blog

The latest updates from our specialist practice in child and family law.

Posted: 2nd August 2017
Author: Kieran Brockerton-baker
holding hands

Recent figures released by the Department for Education for 2015/2016 show that pupils with special education needs (SEN) accounted for more than half of all exclusions, fixed term and permanent!

The report tells us that:

  • Pupils with identified special educational needs (SEN) accounted for almost half of all permanent exclusions and fixed period exclusions
  • Pupils with SEN support had the highest permanent exclusion rate and were almost 7 times more likely to receive a permanent exclusion than pupils with no SEN
  • Pupils with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan or with a statement of SEN had the highest fixed period exclusion rate and were almost 6 times more likely to receive a fixed period exclusion than pupils with no

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Posted: 5th July 2017
Author: Emily Bower
holding hands

Four years ago, the then government implemented the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) Many people eligible for legal aid on 31st March 2013 became ineligible the very next day

The Law Society has prepared a report indicating that legal aid cuts over the last 4 years have denied the most vulnerable people their fundamental rights to Justice

Robert Bourns, President of The Law Society stated that: “while successive governments have repeatedly cut back the legal aid budget, the reforms set out in LAPSO made the most significant changes to legal aid since its introduction, denying legal aid to many who need it”

He goes on say that “removing lawyers

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Posted: 30th May 2017
Author: CLP
holding hands

The Department for Education (DfE) has provided some statistics and information about the number of Statements of Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs)

https://wwwgovuk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/615689/SFR22-2017_Main_Textpdf

As at January 2017 there were a total of £287,290 EHCPs and SENs representing an increase of 121% from January 2016 The statistics still show that there are a significant number of children and young people with Statements which as at January 2017 had not been transferred to EHCPs and of more concern a number of children and young people with Statements have been assessed and a decision had been made not to issue an EHCP

If you require advice on Statement of SEN, EHCP’s or if you are considering requesting an

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Posted: 21st April 2017
Author: CLP
holding hands

Eye Can Talk is a blog which is written by an 11 year old who is non-verbal due to his severe cerebral palsy but who has learned to communicate using an eye gaze system

https://eyecantalknet/communication/

This section of the blog explains how Jonathon went from being ‘locked in’ to using eye gaze communication to write poetry and his own blog Jonathan had one of his poems read out on Radio 2 on Easter Sunday https://eyecantalknet/ This is inspiring for all of the families out there trying to battle the special education system to get access to new assistive communication technology for their children

We are helping a number of families at the moment to seek specification and quantification of AACT

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Posted: 14th March 2017
Author: Kieran Brockerton-baker

Good luck to Emily Bower who is currently in training to run her first marathon in Brighton on Sunday 9th April 2017 for Macmillan Cancer Support

If any of you would like to support her fundraising efforts then please see her Just Giving page below:

https://wwwjustgivingcom/fundraising/Emily-Bower1

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Posted: 14th March 2017
Author: Emily Bower
holding hands

Adoption is an option of last resort; a highly intrusive and draconian order made where ‘nothing else will do’, but as Lord Justice McFarlane questions; “how do we know this is so?”

In his lecture to the Family Justice Council, Lord Justice McFarlane highlighted the need for more research to be undertaken in order to justify permanent removal of children from their birth families He suggests that “too many children are being forcibly adopted against the wishes of their families and prevented from having any contact with their natural parents”

He goes onto explain that “the difficulties facing adopters and adopted children… have been made significantly more difficult with the ever-increasing facility to trace and make contact, in an uncontrolled

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Posted: 14th February 2017
Author: Kieran Brockerton-baker

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Posted: 7th February 2017
Author: CLP
holding hands

If your child has special educational needs and is due to transfer to a new phase of education then the 15 February deadline may apply to you!

Local Authorities have a duty to amend Statements of Special Educational Needs (SSEN) or Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) by 15 February of the calendar year in which the child is due to transfer from one phase of schooling to another This includes all phase transfers even when the child attends provision which can run from 03 -19 years It is particularly important to those children who are due to transfer from primary to secondary education and from secondary education to Sixth-Form education

To enable Local Authorities

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Posted: 27th January 2017
Author: Emily Bower
holding hands

In his January View from the President’s Chambers ‘Children and Vulnerable Witnesses – where are we?’ Sir James Mumby, President of the Family Division comments on the Cobb Review and the changes that need to be made to the family justice system, particularly in relation to accommodating children and vulnerable witnesses in domestic violence and harm cases In his view, “progress has been slow” and urgent action is now required

Sir James Mumby has, since 2014, been pressing the need to reform the way in which vulnerable people give evidence in family proceedings He believes this issue is something in which “the family justice system lags woefully behind the criminal justice system”

Section 34 of The Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence

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Posted: 24th January 2017
Author: Emily Bower
holding hands

The Department for Education has published an update from the Adoption Leadership Board showing performance figures for the adoption system for April to June 2016 The key findings were as follows:-

  • There has been a 10% decrease in the number of children waiting to be placed with an adoptive family As at 30th June 2016, there were 2,000 children with a placement order not yet placed with an adoptive family compared to the 2,210 children waiting as at 31st March 2016
  • There has been a decrease in the time taken between a child entering care and being placed with a family for children who have been adopted The latest quarterly data suggests there

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