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

Posted: 1st May 2020
Author: Kieran Brockerton-baker
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The Secretary of State has just issued a notice modifying the duty of LA’s to deliver provision in an EHCP This will last for the month of May and places a reasonable endeavours duty on a Local Authority

See the letter below

Joint DHSC & DFE Ministerial Letter

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Posted: 22nd April 2020
Author: Kieran Brockerton-baker
holding hands

Further to our previous post, the Department for Education have issued new and updated guidance

  • On Sunday 19 April, the Department for Education (DfE) published new Coronavirus (COVID-19): SEND risk assessment guidance written with input and steers from SEND sector organisations – this guidance builds on the COVID-19 guidance on vulnerable children and young people guidance published on 22 March, and explains the practicalities for local authorities and other providers in undertaking risk assessments for vulnerable children and young people with education, health and care plans, in light of school and college closures The DfE are asking local authorities to work with educational providers, families and the child or young person to carry

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Posted: 3rd April 2020
Author: Kieran Brockerton-baker
holding hands

The SEND Tribunal has issued recent guidance about how they are coping and progressing hearings amidst the current COVID 19 emergency Feedback is that that video hearings are working well, and the indication is that the Tribunal may be able to deal with more work and avoid postponements by using remote hearings They even have availability to offer some cases earlier hearing dates

See the link here to the bulletin issued by the Tribunal IMPORTANT UPDATE COVID Bulletin 2 020420

Below is a link to the guidance notes for parties attending SEND Tribunal video hearings along with a short video of how to login in to the Cloud Video Platform

Guidance for video hearing (parties) v11

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Posted: 24th March 2020
Author: Kieran Brockerton-baker
holding hands

Please see the link below to an open letter to children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), their parents, families, and others who support them from Vicky Ford, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families The letter signposts key Covid-19 guidance published over the past week

Minister Ford’s open letter to the SEND sector

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Posted: 30th January 2020
Author: Kieran Brockerton-baker
holding hands

We are pleased to announce that we are opening an outreach office in Farnborough

This will allow us to extend our services to clients in North Hampshire and enable us to deliver legal services particularly in relation to public law proceedings (care proceedings) and child protection which are easily accessible and convenient

If you require assistance or any queries please contact 01276 53 46 90

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Posted: 5th November 2019
Author: Kieran Brockerton-baker
holding hands

The Department for Education has confirmed that the current National Trial will be extended beyond 31st March 2020 to 31st August 2020

This is extremely positive news The National Trial provides extended powers for the SEND Tribunal to hear and make non-binding decisions about health and social care aspects of EHCP’s

There has been extensive use of the trial following its introduction with many more appeals than expected at the outset It gives parents and young people a route to try and secure enhanced social care and health provision and has been extremely valuable in supporting families caring for children and young people with additional needs Read the full letter here:

SEND EXTENSION TRIAL LETTER

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Posted: 1st July 2019
Author: Kieran Brockerton-baker

To secure an EHCP for your child or young person a request first must be made for an Education, Health and Care Needs assessment to the Local Authority/Borough This request can either by made by your child’s school, by you as parents or by the young person Don’t be put off if your child’s school refuses to make the request or says that your child does not meet the criteria Our experience is that many schools are not fully aware of the legal test and therefore sometimes parents are told that their child will not qualify for the assessment when there is overwhelming evidence as to the extent of their needs and the need for an assessment

A request can

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Posted: 31st May 2019
Author: Kieran Brockerton-baker

The Department for Education has published the latest data about the number of children and young people with education health and care plans ( EHCPs) See here

The headline states the number of EHCPs have increased from 11% since 2018 There is an incredible 13% increase in the number of plans issued in the 0-5 age group and less surprisingly an increase of 32% in the 20-25 age group The 11-15 age group makes up 36% of the total number of children with EHCPs A total of 354,000 ofchildren and young people have EHCPs

With such an increase leading to more work for the the Local Authorities, a lower proportion of EHCP’s are issued within the statutory 20-week

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Posted: 29th May 2019
Author: CLP

If you are planning an appeal to SEND and seek professional advice you will most likely receive advice that you should instruct independent experts The most common experts suggested will be an Educational Psychologist, an occupational therapist and a speech and language therapist depending on the child or young persons needs In some cases, other experts are needed, eg, an independent social worker or a child and adolescent psychiatrist

These experts are often instructed at significant expense to parents and it can be difficult to find experts who have availability and also expertise in going to Tribunal hearings and experience in giving expert evidence It is always wise before instructing an expert just to check what SEND experience

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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

    Read more...

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