Who We Help
“The team simply change lives for so many kids and have never lost at trial; confident and excellent advocates.”
The Children and Families Act 2014, which became law in March of 2014, resulted in the split of English special educational law and Welsh special educational needs legislation. This paved the way for Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) as opposed to the Statutory Assessment of Special Educational Needs system which is still in operation in Wales today.
We provide tailored legal advice and assistance with a range of special educational needs matters for:
We never act for local authorities.
SEN Advice for Parents
If you are caring for a child or young person with special educational needs, we understand the difficulties and challenges you may face in securing vital support tailored to their special educational needs during and throughout their education.
While the highest level of education and opportunities to learn should be available to all children, this is not always as straightforward where special educational needs are involved. Cuts to funding, longwinded local authority procedures and outright failures in the system all contribute to a downfall in receiving the vital support your child needs to develop to their full potential.
At HCB Solicitors, our team of nationally regarded special educational needs solicitors understands your child’s right to a quality education. We will work alongside you to tackle each and every challenge throughout the process to ensure your child receives the help they need to make progress with their education.
We provide specialist legal advice and expert, practical guidance throughout the process to ensure you have a solid foundation after our involvement. We understand the need for positive working relationships with other professionals and, unlike other solicitors, we make sure this is put into practice.
SEN Advice for Young people
If a young person with special educational needs in England is aged 16 or older, they are expected to bring special educational needs appeals in their own name. However, this does not apply if they lack the mental capacity to do so.
Our special educational needs solicitors have supported and continue to support many young people, often with complex learning difficulties, to successfully navigate the process of appealing.
We provide clear-cut, uncomplicated advice and our expert knowledge of special educational needs law is what allows us to be able to provide such a high level of support when exploring options available to our young people.
At HCB Solicitors, our special educational needs team has created leading case law which allows parents to support a young person when bringing about an appeal. Although parents must understand the extent and limitations of being a supporter, for many young people with special educational needs or learning disabilities this role is extremely important. We can also step in and get involved directly when a young person may have disagreements.
SEN Advice for Case Managers
If you need special educational needs advice as a case manager, we can assist you.
As a case manager supporting a young person with learning difficulties, expert legal advice is often instrumental when it comes to helping young people with complex special educational needs.
When a young person is assigned to a case manager, it is usually after they have received compensation from a personal injury or clinical negligence claim. As a result, local authorities will then assume the child or young person can afford to facilitate their own educational support, thus attempting to reduce the amount of support provided to them.
From specialised teaching to one-to-one support and therapy, no child or young person should be made to pay for their own support because of their special educational needs.
If you are a case manager seeking legal advice on your client’s behalf, we can review what is being paid at present and advise you of what support is available from the local authority. Our team will oversee your case before and after settlement has been achieved to ensure your client receives the best possible support and help available while making sure to protect their finances.
SEN Advice for Special Educational Needs Advocates
Our special educational needs team has strong working relationships with advocacy groups supporting families.
The sensitive nature of appeals for special educational needs means matters can often become very complex, frequently requiring a deeper understanding of the law. On top of this, local authorities will usually enlist the aid of a solicitor or barrister at the beginning of the case which makes expert legal advice even more essential, particularly during the final hearing.
The success of an appeal can often be based solely on what takes place during the appeal hearing and we regularly assist advocacy groups by representing their special educational needs clients at final hearings. Although we can not always provide full support throughout the appeals process, our involvement in the final hearing can be vital for a successful outcome.
At HCB Solicitors, we support many advocates of special educational needs clients and can offer a fixed fee for final hearing representation.
SEN Advice for Other solicitors
We can provide legal advice and assistance to solicitors dealing with clinical negligence, personal injury and court of protection matters.
If you are acting on behalf of a client for clinical negligence or personal injury, we recommend considering legal advice for special educational needs before settling a claim if they are likely to require additional support with their education. The costs associated with this advice should be included in the claim before settlement and we can assist by providing statements to support such claims.
When funding becomes available for a child or young person, we can assist to ensure they receive the special educational provision they require. By securing support from the local authority, we can help to protect your client’s funding by avoiding the all too common scenario of their funding being used to pay for additional teaching support.
Where an independent or non-maintained special school is required for a child or young person dealing with complex learning difficulties, funding should be secured as quickly as possible for these placements to avoid depleting any compensation your client is likely to receive.
Our special educational needs team has a substantial amount of experience when it comes to supporting other solicitors and their clients in securing Statement of Special Educational Needs and Education Health and Care Plans. By providing this complete service, we can help you ensure that you are protecting your client’s funds.
SEN Advice for Experts
As parents and carers become more knowledgeable and aware of their child or young person’s rights, they are increasingly seeking advice from an independent specialist.
Parents are also looking to independent experts to act as an advocate for their child’s rights. If this should be the case, we would always recommend that you advise your client to seek expert special educational needs advice.
From educational psychologists and physiotherapists to occupational and speech and language therapists, we support a range of experts who trust in our help to support their clients. Providing this specialised advice on special educational needs law has allowed us to develop strong links with many experts.
SEN Advice for Deputies
As well as working closely with claimant solicitors and case managers, we also act for and advise professional and lay deputies.
Our solicitors understand how difficult the role of a deputy can be and how important it is to ensure funding is used only when necessary. Our special educational needs team is focused on ensuring that costs are known from the beginning and that there is measurable value to any work we commence on your behalf.
Managing conditions imposed by the Court of Protection is also an obstacle for deputies but something our specialist solicitors have great experience with. It is our understanding of these complexities which allows us to provide exceptional special educational needs advice to meet your requirements.