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

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

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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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