This may be challenging a decision relating to your child’s admission to a particular school especially if the school of your choice is oversubscribed. We also act for parents in relation to school exclusions. In relation to cases involving Special Educational Needs (SEN) some parents wish for their children to be educated in mainstream but realise that additional support must be put in place to make the placement effective, for other parents they feel that a specialist school environment is necessary. All children should have access to the resources and help they need, but as many parents find, sometimes the system can be frustrating.
Whilst the Law clearly defines what should happen, in many cases parents find that they need expert and professional advice to guide and support them through the relevant processes, especially when it comes to pursuing an Appeal and dealing with the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Tribunal. We have an excellent track record of successfully pursuing appeals especially before the SEND Tribunal because we carefully prepare the appeal and consider the expert evidence to ensure that the right outcome is achieved.
The outcomes sought and achieved for our clients include the following:-
- Securing an independent specialist school placement on a day, weekly, termly or 52 week residential basis.
- Securing direct and quantified Speech and Language Therapy input.
- Securing direct and quantified Occupational Therapy input.
- Securing placements which offer children a whole school specialist approach and integrated therapeutic provision.
- Securing Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) programmes for children on the Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
- Agreeing an enhanced package of provision within a mainstream school setting.
- Overturning decisions to exclude a child from school.
- Securing a child’s admission to a parent’s preferred school.
A real result – Harry’s story.
When Harry’s parents first contacted us he had been out of school for over two months. Harry has Autism and additional severe speech and language difficulties and was not coping in his maintained day special school. The placement could not meet his needs and Harry experienced a severe level of stress and anxiety as a result.
Harry’s Local Authority accepted that he should not return to his day special school but failed to name any specific school for him in an Amended Statement. The Local Authority held the view that another maintained day special school would be appropriate and told Harry’s parents that they would be consulting local placements.
Harry’s parents felt very strongly that he needed a wholly specialist and residential school placement which could offer him a waking day curriculum designed for children with Autism, integrated and intensive levels of therapeutic input and a peer group who presented with similar difficulties to Harry with whom he could identify.
We lodged an appeal to the SEND Tribunal on behalf of Harry’s parents and secured appropriate expert reports to support their case for a specialist school placement for Harry on a residential basis. Initially the LA put forward a similar day special school to Harry’s previous placement which catered for children with a wide variety of needs. The LA later accepted that a more specialist and specific ASD placement would be required and eventually conceded that it could not provide such a placement. Shortly before the hearing the LA agreed to name the independent specialist ASD placement put forward by Harry’s parents and to place him there on a residential basis.
Harry’s needs are now being fully and appropriately met in his new school.
To find out more about how we can help you, call us on 01452 555 166 or complete the form on our contact page
Matthew is an able student who has severe Dyslexia, ASD and associated difficulties. He was experiencing significant diffiulties in mainstream primary school and his parents were worried as to how he would cope in a large mainstream school even if he was placed in the specialist ASD Unit. After 3 appeals to the SEND Tribunal Matthew's parents successfully obtained a Statement of SEN naming Northease Manor School, a specialist school for children with Specific Learning Difficulties/Dyslexia and the placement is now funded his local authority.
Max has an Autistic Spectrum Diagnosis and features of ADHD and Asperger's Syndrome. He experiences Speech and Language Difficulties, Motor and Sensory Difficulties and Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties. Max experienced high levels of anxiety at his mainstream primary school and was unable to access the school curriculum, despite receiving a very high level of support within a caring and supportive school setting. Max's parents appealed to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SEND) and were successful in obtaining an Order from the Tribunal amending Max's Statement of SEN to name a specialist ASD school. Max's parents report he is well settled at his new school, Grateley House and that he is enjoying his time in this specialist school setting which caters for children with Aspergers Syndrome and associated difficulties.
Joshua is an academically able, engaging, sociable and active child who also has severe dyslexia/specific learning difficulties and disordered language skills, in addition to fine motor difficulties and sensory processing difficulties. His literacy difficulties in particular are very severe and by the age of 10 he was still unable to read or write, despite his good underlying ability.
Suzy has Infantile Refsums Disease, a rare genetic condition which is life limiting and degnerative. When Suzy's mother first contacted us, Suzy was attending a day special school and was also accommodated in a local care setting. Suzy has partciularly severe and complex needs as explained in more detail in the link below. Following a successful appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SEND), Suzy now attends Chailey Heritage School on a 52 week residential basis where her educational and medical needs are addressed in one specialist setting.
George has an Autistic Spectrum Disorder and attended a day special school from the age of 3. He had severe challenging behaviour relating to his condition and frustration given his lack of communication skills. He was very difficult to manage at home and in public. As he got older, his parents found it more difficult to care for him. At the point of transfer to secondary school, the LA continued to argue that George's difficulties could be met in a day special school, however, George's parents felt that his SEN were so severe and complex that he required a residential placement in a specialist ASD school setting for an extended school year. Following an appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SEND) George is now placed at a specialist school in Berkshire catering for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) on a 52 week placement where his Special Educational Needs are being fully addressed under the terms of his Education Health and Care Plan.