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special educational needs and disability

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Our experience in this area encompasses policy advice as well as supporting the relationship between the school or academy with the local authority and parents. In terms of policy advice, the Children and Families Act 2014 requires all state funded schools to put in place new processes to support children with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) and make their approach available and accessible to the public on their website.

We regularly act for schools and support them in disputes with local authorities and other agencies. We work closely with schools to ensure the best possible outcome and have successfully supported schools in referring matters to the Secretary of State as well as taking or defending legal action where proceedings are required.

We also provide expert advice and practical support to all schools on Equality Act issues including claims for race, sex, religious or disability discrimination. This includes dealing with complaints or exclusion decisions which may have Equality Act implications. In addition, we have worked with a number of schools on claims lodged with the SEND Tribunal and have provided practical advice, support and representation which has resulted in successful outcomes for those schools.

what we do...

  • Advising on the changes required to policy frameworks in light of the legislation on SEND and equalities. 
  • Advising on complaints arising from decisions, actions or inaction in relation to SEND pupils within schools or from other users of premises 
  • Giving practical advice on all aspects of school operations which impact on the SEND and equalities framework including those aspects covered above and SEN/high needs funding concerns, collaboration with other schools, alternative provision and uniform issues.
  • Reviewing documentation, drafting responses to local authority consultations and assistance in referring disputes to the Secretary of State. 
  • Supporting proposed admission of pupils with SEN statements or Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans. 

related resources

Guides

FAQs - Converting to academy status

These FAQ are designed for single schools looking to convert to academy status, a group of schools wishing to form a multi academy trust or a school looking to convert and join an existing multi academy trust.

View

What’s the process for SEN admissions?

Richard Freeth gives a summary of the process that must be followed by local authorities with schools prior to a child with a SEN statement or EHC plan being admitted.

View

What is a 'reasonable adjustment' for disabled pupils?

Hayley O'Sullivan explains what a 'reasonable adjustment' is for disabled pupils.

View

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