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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...

Parents fined for term-time holidays

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A couple who took their children on a week long holiday during school term have been ordered by Magistrates to pay £993 in costs and fines. Stuart and Natasha Sutherland from Telford, Shropshire, originally refused to pay a £360 fine. It doubled...

Selective Mutism and Compensation ordered to be paid by Ombudsman

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Liz Smith recently successfully argued that Bromley Council caused delay, distress, uncertainty and failed to arrange special educational provision for a young man with selective mutism and severe anxiety. The Council had delayed by 15 months issuing a...

GCSE ENGLISH GRADING ROW - LEGAL CHALLENGE

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In September 2012, Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, admitted in the Commons that pupils had been unfairly treated   A claim for judicial review has been lodged by a group of Headteachers and Local Authorities in the wake of the dispute which...