provide support for clinical negligence, personal injury and court of protection solicitors.
Before a claim for negligence, or personal injury, is settled, the claim solicitor should consider taking advice on special educational needs. If their client is likely to require additional support for special educational needs, it is possible that they will need to seek specialist legal advice at some point. The costs of that advice should be included in the claim before it is settled. We can help by providing statements to support such claims.
As soon as funding is available, we can support by ensuring that the child or young person is receiving the special educational provision they need. It is very common for a child or young person’s funding to be use to pay for additional teaching support, or therapies. We can help protect your client’s funding by securing that support from the local authority.
In the most complex cases, a child or young person may require an independent or non-maintained special school. Funding such a placement would quickly exhaust any compensation your client is likely to receive. It is important to secure funding for these placements as quickly as possible.
Our specialist solicitors have extensive experience in supporting other solicitors to secure Statement of Special Educational Needs and Education Health and Care Plans for their clients. This ensures that you are protecting their funds and providing your clients with a complete service.
As parents become more informed about their children’s rights, they are seeking advice from independent experts.
In our experience, parents are also looking to independent experts to help with advocating for their children’s rights. If that happens, you should recommend that your client take specialist education law advice.
We support several experts, including educational psychologist, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists and physiotherapists who trust us to help their clients. We have developed these links by providing excellent advice on special educational needs law.
We act for both professional and lay deputies. This is usually as a result of our close working relationships with a number of claimant solicitors and case managers.
The role of a deputy can be difficult. We understand the importance of ensuring that funding is used only when appropriate. In particular, we focus on ensuring that costs are known from the outset, and that there is a quantifiable benefit of any work that we undertake on your behalf.
Our specialist solicitors understand the difficulties of managing the requirements imposed by the Court of Protection. This is crucial to our ability to provide you with outstanding advice on special educational needs law which is also practical and meets your obligations.