Practical Legal Advice from a
Specialist Education Law Solicitor

0333 772 9763
0773 666 9961

Schools and Special Needs

The role of school is at the core of SEN assessment and delivery. The abolition of School Action/Plus and obligations set out in the huge 2014/15 Code really do need to be understood by schools and parents. Parental involvement and the views of the child are emphasised as being central to the assessment and review process.

Obligations on class teachers and SENCOs are set out in the new Code of Practice, as is the importance of the school having proper fit for purpose policies. The Code talks about the possible links between the Equality Act and SEN making the point that many children will fall within the definition of disability, which offers another level of protection and obligations on schools to ensure that needs are met.

Schools must assess, plan, do and review - targets must be easy to understand and be focused on achievable outcomes. Targets must be focussed to obtain the right outcome for children, they need to be set following input from parents and where appropriate children themselves. They must be reviewed and progress monitored. The law says that this is obligatory, not optional.

Consideration must be given to involving external agencies when necessary. Schools have funding for pupils with Sen delegated directly to them, there is an expectation that is providing for a child's needs exceeds £6000 then an approach can be made to the LA for additional funding. If the child's needs arise from a health issue then an approach can be made to health. School are expected to be commissioners of services if a child needs it.

These rules apply to all schools. Academies, free schools, faith schools and standard LA schools all must comply with these obligations.

Progress and the future is what matters - and if you feel that a school or teacher is not listening, or not taking your views on board properly, or simply getting it wrong then I am here to help.

SEN provision in a school is never simple, but little things can make a world of difference. Please give me a call for a no obligation free initial consultation if you have any concerns or feel that things are simply just not right.