Specialist placement for a child with severe visual needs

Specialist placement for a child with severe visual needs

Harry* was in Year 5 when we received instructions to support him with problems at school.

Harry already had an Education Health Care Plan and attended his local mainstream school. Harry is a bright child and was keenly aware of his differences with his peer group, and the inability of his school to deliver teaching as he needed it.

The EHCP was very poorly drafted, and his school lacked the necessary experience and provision required to meet his educational needs. 

Funding was limited so a strategy and planning for improvement of the EHCP in readiness for transition to secondary school commenced.

The LA put forward an outstanding (Ofsted) local Academy setting that had been adapted for students with visual needs. Harry visited the school and was overwhelmed with the noise and size of the establishment. His mental health declined as he worried about his future schooling and prospects and ambitions to attend university.

Detailed investigations of the LA offer included the experience and training of staff to deliver a full mainstream curriculum including life skills. This quickly revealed significant weaknesses and failings. 

In the interim, Harry had attended a trial at New College Worcester (NCW) a specialist school for students with visual impairments (VI) which is based at a distance to the family home. Harry thrived and felt that he had found the perfect school even if it meant having to board during term time.

An array of experts were engaged including an Educational Psychologist with expertise VI cases, a VI expert, and a child psychiatrist.

The case was subject to the launch of appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal and settled by way of consent ahead of the hearing date with the LA agreeing to name NCW.

As a team we were thrilled to receive photos and video of Harry’s progress since starting at NCW. 

He is doing so well and has a lovely friendship group, he has already moved up a year in Maths, been student of the week 2 weeks in a row, and won a prize for being one of the top 10 students for attitude to learning. He has always got a great story to tell and is very, very happy

* Harry's name has been changed to protect his anonymity

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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