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SEND Tribunal - Health and Social Care Provisions

Liz Smith
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Following a 2017 pilot trial involving 17 Local Authorities, the SEND Tribunal has agreed to make non-binding recommendations on the health and social care sections of a child or young person’s EHC Plan.  The Tribunal will be able to make these...

Personal Budgets and Direct Payments for Children and Young People with EHC Plans

Lydia Dunford
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A Personal Budget is an amount of money identified by the Local Authority to deliver provision set out in a child or young person’s EHC Plan where the parent or young person is involved in securing that provision. A child’s parent or the young...

Local Government Ombudsman first 100 investigations - EHCP issues and what we can learn from these

Lydia Dunford
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The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has recently published its focus report on its first 100 investigations into identified issues with the Education, Health and Care Plan system.  The Local Government Ombudsman is a free service for parents of children with special education needs and disabilities to utilise if parents believe there has been...  

Watkins Solicitors - SEN Information Day for Parents in Cornwall

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The Education Department of Watkins Solicitors held another successful SEN Conference, this time in Redruth, Cornwall, for parents of children who have special education needs and disabilities.   Lydia Dunford spoke about EHC Needs Assessments and...

Amie Calder discusses Parental orders and Surrogacy arrangements

Amie Calder
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The legal parents of a child in cases of surrogacy are the surrogate mother and either the man or woman the surrogate mother was married to or was in a civil partnership with at the time of treatment if they consented to the treatment. The time of treatment is when the embryo or sperm and eggs were placed into the surrogate mother via artificial insemination.  

Beverley Watkins wins Bristol Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year

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Staff had a wonderful evening at the Annual Bristol Law Society Awards and, to round it off, Beverley Watkins won the award for Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year!    When presenting the award, the following was said: "To Beverley...

SEN Tribunals

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New figures from the Ministry of Justice have shown that there has been a big jump in the number of appeals registered at the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.  Between April and June 2017, the number of Local Authority decisions...

New Divorce Petition 2017

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Beverley Watkins has been looking at the new Divorce Petition which came into use on 7 th August 2017. The form has been improved and is definitely easier to use.  You can now pay the Court fee by debit/credit card.  If you indicate that you do...

Court of Appeal decision - S-F

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Sheldon Price recently represented a Mother in proceedings in the Court of Appeal – S-F (A Child) [2017] EWCA Civ964 .  Sheldon specialises in Care and Adoption proceedings representing parents, relatives, Guardians and Children in proceedings...

STOP PRESS - TRIBUNAL FEES RULED UNLAWFUL!

Tamsin James
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It feels like it is time for some good news! In 2013, the Government introduced Tribunal fees for individuals bringing claims (but not for employers defending them).  At over £1,000 for most claims, it was unaffordable for many individuals (also...

SEN Information Day for Parents

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SEN Information Day for Parents (All you need to know about Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessments and Plans in just one day!) Presented by Watkins Solicitors Following the huge success of their EHC needs assessments &...

Watkins Solicitors and Upfest

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As tens of thousands descended on Bedminster in Bristol for Europe's largest street art festival, Upfest, Watkins Solicitors played their part by hosting a Bric-a-Brac Sale on the front lawn of their office at 192 North Street....

Pensions on divorce - a brief overview

Victoria Shufflebottom
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Victoria Shufflebottom provides a brief overview of pension sharing on divorce. Pensions can be an important aspect to consider when dealing with the financial arrangements on divorce yet they can be overlooked. A couple may understandably focus on more...

Understanding Outsourcing EHC Plans - What Parents Should Know

Lydia Dunford
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It is common knowledge that Local Authorities are struggling to keep up with the timescales and requirements in producing and issuing Education, Health and Care Plans (EHC Plans). What may not be as well known is that a few Local Authorities are outsourcing...

Phase Transfer EHC Plans - What Parents Should Know

Lydia Dunford
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Parents should have now received the final EHC Plans for their child who is due to transfer into a new stage of education from September 2017; the 15th February was the deadline for EHC Plans to be issued for pupils transferring into either primary or...

Cuts to Education - The Current Situation

Beverley Watkins
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Following the recent announcement that an approximate £32million worth of funding cuts could hit Bristol schools, parents have been taking a stand; by sitting down at picnics across the centre on 26 May 2017. The picnics, that were held in four...

Protection for parents of children with disabilities - and adjustments for Aspergers

Tamsin James
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Two recent cases made me reflect on how our work championing children with special educational needs (and supporting their parents) intertwines with our employment practice - challenging discrimination at work. In Northern Ireland, the mother of a...

Council's home to school transport policies lead to a rise in complaints to the local government ombudsman

Beverley Watkins
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The Local Government Ombudsman has published a focus report concerning home to school transport issues.  This follows a marked increase in complaints that the Local Government Ombudsman have seen about these issues over the past two years.  The...

Young people, mental capacity and what is meant by educational

Lydia Dunford
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A recent decision in the Upper Tribunal has provided much needed clarification as to the scope of decisions young people with special educational needs and disabilities can make when an appeal has been lodged against the contents of their EHC Plan. The...

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