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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

Liz Smith
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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

Liz Smith
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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

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

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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

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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...

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