Special Educational Needs (SEN) Legal Advice
We help parents and carers of children and young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN) to get the right provision and appropriate school placement to meet their child’s Special Educational Needs.
Children with Special Educational Needs will often require additional and specialist support. It is important their difficulties are diagnosed from a young age. We firmly believe that if a child receives the appropriate provision in the right educational setting, they have the opportunity to attain their full potential.
Our team is highly experienced in this area offering expert legal advice to parents, carers, young people, case managers and other professionals and organisations.
We can provide advice, assistance and legal representation on all aspects of SEND law including:
- Education, Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessment
- Appeals to the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Tribunal
- Appeals to the Upper Tier Tribunal
- Judicial Review
- Preparing for and attending Annual Reviews
- Transferring an EHC Plan between different Local Authority areas
- Preparing for adulthood
- School transport
- Disability Discrimination Claims, for example, following a failure to make reasonable adjustments
- Complaints to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman
- School Admissions and Exclusions
- Court of Protection Deputyships.
We provide a supportive and practical approach to maximise the chances of achieving our client’s objectives and the outcome they seek.
In all cases, our team will consider whether Mediation is suitable and explore ways of settling cases before they reach a Tribunal hearing saving you costs, time, and additional stress.
SEN Charitable Funding
In certain cases, we can offer access to charitable trust funding depending on the merits of the case and financial eligibility. To find out if you qualify for this funding, please contact us.
Our Special Educational Needs Legal Services
We offer comprehensive legal support and advice covering all of the key issues affecting families who have a child or young person with Special Educational Needs.
We have helped many families over the years to secure the educational, therapeutic and Social Care input that their child requires due to (but not limited to) from the following diagnoses:
- Asperger’s Syndrome
- Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA)
- Pervasive Developmental Disorder not otherwise specified (PPD-NOS)
- Developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD)/Dyspraxia,
- Speech & Language Impairment
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Down’s Syndrome
- Dyspraxia/Developmental coordination disorder (DCD
- Dyslexia /Specific Learning Difficulties
- Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH)Difficulties
- Hearing Impairment
- Visual Impairment
- Multi-sensory Impairment (MSI)
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD)
- Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD)
Our Fees – Get an initial assessment of your situation
To help you assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case, we offer a fixed fee assessment. The benefit of this fixed fee assessment is that you will receive expert SEN legal advice quickly at minimal cost and gain an understanding of the merits of your case before proceeding further.
In order to complete this assessment report, our SEN specialists need to review the relevant documentation regarding your child. We can then produce written advice which will assess: –
- the strengths and weaknesses of your case;
- the evidence you have obtained;
- what steps you need to take to maximise the chances of winning your case;
- the experts that you may need to instruct;
- important dates/deadlines to be aware of;
- a costs estimate;
- action to be taken going forward.
Our specialist SEN assessment report costs £500 plus VAT.
If, after reading the report, you would like Tayntons to act for you, we will be able to hit the ground running having completed the initial assessment. We believe in making our advice and pricing fair and transparent, and before proceeding to act for you, we will let you have a client care letter with an estimate of our costs and terms and conditions of business.
Special Educational Needs (SEN) FAQs
Does my child have Special Educational Needs?
Your child may have Special Educational Needs if they have a learning difficulty or disability which requires Special Educational Provisions to be made.
A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if they: –
- have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
- have a disability that prevents or hinders them from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.
A child under compulsory school age has a learning difficulty or disability if they are likely to fall within the definition set out above, when they are of compulsory school age.
What types of needs are considered to be SEN?
Special Educational Needs are generally considered under four broad areas of need and support: –
- Communication and interaction – children with speech, language and communication needs have difficulty communicating with others. They may have difficulty saying what they want or understanding what others are saying, or they do not understand or use social rules of communication.
- Cognition and learning – support may be required when a child learns at a slower pace than their peers. Learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs, including Moderate Learning Difficulties and Severe Learning Difficulties. Specific Learning Difficulties affect specific aspects of learning such as Dyslexia or Dyspraxia.
- Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties – a child may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties manifested in many ways, such as withdrawal or isolation as well as challenging behaviour. These behaviours may reflect mental health difficulties, including anxiety, self-harming or depression. Other children may have attention deficit disorder or attachment disorder.
- Physical or sensory difficulties – some children require Special Educational Provision where they have a disability, which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities generally provided, such as visual or hearing impairment.
What is an Education, Health & Care Plan (EHCP)?
An EHCP is a legally binding document issued by the responsible Local Authority. It should be drafted to set out the education, health, and social care needs of a child and the necessary support that is required. The document should be detailed and specific and should quantify the Special Educational Provision to be delivered to meet the child or young person’s Special Educational Needs.
Can I appeal an EHCP?
Parents of pupils under 16 years of age, and young people over 16, have a right of appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Tribunal when the responsible Local Authority issues a Final EHCP or when an amended Final EHCP is subsequently issued, for example, following an Annual Review.
A right of appeal is also created when a Local Authority refuses to amend an EHCP following an Annual Review.
It is also possible to appeal other decisions reached by a Local Authority, including a decision to cease to maintain an EHCP, a refusal by the LA to carry out an EHC needs assessment or a refusal to issue an EHCP following an assessment.
There are strict deadlines for lodging an appeal with the SEND Tribunal.
Get in touch with our Education Law team
For help with any aspect of Education Law, including the legislation relating to Special Educational Needs in England and Wales, please contact us today by calling 0800 158 4147 or request a call back, and a member of our team will be in touch promptly.