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New Tribunal Bundle Guidance

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The Tribunal Service has launched new guidance for Tribunal bundles in SEN appeals which could have key ramifications when providing independent reports as evidence. Whereas it is often the case that these reports are highly detailed and therefore lengthy,...

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...

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...  

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