SEN/ALN in Wales
Our legal team are experts in special educational needs, providing guidance and advice throughout England and Wales.
Is your child struggling in school?
Does your child need some extra help and support?
Does your child have difficulties in an educational setting?
Every child has the right to an Education. Your child may have special educational needs and our experts can help your child get the best possible start and get your child the additional support they need. Our dedicated legal team can provide advice and help you with many issues, including:
- Statutory Assessment
- Statement of Special Educational Needs
- How to appeal to SENTW
- How to appeal to Upper Tribunal
- Changes to SEN / ALN in Wales
If you are caring for a child or young person and they are having difficulties in the educational setting, they may have special educational needs. If your child or young person has special educational needs, they should be given additional support to assist their learning.
The SENCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) and your child’s teacher will work together and decide what additional support your child may need. This is known as an Individual Education Plan. To meet your child’s special educational needs, your child’s teacher and SENCo are responsible for providing the support detailed in the Individual Educational Plan. This could include additional support staff or external experts.
Support for special educational needs in Wales has three graduated stages of intervention:
- School Action – additional support provided by schools themselves.
- School Action Plus – additional support by schools together with the involvement of external agencies.
- Statement of Special Educational Needs – provides a legal entitlement to a specified package of support.
The assistance depends on what your child needs. However, this could include one-one or small group work, special learning materials and social skills development. You should be involved in the process and developing the targets for your child’s individual plan. You should be clear on the help and support that is being provided, how your child’s progress will be monitored and evaluated. Annually, there should be at least three updates, discussing how the plan is meeting your child’s individual needs.
If your child has severe or complex needs that the school cannot meet, or the measures implemented are not helping, you should contact the school and ask your local authority for a Statutory Assessment in order to secure a Statement of Special Educational Needs. If the school are not willing to support the application, you can apply for a Statutory Assessment yourself. If the Local Authority decides to make an assessment, your opinions and views should be sought, along with professional assessments of your child’s individual special educational needs.
When the Statutory Assessment has been completed, the local authority will decide if a Statement of Special Educational Needs is necessary or not. The local authority may make decisions that you do not agree with. This may include:
- Refusing to make a Statutory Assessment
- Refusing to issue a Statement of Special Educational Needs
- The content of a Statement of Special Educational Needs
- The school named in a Statement of Special Educational Needs
- Changes made to a Statement of Special Educational Needs after an Annual Review
- Refusing to make a change to s Statement of Special Educational Needs after an Annual Review
Each of the above decisions can be challenged to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal for Wales. If you would like advice or you would like to begin legal proceedings, our legal team will help you to secure the education that your child is entitled to. Please contact our specialist solicitors who will guide you through the legal process.