Children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) face increasing difficulties ensuring their needs are recognised by schools and Local Authorities, and securing the correct provision to ensure complete access to the education system.
As parents of children with SEN, you want to be reassured that your child is getting the best education to support them to reach their potential, maximise their independence and lead a fulfilling and rewarding life. Trying to achieve this alone can be extremely difficult.
How can Bolt Burdon Kemp help?
Every child with SEN is different and a unique approach is necessary in ensuring their rights are protected.
We understand the difference a comprehensive Education and Health Care Plan and often, the correct school placement, can make to your child’s education.
Bolt Burdon Kemp’s Child Brain Injury team can help you with many aspects of your child’s SEN, including:
- Applications for Education and Healthcare Plan Assessments;
- Challenges to local authorities or schools that fail to assess your child’s SEN;
- Challenges to local authorities or schools that fail to provide special educational needs support for your child;
- Challenges to your child’s school/college placement;
- Challenges to the definition of your child’s SEN in section B of their Education and Health Care (EHC) plan;
- Challenges to the provision in section F of your child’s EHC plan;
- Appeals of other decisions made by Local Authorities or schools, where possible.
Bolt Burdon Kemp has successfully worked with multiple families to ensure their child receives the best education provision for their needs and is placed in the school best equipped to provide it. We have a 100% success rate in relation to cases heard in the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability).
Bolt Burdon Kemp – Experts in Child Brain Injury and SEN
Our expertise in child brain injury and our practical experience of representing children with brain injuries in negligence claims means your child’s solicitor will have a unique skill set and an in-depth understanding and working knowledge of both education law, and the SEN which can arise from brain injuries. We use this knowledge to inform the contents of EHC Plans, and to promote access to a wide range provision including, where relevant, therapies, assistive technology, communication aids, hydrotherapy and powered mobility.
EHCP success following two appeals to SENDist for child with cerebral palsy
Claudia Hillemand successfully represented our client ‘Sophie’ in two appeals in the Education Tribunal (SENDist). The first appeal , which settled before a final hearing, challenged the local authority’s decision to refuse Sophie an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP). The local authority’s position was particularly surprising in light of Sophie’s diagnosis of cerebral palsy and the professional evidence we obtained from occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech and language and education psychology to say that she had clear special educational needs which could not be met by the school’s existing budget.
Once the Local Authority agreed to give Sophie an EHCP , a further appeal to the SENDist was needed to ensure the provision in the plan was sufficient. The proposed EHCP from the Local Authority was lacking across all Sophie’s areas of need. This dispute proceeded to a full hearing where ultimately the Tribunal agreed that Sophie needed full time 1:1 learning support assistance, and almost all of her parents proposed changes regarding therapeutic input were accepted.
Sophie is now settled in a mainstream school with enough support to ensure she can flourish and reach her potential.
Further information about getting a Education Health Care Plan can be found in Claudia’s blog.
Local Authority strongly dispute school challenge at tribunal and lose
Our client has cerebral palsy due to a birth injury. He has sleep difficulties, respiratory difficulties, dysphagia, epilepsy, eosinophilic colitis, hearing difficulties and cerebral cortex visual impairment and is delayed in all areas. He is gastronomy fed. He has severe and complex communication difficulties and considered to have severe learning difficulties. Our client’s experts, family and treating therapists considered that the special school where he was being educated was not able to meet his needs, due to lack of necessary technology, training and understanding of his condition. Our client’s Deputy referred the family to us so we could secure Local Authority funding for the client to be placed at an excellent special needs school capable of meeting his complex needs. After strongly disputing the need for a different placement, and a hearing at tribunal level, the LA agreed to fund the client’s placement at the school in question. This will allow our client to fulfil his potential and thrive, impacting hugely on his quality of life now and in the years to come.
EHC plan secured for client expelled from three mainstream schools
Our client sustained a moderate to severe brain injury in an accident. He has significant behavioural problems including anger outbursts, verbal aggression, defiance, impulsivity, limited concentration and poor emotional regulation. He was expelled from three mainstream schools due to behavioural problems. We successfully applied for an Education and Health Care Plan for our client and consequently, he obtained a place at a specialist school.