The Special Educational Needs (SEND) review green paper: right support, right place, right time

The Government has completed its review of education in England and has published a green paper proposing changes to the SEND and alternative provision (AP) system in England. It is hoped the changes will better support children and young people (CYP) to...

SNAP Webinar - Education, Health and Care Needs Assessments (EHCNA)

I spoke with SNAP Care on 16 March 2022 about EHCNAs and what parents and young people who have special educational needs should know. Below are some of the questions and answers: 1. What is an EHCNA? It is a holistic assessment of a child or young...

Plugging the gap on the never ending Annual Review cycle

The long awaited High Court judgment in R (L) v Devon CC [2022] EWHC 493 (Admin) finally provides clarity on the process of amending Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) after annual reviews. In short, if the local authority proposes to amend the EHCP...

All change: The Welsh ALN reforms

What are the ALN reforms? Pupils in Wales with special educational needs (SEN) are supported through early intervention/intervention plus; school action/action plus; and Statements of SEN. These are now being phased out in favour of a single statutory...

Snap Care - cease to maintain education, health and care plans (EHCPS)

I spoke with SNAP Care on 9 February 2022 about EHCPs, and what you need to know about when a Plan can be ceased, and when one is ceased, by the local authority (LA). Here are some of the questions and answers: If a young person (YP) reaches 19 years old...

Inside Government Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPS) Training - Key Points

I have provided training for Inside Government on ‘Meeting the Legal Requirements of an EHCP’, on several occasions, most recently in January 2022. A number of delegates were from schools and keen to know more about EHCPs. Below are some of the...

SNAP Webinar - Transition Review of EHCPs

I spoke with Snap Care on 12 January 2022, to discuss Transition Reviews of Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs). Below are some of the questions and answers: 1.    What are Transition Reviews? EHCPs are legally required to be reviewed...

Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Tribunal Extension Appeals

The SEND Tribunal ran a National Trial from 3 April 2018 until 31 August 2021 that enabled parents and young people (YP) with SEND who appealed to the SEND Tribunal about: Their local authority (LA) not issuing an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP); ...

Can I request an EHC needs assessment without a diagnosis?

The local authority must complete an EHC needs assessment if your child has or may have special educational needs, and if your child may need special educational provision to be made through an EHCP. You do not need a formal diagnosis in order to...

The Phase Transfer Review Process

Many Local Authorities (LA) are currently holding review meetings to review and amend the Education, Health and Care Plan (“EHCP”) for children or young people that are due to transfer from one phase of education to another. Phase transfer...

My child will soon be turning 18: Do they need a deputy?

Mental capacity and decision making When your child reaches 18 they will become a legal adult. Amongst other matters, this means that they will be deemed able to make their own decisions about all aspects of their life, unless it is established that they...

My child will soon be turning 18: What do I need to know?

Turning 18 is a fundamental milestone for all young people. For children and young people with a disability and/or special educational needs, it can be a particularly challenging time. In practice, planning for post-18 support for a disabled child tends to...

My LA has just declared bankruptcy - what does that mean for my child's SEN support or EHCP?

Slough Borough Council has declared bankruptcy, joining Northamptonshire County Council and Croydon Council in issuing notice that it can now provide only essential council services. In February 2021 the Financial Times reported twelve authorities were in...

Arranging EHCP provision: how long is 'reasonable'?

When a local authority (LA) issues an EHCP, it must arrange the provision specified in Section F (s42 Children & Families Act 2014). The question of what is ‘reasonable’ time to implement Section F was examined in the recent case of BA, R (On...

Snap Care Webinar - Back to School

I spoke with Snap Care on 31 March 2021, to discuss Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) and the relevant topic of ‘Back to School’. Below are some of the questions and answers: 1. Should all children/young people (C/YP), including those...

Special Educational Needs (SEN) funding - What do I need to know?

An area of SEN that can cause uncertainty is funding and, in particular, the different elements of SEN funding and what, in practice, these mean for support for pupils in schools. Element 1 Known as the core budget/Age Weighted Pupil Unit (AWPU) for each...

