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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...

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...

New Bristol Schools

Lydia Dunford
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Bristol will soon have four new schools built around the centre to help ease the demand on secondary school places. The new schools will consist of two under Oasis Community Learning, as well as an all-through special school and a school primarily for...

David Cameron says 'All schools should become Academies'

Liz Smith
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David Cameron says every school in England should become an Academy because Academies have improved standards and power should be in the hands of head teachers and teachers. Academies are independent, state-funded schools that operate outside of Local...

Watkins Solicitors speak at Bristol Autism Support

Beverley Watkins
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Watkins Solicitors speak at Bristol Autism Support – dispelling more myths about exclusion and school transport for children and young people with SEN and/or a disability. Liz Smith  and Beverley Watkins  gave a talk at a Bristol Autism...

Watkins Solicitors are delighted to welcome Lydia Dunford to their education team

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Education Law Lydia has a Law Degree and was awarded her Post-Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice in June 2015. She has always had a keen interest in Education Law, having a brother with Autism and other learning difficulties. She also wrote her...

Watkins Solicitors first Education conference on 25.9.15. was a great success!

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‘The ABC of ABA’ – designed to inform parents of children who have a diagnosis of Autism about ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis). Beverley Watkins opened the conference and welcomed everybody. She gave the following examples of comments...

Supreme Court upholds appeal in landmark challenge to discriminatory Student Loan eligibility criteria

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In order to qualify for a student loan, a student must (a) be resident in England when the academic year begins (b) has been lawfully ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom for the three years before then and (c) be settled in the United Kingdom on that...

Independent Admission Appeals Panels

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Local Government Ombudsman Reports: St Edmond Arrowsmith Roman Catholic High School, Wigan (14005154, 14006249 and 14010168) and Kingston-upon Hull City Council (14008195) Every year there are a number of complaints to the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO)...

Pupils face post code lottery

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Beverley Watkins is mentioned in the Times article concerning school admissions. Beverley has advised parents in respect of school admissions for over 15 years. ...

SEN - Time limits for appealing

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Special Educational Needs – time limits for appealing. When a Local Authority issues a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Amended Statement, accompanying the Statement or Amended Statement will be a letter informing the parent that they...

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