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The link between Judicial Review and the annual review process

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The link between Judicial Review and the annual review process We are regularly contacted by clients who have had an Annual Review of their child’s Special Educational Needs, but the review process has not been fully completed by the Local...

High Court calls time on council delays for children with special needs and disabilities

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In a landmark judgment issued today (8 March 2022) the High Court has made it clear that every local council must keep to fixed legal time limits when reviewing the needs of children and young people with special educational needs . Councils have been...

School Placements and Admissions for SEN children

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What happens when the Local Authority does not name the school or college of your choosing? For those with EHC plans there are specific rules relating to phased transfers where children either start primary school, move to secondary school or move to post...

Plugging the Annual Review process pitfalls

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In late 2019,  Emma Grimbly  (Education Paralegal) was working on numerous cases whereby Devon County Council were neglecting their duties to issue an  Annual Review Decision Notice within the required 4-week period and neglecting to...

What is the status for SEN children during the national lockdown?

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As everyone will be aware the UK entered a further national lockdown on 5th January 2021, which resulted in the closure of schools across England and Scotland (schools in Wales are scheduled to return on 18th January 2021, however a further Welsh Government...

Beverley Watkins featured in Law Society Gazette

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Managing Partner Beverley Watkins features in the latest edition of the Law Society Gazette, where she discusses representing three families in a test case in the Court of Appeal that could significantly impact on local authority procedures for children with...

Watkins Solicitors granted permission to appeal on behalf of 3 children with SEND

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Watkins Solicitors have successfully been granted permission to appeal in the Court of Appeal on behalf of 3 children with SEND in a judicial review that could significantly impact on local authority procedures for children with EHCP’s. The claims...

BBC News interviews Beverly Watkins following successful tribunal ruling for her client against Bristol City Council

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Beverley Watkins appeared in an article published by BBC News yesterday, following a Special Needs and Disability Tribunal ruling in favour of her client, Nura Aabe and her severely autistic son Zak, against Bristol City Council. Asked for her reaction,...

Parliament Committee Report details key concerns with Children and Families Bill

Emma Grimbly
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Wednesday marked a vital step forward in ensuring the needs of children with Special Educational Needs are met. The first report published by the Education Committee on 23 October 2019, details key concerns regarding the implementation and funding of...

Beverley Watkins speaks at Developmental Language Disorder Unpacked

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Beverley Watkins, our Education Law Specialist, will be speaking at Developmental Language Disorder Unpacked, a workshop for parents of children with Developmental Language Disorder. The event takes place in Bath on 16 th October and is being run by...

BBC News covers our client's legal action against City of Bristol College

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Our client Nura Aabe and her son Zak are the subjects of a BBC News article following Nura’s decision to take legal action against the City of Bristol College, who used Zak’s appearance in a BBC documentary earlier this year to assess him for a...

Parent fined for daughter not taking part in end-of-term activities

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Magna Academy in Poole has been in the news today over the fining of a parent who refused to send her daughter to school to take part in two activity days at the end of the term. The regular timetable was suspended and replaced with the activities, some of...

Concerns over school provision leading to rise in home education

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The government recently held a consultation on home education, due to a growing increase in the number (estimated 57,600) of children and young people being educated at home. However, in its conclusion of the consultation response, the government does not...

The Autism Act 2009 and 10 years on

Emma Grimbly
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The Autism Act 2009 was designed to bring about changes in the way adults with autism were treated by local authorities and NHS organisations. It is the only condition-specific legislation of its type in England and although references adults, has been...

SEND Tribunal Update

Emma Grimbly
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The Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal This Tribunal hears appeals about EHC needs assessments and EHC Plans as well as claims of disability discrimination. The number of appeals is on the rise; between 2018 and 2019 the Tribunal has seen...

Cornwall Council's failure to provide education - Ombudsman investigation

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A report published this week by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman in response to a complaint against Cornwall Council, highlights three key areas that we find are repeated failings throughout the country.   The Ombudsman identified that...

SEN pupils being failed by system

Emma Grimbly
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The Guardian has published an article in relation to ‘special needs pupils being failed by system on verge of crisis’. Their investigation has shown that the current rate of success for parents at SEN Tribunal hearings is now at 89%. It is...

New Tribunal Bundle Guidance

Emma Grimbly
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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

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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

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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...

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