House of Commons Briefing on the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Reforms

The House of Commons Library briefing published on 10 November 2016 sets out information on the impact of the changes for children with special educational needs and disabilities brought about by the Children and Families Act 2014. For those who want to...

Westminster Education Forum 2016

On the 3 rd  November  Laxmi Patel , Head of Education at Boyes Turner, was invited to be a guest speaker at the Westminster Education Forum in London. The Westminster Education Forum is an opportunity for interested parties across the Education...

School exclusions and Special Educational Needs

Pupils who have special educational needs (SEN) support, including those children with  Education, Heath and Care Plans  (EHCP), have the highest exclusion rate in the UK. The Department for Education found that children with SEN are over 7 times...

What happens when parents disagree with each other about school placement?

The appeal of  S-G v Denbighshire County Council and another  has, for the first time, considered how special educational needs tribunals should handle a case where parents do not agree with one another about school placement. This judgement...

Great Scott! Another SEND review report...

Lee Scott was asked in March 2016 by the previous Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, to look into the special educational needs and disability (SEND) changes brought about by the Children and Families Act 2014. Mr Scott was the former Prime Minister’s...

A night with Dingley's Promise

Earlier this month Boyes Turner’s special educational needs (SEN) specialists were kindly invited to attend an event celebrating local charity  Dingley’s Promise . Dingley’s Promise is a registered not for profit charity with a...

Boyes Turner Annual SEN conference 2016

Boyes Turner SEN team hosted their annual conference on 20 October 2016. Laxmi Patel , Head of Education at Boyes Turner, gave us top tips and guidance on how to complete an Educational Health and Care Plan  (EHCP)  and provided real examples...

Dyslexia Awareness Week 2016 - Living with dyslexia

What do Winston Churchill, Agatha Christie, Richard Branson and Jamie Oliver have in common? All of these successful celebrities were diagnosed with  dyslexia ! Dyslexia Action reports that one in 10 people are dyslexic, more than 6.3 million people...

Dyslexia Awareness Week 2016 - What are the benefits of a SEN school?

Choosing a new school for your child can be one of the most stressful decisions you will have to make as a parent. But for parents with children who have special educational needs, this decision becomes even more challenging. It is a question of suitability...

Dyslexia Awareness Week 2016 - Children who require an EHCP for dyslexia

All state schools are required by law (Equality Act 2010) to ensure that special help is provided for children with special educational needs, such as dyslexia. This often includes additional one- to-one support with a Teaching Assistant or additional time...

Dyslexia Awareness Week 2016 - How do you identify dyslexia?

Dyslexia  is a developmental disability which means you are born with this disability. Despite this, a diagnosis of dyslexia is often not reached until the child is at school and is seen to struggle in comparison with their peers, explaining why it is...

Dyslexia Awareness Week 2016

As special educational needs specialists we often meet clients who have been diagnosed with dyslexia and see how challenging this disability can be in day to day life.  But what many people do not realise is that one in 10 people struggle with dyslexia...

Changes to the Tribunal appeals

The Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST) has brought in new changes to the tribunal appeals process. The changes were brought in from 1 August 2016 and have not been widely publicised. The tribunal’s website will be changed in...

When is an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) necessary?

The judgment of the Upper Tribunal in  Hertfordshire County Council v MC and KC (SEN) (Special educational needs : Failure to make a statement)  has been released. This case the question of when an EHCP is necessary. This case is an appeal...

No hours, just banding, in an EHCP

Over the weekend, we received  this flyer  from a concerned parent via Facebook. The parent asked us whether what the local authority was proposing was lawful. The flyer “SEN Banding Information Sessions” poses the question;...

Are we now seeing the reality of the SEND reforms?

We are approaching the end of the academic year. This is normally a busy time for education lawyers, particularly those of us who specialise in special educational needs. This year, however, has been the most hectic I have experienced in nearly 10 years...

Special educational needs (SEN) funding - How does it work?

We’ve been asked to clarify how special educational needs funding (SEN funding) is handled in schools. We are told that some local authorities (LAs) are ‘deducting’ the first £10,000 and others are ‘deducting’ the...

Clarity from the Upper Tribunal about young people and EHCPs

The Children and Families Act 2014 created a new system of support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Two of the many changes made were: Extending SEND support to the age of 25; Creating the...

Learning difficulty assessments (LDAs) - Your questions answered

Over recent weeks we have experienced an increase in enquiries from concerned parents and young people who (1) will be moving on to further education in September or (2) are already in further education but where they have been told that continued funding...

Special educational needs statistics are released by Department of Education

The Department for Education (DfE) has issued its first set of special educational needs statistics following the changes brought about by the Children and Families Act 2014. The information published on 26 May 2016 is currently the only national source...

Helping families of disabled young people to face the future - The Transition Event 2016

Our special educational needs team will be attending the Transition Event on Thursday 26th May 2016 at the National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham. Support for young people with disabilities into adulthood Celebrating its 10 th  anniversary, the...

SEN law changes in Wales - a Special Educational Needs solicitor's view

We have been asked for our views on the proposed SEN law changes in Wales. This is what we think. SEN law in Wales is changing. The proposed changes are, in some ways, similar to the changes following from the Children and Families Act 2014 in England,...

How much you've paid for the SEND reforms

Since the beginning of February 2016, we have been chasing the Department for Education for details of the costs of the special educational needs and disability (SEND) reforms. On Friday 18 March we received the answer. The total figure is staggering. ...

Special educational needs - what's really happening?

On Thursday 10 March we attended the Kidz to Adultz event at the Ricoh Arena. We attend these events every year. Every year, we speak to increasing numbers of parents raising concerns. This year, we spoke with dozens of parents, more than ever before,...

