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School Exclusion

Liz Smith
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The Government has been seeking views and evidence on school exclusion practice as part of a review of school exclusions.  In 2015/16, 0.08% of children were permanently excluded from Local Authority maintained schools in England, although children...

School Records

Liz Smith
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We receive a number of phone calls from parents who want to know if they can access their child’s school records.  The answer is generally, yes.  If your child attends a maintained school, you have an independent right of access to your...

Weak points in the newly reformed SEND system

Liz Smith
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Speaking to MP’s on the Commons Education Select Committee, Baroness Warnock, who issued a report 40 years ago about services for children with special educational needs and disabilities needing to change, along with other key figures that led to the...

Implementing the Disability and Special Educational Needs Reform set out in the Children and Families Act 2014

Liz Smith
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Following on from previous articles, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission have continued to carry out joint inspections to consider how Local Authorities have implemented the changes set out in the Children and Families Act 2014 in relation to the...

Special Educational Provision during school holidays - an update

Lydia Dunford
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A recent decision from the Upper Tribunal, GK v North Somerset Council (2018) has upheld a parent’s appeal in respect of when a Local Authority is required to provide special educational provision outside of school term times. The child in question...

Bristol parents successfully challenge Local Authority SEND budget cuts

Lydia Dunford
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Two sets of parents have recently taken Bristol City Council to court for a judicial review of the council’s continuing cuts to funding for pupils with SEND (Special Educational Needs & Disabilities). The first case of its kind, the basis of the...

Very happy client gives Angela flowers and chocolates

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Our Head of Conveyancing, Angela Dunlop, is pictured with a lovely bunch of flowers received from a very satisfied client!...

Dementia Action Week

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The week of 21-27 May 2018 was Dementia Action Week and the emphasis this year was on taking action “to improve the everyday lives of people affected by dementia”. Our trainee solicitor, Lisa Morgan , who is also a Dementia Friends...

On the up after the Unison judgment?

Tamsin James
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Back in July, the Supreme Court removed the requirement to pay a fee in order to bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal. Recent statistics from the Employment Tribunal show that the number of cases received by Employment Tribunals rose by 90% to...

Shortage of suitable school places for children with special educational needs

Liz Smith
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News in the last few days has focused on statistics that demonstrate there is a shortage of funding for children with special educational needs, which is leading to a growing number of children being left without suitable school places and more children with...

Progress in becoming a dementia-friendly law firm

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We are delighted to have taken further steps to implement our action plan in becoming a dementia-friendly law firm and are now members of the Bristol DAA , South Gloucestershire DAA and Bath DAA (“Dementia Action Alliance”). We have already...

Stamp Duty rates changes for Welsh properties from 1 April 2018

Angela Dunlop
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From 1 April 2018, a new "Land Transaction Tax" will be payable on Welsh and transactions.  This is instead of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). There are however some exceptions: retrospective notification cases . This is where a transaction...

Health & Social Care Needs and Provision in an EHC Plan

Liz Smith
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The Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SEND) will soon be able to make non-binding recommendations on the health and social care aspects of a child or young person’s EHC Plans, alongside the educational needs and provision currently...

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards come into effect from 1 April 2018 - Landlords take note!

Angela Dunlop
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Photo by Zain Ali from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/2017-bulb-dslr-energy-saving-lamp-542619/From 1 April 2018, Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) will come into effect which means that Landlords will not be able to renew or begin any lease/tenancy for any residential or commercial property which has an EPC Rating below E...

March 1st is 'D-Day' for many parents waiting to hear which Secondary school their child has been allocated

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For many families, the anxious wait will be over and you may well hear the collective sigh of relief.  However, for families who are not allocated the school of their choice, they may be worried and upset. Remember, parents have the ‘right to express a preference’ - their child does not have the right to have the school of their choice...

Beverley Watkins appears in this month's edition of the Law Society Gazette

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Managing Partner, Beverley Watkins, was recently asked to provide comment on the Ministry of Justice's Legal Advice Gateway for an article in the Law Society Gazette. The Legal Advice Gateway is a telephone service which provides advice on...

Legal Advice for Education and Disability Work

Liz Smith
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In 2013 under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act, the government decided to fund advice and assistance on special educational needs and discrimination work only through a telephone advice service.  There are currently two providers of this service to cover England and Wales.  However, a decision has been issued this week that the government will cancel the telephone advice service and will not be awarding any contracts for education and discrimination services after 1 September 2018 through the current process...

What can I do to speed up the Conveyancing process?

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The most common question conveyancers are asked is "how long will the process take?"  It varies depending on which conveyancer you speak to although generally, you are looking at around 6-8 weeks if it is straightforward and 8-12 weeks if it...

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