Does your child have special educational needs following an injury?
If your child has Special Educational Needs (SEN) because of an injury, they could need extra support at school, and the school may require extra funding to provide it. Your Local Authority has a duty to provide for children and young people with SEN. You or your child’s school should apply to your Local Authority for an Education Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment. We can guide you through the process for requesting this assessment to help you make a successful application.
What are Special Educational Needs?
The law says a child or young person (aged 0 to 25) has SEN if they have “a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made.” Your Local Authority has a duty to provide for all children and young people within their area who have SEN.
If your child has suffered a serious injury, because of an accident or medical negligence, they may now have Special Educational Needs (SEN). Taking the right steps to make sure their SEN are supported is critical to your child’s is critical to your child’s progression in education and schooling.
Many children with SEN need more support than a school can typically provide. The school may need extra funding to deliver the right levels of support, and to make this possible the Local Authority may arrange an Education Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment. The EHC needs to be requested by the child’s parents or guardians or the school.
The EHC will assess if the child has SEN, and needs more educational support than is usually available at a mainstream school. While the assessment can be made without involving the school or educational setting, the school can play an important role in supplying evidence about the child’s needs.
If your child is already at school and you think they need extra support, it’s important to discuss this with the school before requesting an EHC needs assessment. If they agree with you, they can help by providing supporting evidence. This could include details of your child’s progress, the support they’re already receiving and why they think your child may require extra support.
If the school doesn’t agree with your EHC needs assessment request, you can still ask your Local Authority for an assessment and provide your own evidence, including school records.
Your Local Authority should provide clear guidance on how to apply for an assessment, so it’s worth studying this and ensuring you have provided all the information required, before making your application.
Based on the EHC assessment, the Local Authority will then decide whether to issue an Educational Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
When you or your child’s school asks for an EHC assessment, the Local Authority should give you a decision within six weeks. There’s more information about this in our factsheet about ‘Statutory deadlines concerning children with SEN’.
We understand these issues can seem complex and frustrating, when you’re simply trying to do the best for your child. You can turn to us for advice and support, to secure the best SEN provision for your child.
Our education team specialises in this niche area of the law, and we have a reputation for getting results quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively. We’ll take the time to listen and understand your child’s needs, and work with you to assess the options, set goals and develop a strategy to achieve them.
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