New SEND guidance for health professionals - is it any clearer?

Since the special educational needs and disability (SEND) reforms came about with the Children and Families Act 2014 coming into force in September 2014, we have expressed our concerns about health and social care not engaging with the process. Read ...

Education and Adoption Bill to become law

The Department for Education (DfE) has  confirmed  that the Education and Adoption Bill has completed its journey through Parliament and will now be put forward for Royal Assent. This means that the Bill will shortly become the Education and...

Worrying statistics regarding SEND reforms & EHCP transition deadlines

The Department for Education (DfE) has issued a new newsletter summarising recent events in relation to the new special educational needs and disability (SEND) reforms. SEND reform statistics Perhaps most shocking are the findings from the December 2015...

High-functioning autism and special educational needs

Over the past few weeks we have been contacted by a number of parents of children with high-functioning autism (HFA). It seems increasingly common for local authorities to refuse to make an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessments of young people...

Replacement SEN Statements cause 'postcode lottery in school funding'

Laxmi Patel  recently contributed to an article in School’s Week in response to a Freedom of Information request highlighting significant differences between local authorities in the number of assessments completed in the first year of the...

LA cuts taking their toll

“A new special educational needs (SEN) system has been in place for more than a year. But have the changes been positive? Laxmi Patel gives them a broad thumbs up – but warns that cuts are taking their toll”. Laxmi Patel  recently...

DfE puts more money into SEND reforms

On 29 January 2016 the DfE announced that it would be putting more money into the special educational needs and disability (SEND) reforms. The additional funding is £80 million. The funding breaks down as follows: £35.87 million to local...

Statements and EHCPs to be amended by 15 February...

We are fast approaching the 15 February, the date by when local authorities (LAs) must issue a new  Statement of Special Educational Needs (SSEN) or Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)  for children who are transferring to a new phase of...

Exclusions and special educational needs

The Department for Education (DfE) has published  statistical analysis  of absences and exclusions for pupils with special educational needs (SEN). It is no surprise that the statistics show that children with SEN and/or disabilities are more...

BABICM Children & Young People Event - 12th May 2016

We are proud to announce that we are hosting the BABICM Children and Young People group’s Special Educational Needs training day for case managers. This course will be for case managers who are supporting children and young people up to the age of...

More local authorities included in pilot scheme for health and social care

The government has passed legislation to come in force on 1 February 2016 –  The Special Educational Needs and Disability (First-tier Tribunal Recommendation Power)(Pilot)(Amendment) Regulations 2016  that will come into force on 1 February...

What goes into a Statement of Special Educational Needs?

At a time when special educational need provision is moving away from  Statement of Special Educational Needs (SSEN)  to  Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) , you could be forgiven for thinking that SSENs were understood. Unfortunately,...

Personal budgets, direct payments and SEN (2)

This is the second of a two-part post. Yesterday’s post explained what a personal budget is, how parents/young person (YP) can request one, personal budgets for Health and Social Care, challenging the local authority’s (LA’s) decision and...

Personal budgets, direct payments and SEN (1)

We get enquiries about  personal budgets  time and time again. Whilst the right for parents and young people (YP) to request a personal budget has been in force now for over a year, it is apparent that very few people who want one have actually...

Who is responsible for therapy in an Education, Health and Care Plan?

There is still quite a lot of confusion about how therapeutic provision should be provided to a child or young person who has an  Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) . Yesterday, 6 January 2016, we received a letter from a local authority which...

When a Tribunal isn't a Tribunal - all change to SENDIST panels

Following three years of consultation and pilots, the  Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal  panels are going to be changed. With immediate effect, all appeals will automatically be allocated a two member panel. In January 2013 the...

Ofsted's Annual Report - findings for children with special educational needs (SEN)

Ofsted  published its annual report on 1 December 2015. The report follows over 5000 inspections of schools, colleges and further education placements. In addition to the north/south divide (the gap between the performance of secondary schools in the...

Education Law Monitor, October 2015 - Guest article from Boyes Turner's Laxmi Patel

We have recently written an article for the periodical, Education Law Monitor. Within our article, we explored the developments of the special educational needs system over the last year and what we hope to see in the next year. Special Educational...

EHC plans and the postcode lottery

“Speakers at the Westminster Education Forum touched upon an issue that I believe needs to be discussed and understood more fully. Changes to the special educational needs (SEN) regime brought about by the  Children and Families Act 2014 (CFA)...

What happens when a Local Authority cuts funding half way through a course

The case of R (C) v Westminster City Council (2015) has just been reported. Unfortunately, we have not been able to locate the case on free databases and, as yet, have not received the full citation. The case concerns a judicial review of a...

Why a Statement (or EHCP) is crucial

The DfE has released an updated report on the destinations of pupils leaving Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5. The data can be found  here . These figures relate to the academic year 2013/2014. As such, they are an assessment of the outcomes for children...

Is the Local Offer really the problem?

The Department for Education (DfE) has released its latest Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) newsletter. It focuses heavily on the failings of the  Local Offer , but is quiet on a number of other issues. The newsletter...

...even more unlawful SEN policies

We received a letter recently which describes another  blanket policy  being operated by at least one local authority (LA).  The letter is from an LA to the parent of a child with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The...

Local Authority warns of cuts to children's services

In February this year we wrote about cuts to local authority budgets and the consequences for children’s services. You can read the story  here . With cuts to budgets from central government it is no surprise that cuts to local authority...

Update on EHCPs - Boyes Turner provide training to Scope's Independent Supporters

We  ran a training session on 16 September 2015 at Scope’s head office in London, reviewing the changes for children with special educational needs (SEN) a year after the Children and Families Act 2014 (CFA) came into force. The training was...
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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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