Education Law Solicitors

Everything you face, we face with you

HCB SEN Solicitors

SEND in England

We provide expert special educational needs advice in England and Wales. 

If a child or young person you are caring for is struggling with their education or not progressing as they should be, they may have special educational needs (SEN). If you believe this may be the case, you can ask the school for additional help known as ‘SEN support’.

Once this request has been made, your child’s teacher will consult with the school’s Special Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) who will be responsible for putting a plan of action together for the additional help and monitoring your child’s progress throughout.

SEN support in schools usually starts with the Assess, Plan, Do, Review model which your child’s teachers will be responsible for providing their learning around. If required, extra support staff or external professionals may also be brought in to meet your child’s special educational needs requirements.

The support your child receives will depend on their individual circumstances and requirements but could include a variety of scenarios such as one-to-one sessions or small group work, special learning materials and/or social skills exercises.

As a parent or carer, you should be directly involved in agreeing your child’s goals for the plan, including full knowledge of the support that is to be provided, who it is being provided by and how their progress will be monitored and evaluated. You should also receive an update of your child’s progress, at the minimum, three times a year.

If a child or young person has severe or complex learning difficulties which SEN support will not benefit, or is not currently benefiting, the next stage is to approach your local authority and request an EHCP needs assessment. This will enable your local authority to ascertain whether your child requires an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

If the school is unable to provide the assistance needed to meet your child needs without external aid, the specifically designed EHCP will allow your child to receive the special educational needs support they require.

Once you’ve approached the local authority about an EHC needs assessment or EHCP, they may make decisions that you do not agree with. These include:

  • Refusing to arrange an EHC needs assessment
  • Refusing to issue an EHCP following an EHC needs assessment
  • The content of an EHCP
  • The school named in an EHCP
  • Changes made to an EHCP after an annual review
  • Refusing to make a change to an EHCP after an annual review
  • Ceasing to maintain an Education, Health and Care Plan

If you disagree with any of the above decisions made by the local authority, you can challenge these to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.

At HCB Solicitors, our expert special educational needs team is on hand to answer any questions or concerns you may have about your child’s special educational needs and subsequent requirements.