SENDIST appeal against the school named on the Statement

Anna has Down’s syndrome and has a Statement of Special Educational Needs. At the time of our involvement she was in the last year of her primary school, a voluntary aided mainstream school. 

For her secondary education Anna’s parents wanted her to attend a small voluntary aided special school. They did not feel that Anna would be able to cope in a large school. The Local Authority (LA) refused saying that this would be an inefficient use of resources as Anna’s needs could be met in a maintained special school. The annual difference in cost between the two placements was £17, 000. Anna’s parents lodged an appeal themselves to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST) against Part 4 of the Statement i.e. against the school named on the Statement.  

How we were able to help

We took over the appeal to SENDIST and immediately requested an amendment to the appeal to include Parts 2 (needs) and 3 (provision). We also asked for the hearing to be delayed to allow extra time to gather expert evidence. We then organised assessments that were able to show that Anna needed to be taught in small class sizes and that she needed a quiet, calm learning environment. The peer group at the LA’s named school was also found to be unsuitable. The outcome following the Hearing was a tightened Statement with specified provision in Part 3 and the school that parents wanted named in Part 4.

Anna is now at her school and is very happy there. 

I am so happy at the outcome, I don't think we would have had such a comprehensive service from any other law firm, and you took the worry away...I do not regret a single second of the whole process, apart from the bit before you got involved. 

James' mother, Boyes Turner client

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