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Special Education for Children and Young Adults

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Nothing is more important to any parent than ensuring your children get the best possible start in life and are equipped for a rich and fulfilled adulthood. Families with children or young adults with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and disabilities can face challenges accessing much needed support to achieve that.

It’s often a struggle just to get information about your rights and entitlements let alone negotiate a system that, in many parent’s experience, seems loaded in favour of the authorities rather than the child. Even the language of SEN can be hard to follow.

Access Legal can assist families facing these problems. Our specialist education law team can give you practical advice to make securing SEN provision easier. We can also provide Tribunal representation for parents who need to appeal against Local Authority decisions.

The new Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) brought in from 1 September 2014 by the Children and Families Act 2014) replaced the previous system of Statements of Special Educational Needs. Youngsters now have a right to have their needs addressed through the EHCP up to 25 years of age. The new regime also calls for a real focus on the views and wishes of the child or young person and their family to be taken into account when devising the plan.

That’s the theory, but in practice many parents tell us that, aside from clear cut cases such as that of James Robshaw for example, getting Local Education Authorities to acknowledge that their child needs special educational provision at all is an uphill struggle followed by a fight to get the right sort of provision and support delivered.

Taking that fight to a Special Educational Needs Tribunal appeal, often for increased support or a change in a child's placement, is another level of challenge. Given the weight of official opinion and legal advice that will be ranged against you, it is imperative that you can match that knowledge and support in order to ensure your appeal stands the best chance of success.

Whether your child's Special Educational Needs result from a congenital condition or an injury suffered at or following birth, our highly regarded education law experts can help you overcome the barriers you face so that your youngster can fulfil their true potential.

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