The question of specificity in EHCPs revisited - when is enough enough?

LB of Redbridge v HO (SEN): [2020] UKUT 323 (AAC) Those working with EHCPs will have heard many times over that provision in a Statement or Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) must ‘ so specific and so clear as to leave no room for doubt as to...

EHCP - school transition deadline - 15 February

Hopefully today is the day the LA confirmed your parental choice of placement. Your local authority (LA) must issue a new Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) for children moving to a new phase of education on or before 15 February. This is the stage...

Mental Health and SEND

Children and young people with SEND face additional barriers that can affect their mental health. Unidentified speech, language, and communication needs can significantly impact their ability to express feelings and to feel understood and connected to...

Children and Young People's Mental Health in 2021 - What do we know?

In October 2020 the NHS published the Mental Health Survey for Children and Young People. The Survey is notable because it follows up with participants who were questioned in 2017. The Survey offers a sobering insight into children and young...

Children's mental health crisis - is it new?

It is impossible to ignore the growing mental health crisis which has been exacerbated since school lockdown due to Covid-19. However, for many families with children with special educational needs and/or disabilities, this is nothing new. The lack of...

EHCPs - What do I need to know about Personal Budgets and Direct Payments?

What is the difference between a Personal Budget and Direct Payment?  A Personal Budget is an amount of money agreed with the local authority to deliver the education, health and/or social care provision in an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)...

Schools and EHCPs - Can any School be named in Section I, and does the School have to agree?

One question we often get asked is what school a parent can request is named in Section I (placement) of an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) for a child or young person (C/YP) and does that school have to agree? First, we need to consider the...

A look back on schools named in EHCPs

As we approach the end of 2020, and a new school term starting next month, it is a good time to reflect on the different schools the Boyes Turner Education Team have helped children and young people (C/YP) with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) to...

The Surrey Exclusion Zone and SEN

Are you a parent of a child or young person with special educational needs (SEN) facing exclusion, or, subject to suspension? If so you fall into the significant, but increasing minority facing an increase in exclusion/suspension numbers. Statistics for...

Funding bands and Education, Health and Care Plans

The EHCP does not specify funding, it only specifies provision and it is not clear that the provision is dedicated solely to that pupil (local authority) We are often contacted by parents because their child or young person’s Education, Health and...

SEND back to normal - maybe not yet...

The Special Educational Needs and Disability (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations2020 came into force on 1 May 2020 with implications for children and young adults with SEND. The Regulations are in place until 25 September 2020. It is unclear whether further regulations around SEND will follow. The government has made it clear that children and young adults are to return to education as a priority. Minister Ford wrote to families and young people with SEND on 2 September 2020.

Transition reviews

Children and young people may transition between several stages of education: early years provider to school infant school to junior school primary school to middle school primary school to secondary school middle school to secondary school secondary...

School named on EHCP - independent mainstream v maintained special

Parents often reach out for help when they want to appeal the type and name of school on their child’s Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). For many children, the local maintained special or mainstream school is simply not the right fit. The special...

Special Educational Needs & Disability (SEND) Tribunal - Top Tips

With the academic year shortly starting back from September, albeit it is likely that this will look different as a result of Covid-19, this time of year also signals the start of a new year of appeal hearings for the SEND Tribunal.  The SEND Tribunal...

Exam results missed - the plight of the Forgotten Few Home Educated/EOTAS minority

There is much press at the moment addressing how schools, colleges and exam boards managed the challenge of an assessed grading system arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. However, if your child or young person (those aged 16+) fell into the small,...

Secretary of State announces no further changes around EHCPs due to Covid-19

The absolute duty to deliver special educational and health care provision set out in an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) was modified from 1 May to 31 July 2020 , triggered by notices from the Secretary of State for Education. During this period,...

And finally....Covid-19 - Changes extended again to 31 July 2020

The Secretary of State for Education triggered changes to the absolute duty for Local Authorities (LA) to make provision set out in Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP) to LAs using ‘reasonable endeavours’ by passing The Coronavirus Act 2020...

