Our Education Cases
2016 - 2020
We successfully secured an amended final EHC plan and the desired placement at a specialist school for our clients via consent following our appeal for sections B, F, and I.
The child in question was a triplet, who had very similar, if not identical, issues with a sibling. The Local Authority had also refused to issue an EHC plan for that sibling.
Following negotiations, we were able to secure the parent’s preferred placement at a specialist school. At the time of the appeal, the Local Authority’s named mainstream school stated that they could meet the child’s needs. However, they failed to provide any documentation detailing how this would be achieved. The mainstream school also had no specialities in the areas of need – dyslexia, dyspraxia, and dysgraphia.
Another successful outcome where we acted for the parents who sought significant amendments to their child’s EHC plan, including issues pertaining to placement, health care, social care needs, and provision.
The child had significant needs relating to autism and dyslexia. Moreover, the school she was attending was not sufficiently meeting her needs. The EHC plan the Local Authority provided the parents was unlawful and did not identify with the correct format per the SEN Code of Practice.
We successfully negotiated and were able to secure via Tribunal the contents of the EHC plan and the provisions and issues relating to Social Care. We were able to agree on the parent’s preferred school in section I, which would be able to meet the child’s needs.
The LA concedes an appeal and agrees to place a child at a specialist, residential school placement following an appeal of sections B, F, and I.
The Local Authority was adamant that the school they named, a mainstream school, was sufficient to meet the child’s needs. However, the parents obtained multiple reports from experts, which highlighted that the mainstream school could not meet the child’s needs. Therefore, the child would need to attend a specialist school that could provide small classroom sizes.
After considerable negotiations with the Local Authority, we were able to secure via consent the parent’s preferred specialist school along with the required amendments to sections B and F.
We successfully represented parents of a 16-year-old child who had autism following the Local Authority’s failure to name a sufficient placement.
The child’s placement had broken down irretrievably, and the child was no longer in any form of education. Following this, an emergency EHCP review meeting was held. The Local Authority should have issued an amended EHCP following this meeting, but they failed to do so. We sent a Pre-Action Protocol letter via Judicial Review to force them to issue the final EHC plan.
On receipt of the final EHC plan, it was clear that the Local Authority were still recommending a mainstream college, despite the child having 1:1 support from a young age. Experts recommended that the child had access to a ‘waking day curriculum’ at a residential placement where they could access education after 3 pm, instead of attending a mainstream school. However, during negotiations, the Local Authority were adamant that the mainstream colleges they would be recommending were sufficient to meet the child’s needs.
It was agreed in negotiations that updated professional advice was needed so that a reassessment could take place at the annual review. However, close to the annual review date, the Local Authority informed us that they did not have a confirmed date from the Educational Psychologist. The Occupational Therapy Service would only be carried out by telephone instead of face to face. We sent a further Pre-action protocol letter.
Following the pressure placed on the Local Authority and further correspondence, the client secured the sought placement and required provisions.
We successfully helped a parent secure an amended EHC plan and desired school.
The Local Authority were not making the appropriate provision for ABA and OT following the Tribunal decision. Following this, a pre-action protocol letter was sent via the route of Judicial Review. However, at the annual review, the Local Authority had not named a senior school and removed the ABA provision from the EHC plan, along with other provisions. After considerable negotiations with the local authority, we obtained an EHC plan with the client’s desired amendments and named school.
We were successfully able to agree via consent an EOTAS package, personal budget, and final amended EHC plan.
The child had a diagnosis of High Functioning Autism and ADHD; there was also a suggestion that the child may have dyslexia and have sensory processing difficulties.
The child had severe anxiety that led to disrupted education, affecting his ability to attend school. Due to this, the child’s attendance at school was affected. The parents requested an EHC needs assessment which the Local Authority originally rejected. However, following continued non-attendance and issues at school, the Local Authority agreed to assess for EHC needs. A mainstream school was named.
Following this, we issued an appeal on sections B, F, and I of the EHC plan. The appeal was also registered with the National Trial as the EHC plan did not accurately reflect the child’s social care needs and provisions. The parents were concerned that the mainstream school that the Local Authority had named could not meet the child’s needs. The parents requested an EOTAS provision (Education other than at school) and therefore requested a personal budget to help their child access education.
We successfully negotiated with the Local Authority the EOTAS package, personal budget, and amended EHC plan.
We successfully helped the parents of a teenage child, following the refusal of an EHC needs assessment, secure an EHC plan.
The child was diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, social phobia, and sleeping issues. The child was on the waiting list for an Autistic Spectrum Condition. Due to these issues, the child missed significant periods of school. The Local authority proposed working co-operatively with the parents and health care providers to meet the child’s needs, without the need for a plan.
