March 22, 2018 3:29 pm
Michael (aged 20) has down syndrome with additional speech and motor difficulties. At the point where we were instructed to act for Michael, he had been out of education for two years. He desperately wanted to go to a specialist college in order to obtain skills in the hospitality sector, but his Local Authority (LA) would not agree to this placement.
What Happened Next?
The Children and Families Act 2014 came into force and as Michael’s statement of Special Educational Needs had lapsed when he had left school, Michael was able to take advantage of the new Act. In accordance with our advice he requested the LA to undertake a statutory needs assessment which led to the issue of an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). However, the EHCP was non-specific and named a college that Michael felt couldn’t meet his needs so he appealed to the Special Educational Needs and disability Tribunal (SENDIST) which he could do under the new legislation.
Prior to 2014 the appeal process was defective in that any appeal decision by a Local Appeal Committee wasn’t binding upon the LA whereas a decision from SENDIST is. Shortly before the appeal hearing the LA reviewed their costing’s (taking into account the cost of social care) and agreed that the costing’s between the specialist college that Michael wanted to go to and the LA’s specialist college were comparable and agreement was reached so that Michael could attend the college of his choice, where we are pleased to say he is thriving at.
Contact our Education team on 01452 222448 if you need any assistance with a matter regarding Special Educational Needs.