SEND Tribunal National Trial - An Update

We previously wrote about the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST) National Trial on 6 February 2020 – you can view this article here . Here is a brief reminder of what the National Trial does: Since 3 April 2018, SENDIST...

And there's more....Covid-19 - Changes extended for children/young people with SEND

We last wrote about the changes to the duty to make provision set out in Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) on 4 May 2020. The changes were to be in place until 31 May 2020. This has now been extended to 30 June 2020 by a 2 nd Notice - The...

Section E (EHCP) outcomes - how important are they?

This article was written during the coronavirus outbreak in May 2020. Please note that the updated Government guidance at the time did not alter local authorities’ duties in terms of Section E outcomes. In the Education Team at Boyes Turner, we see a...

Covid-19 - Changes triggered for children/young people with SEND

We last wrote about The Coronavirus Act 2020 and what it meant for children and young adults with special educational needs and/or disabilities here . Since then, there have been two key changes: 1)The Secretary of State for Education has now triggered ...

Covid-19 and children/young people with SEND

Much has happened over the last few weeks. Here’s a round-up of where we currently stand and what we know to date. This information is correct as of 30 March 2020. The Coronavirus Act 2020 has now been passed – the Act has implications for...

Autism and EHCPs - What you need to know

Autism Awareness Week (set up by the National Autistic Society ) runs this year from 30 March – 5 April 2020. It is a good opportunity to highlight the importance of how a good Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) can really make a difference for...

SEND Tribunal National Trial - What you need to know

What is the SEND Tribunal? The Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST) is an independent specialist tribunal that hears appeals during the EHCP process. This includes appeals from parents or a young person (YP) whose request for an...

Key Education Health and Care Plan diary dates for the year ahead

If you are a parent with a child or young person (YP) with an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), then now is a good time to look ahead at the New Year and to plan for the key dates in the SEN calendar. Whilst timescales for the EHCP process are legally...

"You can't get an EHCP for dyslexia" - Can you?

How many times have you heard this? Is it true? The simple answer is it very much depends upon the learning needs of each individual. The first challenge is to obtain a diagnosis. Many children and young people struggle through their education, remaining...

The importance of a good educational psychologist in EHCP cases

A report by an educational psychologist (EP) is often the corner stone for an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). What do educational psychologists do for the EHCP? EPs gather information within the school/education context to work alongside other...

What are the '7 aspects of engagement'? New statutory assessment on the horizon

Pupils working below the standard of the national curriculum assessments are currently assessed using P scales 1 to 4. On 22 November 2018 the Department for Education (DfE) announced its plans to replace existing P scales 1 to 4 with a new statutory...

Amputation & special educational needs - What can be done to help?

A child or young person can face the trauma of amputation in a myriad of circumstances, be it from the treatment of meningitis or cancer, or as a result of an accident or injury. However, whatever the cause of injury, the recovery and rehabilitation of a...

Getting ready for the new school year

September is fast approaching and with it brings the start of a new school year. It would seem that parents now more than ever have an abundance of different types of school to choose from. Or do they? What responsibilities do the various bodies have and...

Angelman UK Family Conference 2018 - what we learnt about EHCPs

Angelman UK (also known as ASSERT) held its 10th family conference on the weekend of 10-12 th August 2018. Laxmi Patel , Head of Education, was invited to give a seminar on Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) and run workshops on what parents can do...

Upper tribunal allows appeal - educational provision out-of-term-time

An interesting recent case, GK v North Somerset Council (2018) , was heard at the Upper Tribunal in relation to special educational provision out-of-term-time. Parents and educational professionals will know that children and young people (CYP) can take a...

School's out - but does your child have a school/college place ready for September?

Whilst most families will have settled into the summer holidays, waved goodbye to teachers, school transport and stopped making packed lunches, thoughts will turn in a few weeks to the start of the new school term. Preparations need to be made – school...
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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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