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Special educational needs and disability

Special educational needs and disability

Academies, MATs & Schools


Special educational needs and disability advice for schools and academies

We work with schools to help them navigate their legal duties in relation to children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Unquestionably, the SEND system is under considerable strain at this time which often means that schools feel that they are overwhelmed with education health and care plan (EHC Plan) consultation requests from local authorities and under pressure to accommodate even more SEND children.

We can support schools by assisting with their responses to EHC Plan consultations by Local Authorities (LAs), sharing our template EHC Plan consultation documents in the process, advising on parental complaints, disputes with LAs and other organisations, as well advising on all legal obligations that fall to schools under the Children and Families Act 2014, the SEND Code of Practice 2015 and the Equality Act 2010. We also deliver topical webinars on SEND requirements and new developments in the course of the academic year, which are free to attend.

We have successfully helped schools persuade LAs not to name them on an EHC Plan in cases where it is not in the child's or the school's best interests to do so. We can help with referring matters to the Secretary of State for Education, and have assisted in taking last-resort legal action or defending claims through the courts and tribunals. Schools trust us to work with them strategically and sensitively on these matters.

We are often called on to advise schools and academies when they are requested to provide information and witness statements in the course of appeals against local authorities by parents concerning their children's EHC Plans.

We provide advice in relation to High Needs SEND Funding and we carefully track all policy and legal developments in relation to SEND. Currently our focus is on the Government's 2023 Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision Improvement Plan and the situation relating to High Needs Deficits in local authorities and the Government's Safety Valve Agreements.

We are also able to provide you with SEND policy templates.

For advice and support on all matters relating to SEND and funding, please contact Yvonne Spencer on 0207 665 0870 or Nicola Tarmey on 0117 314 5439.

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Meet the Team

We provide academies with experienced education lawyers who are always on hand to give practical solutions to problems and the confidence to react positively to opportunities.

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Yvonne Spencer - Partner & Education Lawyer in London - VWV Law Firm
Alice Reeve - Education Employment Lawyer in Bristol - VWV Law Firm
Matthew Wolton -Partner in Bristol

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