As the New Year begins, many parents and carers are looking ahead at the next phase of their child's educational journey. Parents/carers of children with special educational needs can find themselves worrying that their child will not receive the support required in their new school or college setting. It is important to ensure that these students are supported in the new environment and that their special educational needs are met through carefully planned provision. Parents/carers of children currently receiving SEN Support in their school might wish to take advice about requesting an Education Health and Care assessment from the Local Authority if they believe their child might require significantly more assistance in their new phase of education.
All students with existing EHC Plans going through a transition stage this summer should be having their EHC plans reviewed by the Local Authority now. The Local Authority should be considering amendments to the document to include naming the new school or college for September 2019 and considering changes to provision required in section F of the document. The Local Authority responsible has until 15 February 2019 to undertake this review, unless that child or young person is transferring from secondary school to a post-16 institution where that deadline is 31 March 2019.
The local government ombudsman has recently reprimanded Norfolk County Council over its provision for children with special educational needs after upholding 11 complaints against the council over the last two years which is one of the highest number of complaints in England. It is cause for concern as "some families are suffering a disproportionate burden in having to battle for the support their children are entitled to." A full article regarding the Ombudsman's findings can be found at
Challenging an EHC Plan or getting a needs assessment can be a daunting prospect for parents or carers. However, there is a large quantity of readily available information to help. Independent Parental Special Education Advice (IPSEA) provide a range of free resources and services. Clapham & Collinge were pleased to be able to host IPSEA training for parents this month at it's Norwich offices.
SEND Law can be difficult to navigate for parents/carers trying to ensure their child receives the right support at school or college. To find out more or discuss your individual requirements in further detail, our specialist special education needs (SEN) solicitor can help. Our advice is bespoke, confidential and will provide you with all of the necessary information, support and legal advice. . Contact us today on 01603 693500 or email us using the 'Make an enquiry' form. Appointments available at our Norwich, North Walsham, and Sheringham offices.
*This article is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or other professional advice.