The Tribunal ruled that even though the child was cognitively able, and with the right support, could perform at the same level as her peers, she still required an EHC plan due to her complex mental health needs. The argument was formed on the basis that the child’s health was impacting their ability to access education.
2012 - 2015
The LA concedes an appeal for a young boy with complex needs. Education and Social Care agree to joint fund a 52 week placement in a highly specialise residential school.
The young boy was dyslexic and dycalculic; he had made slow academic progress and in addition he had complex behavioural and emotional needs that could not be met through provision at a day school with a package of support after school hours from other agencies. Attempts to meet his needs through a multi-agency approach had failed and it was parental preference that a 52 week residential provision was necessary (September 2013)
The LA concedes an appeal and agrees to place a young man at a specialist, residential school placement.
The young man had a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and a significant language impairment. It was agreed that he needed to be educated with small numbers of pupils who had similar difficulties. He needed access to on-site speech and language therapy and at least two sessions of direct
therapy per week. A mainstream school could not meet these complex needs and the LA agreed to name a specialist residential placement without the need for an appeal hearing (January 2014).
Another successful outcome where we have acted for parents in an appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal and placement has been ordered at an independent specialist dyslexia school.
It was found that despite intervention over at least a 4 year period, the young person had made no real progress and a mainstream school could not meet the needs identified. The Tribunal found that the young person needed teaching by specialist teachers qualified and experienced in teaching children with specific learning difficulties with little if any withdrawal from the classroom. This could only be delivered in an independent, specialist school provision. The Tribunal found that the appeal had not been well considered by the Local Authority and its proposals for provision were inconsistent with its own evidence. The Local Authority’s change of position on the day of the hearing was also considered by the Tribunal to undermine the Local Authority’s own case (April 2014).
We successfully assist parents to secure a place at their preferred secondary school for their son who had been subject to bullying in his primary school.
The young boy had developed an emotional overlay of worry and anxiety as a result of the bullying he had been subject to and there was significant parental concern about his move to a secondary school where he would not transfer with his supportive peer group. This young boy had a number of difficulties that often made him ‘fee different’ and ‘not fit in’ and the admission panel were persuaded by the exceptional circumstances of the case (May 2014).
We successfully assist parents to secure a full time home based ABA Programme for their autistic son.
This young boy had failed to make adequate progress through provision arranged by the Local Authority and its special school provision. It was evident from parents intervention that an ABA approach was appropriate and could meet the young boy’s needs, with clear evidence of progress in all areas of learning and development. An appeal was lodged but the Local Authority were persuaded of the benefits of an ABA Programme and agreed to fund a full time home based ABA Programme and issued a Statement of Special Educational Needs that specified and quantified ABA provision, speech and language therapy and occupational therapy as an individual package for special educational provision. (August 2015)
We successfully assisted a parent to secure £3,000 compensation from the Local Government Ombudsman for failure to plan, co-ordinate and deliver an education suitable for a young person with a long term medical condition.
The young person had a diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and was unable to access education at school for a significant period of time. The Council did not deliver the young person’s education within a medical needs framework. Instead, they arranged a managed move from one mainstream school to another in its response to managing and planning the young person’s education. A managed move is a procedure designed for pupils who are at risk of permanent exclusion and the Council’s decision to arrange the young person’s education under a managed move meant that attendance was viewed mainly as a matter of attitude and behaviour as opposed to a medical welfare issue. It was an entirely inappropriate arrangement for a pupil with a diagnosed physical illness and depression.
The Council failed to deliver education services appropriate to a young person who was too ill to attend school for medical reasons. The Local Government Ombudsman agreed action for the Council to apologise in writing to the young person and the parents for fault causing injustice and to pay £3,000 to compensate for avoidable distress and disruption caused by permitting a young person’s education to be planned and delivered in an inappropriate way in the period June 2012 to late January 2013. All decisions can be viewed on the website http://www.lgo.org.uk/
After three years without any educational provision, a young boy is able to start his educational career with an independent, specialist provision.
In 2013, the Local Authority refused to carry out a statutory assessment of this young boy’s special educational needs. On the day of the Tribunal Hearing, the Local Authority agreed to carry out the assessment. This process was not completed until November 2014. During this time, there was a dispute about the type of school that the young boy should attend and no education provision was made. This young boy has remained out of education since that date but will be starting school in January 2016 following the ruling of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.
In this case, the Local Authority proposed that this young boy attend a school for boys with behavioural difficulties as his first school placement but this was strongly disputed by his parent as he presented with a broad range of difficulties and recent assessments did not reach earlier conclusions regarding the degree and significance of his behaviour.
The Tribunal did not accept that this young boy needed a school with an emphasis on emotional, social and behavioural difficulties and that most recent assessments demonstrated that he was willing and able to co-operate and participate and was able to take part in whole class activities, was sociable and chatty and would join in with his peer group when attending a trial at a school placement. (December 2015)