Special Education Needs

The Special Educational Needs and Disability team at 9 St John Street provides tailored advisory and advocacy services for litigation in the First-tier (Special Educational Needs and Disability) Tribunal and appeals to the Upper Tribunal as well as the Education Tribunal for Wales / Tribiwnlys Addysg Cymru in relation to additional learning needs and disability discrimination in schools.

The SEN team has significant expertise in Education Law. We advise and represent a wide range of clients across the full spectrum of education law matters. Members are experienced in acting for:

  • Local Authorities
  • Schools, universities and other further and higher education institutions
  • Individual students, parents and carers

Members of the group offer a specialised service at all level levels of seniority.

We work alongside clients as part of a multidisciplinary input into a case and are happy to advise early on in the preparation of a case, ensuring a coherent and strategic approach to the litigation.

Members of the team are involved in appeals across the whole range of SEN and ALN issues from the specification of need and SEN / ANL provision to the choice of an appropriate placement.

We represent local authorities and parents in SEN / ALN cases brought under the Equality Act 2010 and Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan appeals under s.51 of the Children and Families Act 2014. Our range of SEN/ ALN work includes:

  • Appeals against the contents of Sections B, F and I of an EHCP
  • Appeals against the contents of Sections 2A, Section 2B and 2D of an Individual Development Plan
  • Appeals against a refusal to issue an EHC or Individual Development Plan
  • Appeals against a decision to cease a Plan

Members of the team have particular expertise relating to disability discrimination, it being naturally complementary to their practice in the Employment Tribunals. Others come to the team with a Court of Protection background and, as a result, are able to bring this additional insight and expertise to their SEND work when conducting cases including:

  • Disability discrimination claims in the County Court, High Court, Employment Tribunal and specialist regulatory tribunals
  • School admissions appeals
  • School exclusions - challenges to the decisions of school governing bodies and Independent Review Panels
  • School closures and re-organisations,
  • Issues relating to the creation/expansion of academies and free schools
  • Employment law issues in schools and other educational institutions
  • Advisory work on disputes arising from exam results and school complaints procedures, safeguarding and child protection, attendance, school governance and funding

We have members who are direct access accredited and can accept instructions from educational institutions (schools/colleges) and parents.

Members also offer training in SEN / ALN and education issues, regularly contributing to events for local authorities.

If you would like any further information or wish to discuss your particular requirements please contact our dedicated clerk Julia Lanza on 0161 955 5123 or via email at julia.lanza@9sjs.com.