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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...

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...

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...

Joint Local Area SEND Inspection Lancashire

Liz Smith
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Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission have conducted a joint inspection of Lancashire Local Authority to judge the effectiveness of the area in implementing special educational needs and disability reforms, as set out in the Children and Families Act 2014. ...

South Gloucestershire Council Ofsted Findings

Lydia Dunford
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A joint inspection of South Gloucestershire Council’s SEN and Disabilities provisions carried out by both Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has recently published its findings highlighting areas both of strength and need in the Local...

15 FEBRUARY DEADLINE

Liz Smith
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For those children who are transferring into a new stage of education from September 2018, parents should receive the final EHC plan naming the placement for September 2018 by 15 February 2018...

 

BBC coverage of special educational needs

Liz Smith
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The BBC has recently been featuring a number of articles relating to children with special educational needs.  It has focused on TV presenters David and Carrie Grant, who have four children, each with a separate set of special educational needs. ...

THE 31st MARCH 2018 - WHAT DO PARENTS NEED TO KNOW?

Lydia Dunford
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The 31st March 2018 represents the final date by which all Local Authorities in England need to have transferred all Statements of Special Educational Needs into Education, Health and Care Plans (EHC Plans).  This deadline is as a result of a change in...

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...

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...

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...

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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