Southampton 02380 482 482
Winchester 01962 679 777
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Education Law for Parents

Many parents seek specialist advice if their child has complex special educational needs and are struggling to access the best educational provision for them. We know that these situations can be difficult and emotional. Many parents who have sought our advice have found it to be a great help and reassuring during this time.

Our Education team prides itself on achieving the best possible results for your child. Once we have understood your child’s exact circumstances, we will then work with you to consider the options and a strategy to achieve your objectives.

We also advise parents and help children who do not have special educational needs, but are looking to secure a place at their preferred school. We also help children who have been excluded. Furthermore, we advise parents who have children at state schools or private schools and aim to support them through the process.

We have experience of advising on:

Special Educational Needs (SEN)

We advise on special education needs. We primarily advise parents and families, but can also represent schools and academies.
Many parents seek specialist advice if their child has complex special educational needs and are struggling to access the best educational provision for them. We know that these situations can be difficult and emotional. Many parents who have sought our advice have found it to be a great help and reassurance during this time.
We advise parents seeking to obtain an SEN statement for their child. We can help with the form and content of the so called “Local Offer” and who can request an EHC Needs Assessment. There are several key deadlines and time limits which we can also draw your attention to. For example, the decision to secure or make an EHC Plan or not to must usually be made within 16 weeks from the date of assessment request.

We also advise schools and academies as to their legal obligations under various statutes and legislation.

In short, we can help you:

  • Understand a local authorities duties and obligations to assess a child or young person’s education, health and care needs where they may have SEN and they may need special educational provision to be made for them at a level or of a kind which requires an assessment of a child or young person’s education, health and care needs
  • Challenge the contents of your child’s statement of special education needs or Education and Health Care (EHC) plan to the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) tribunal
  • Respond to a local authority (LA) when presented with an EHC Plan or decision
  • When there is a transfer of an EHC from one LA to another
  • With any review or reassessment matters
  • Prepare for a mediation or appeal process
  • Challenge the failure of a school and/or the local authority to provide special educational needs
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Admissions

We provide expert advice to parents applying to get their children into their school of choice. We provide advice surrounding the overall admissions process, including the criteria a school must consider when admitting students. We can take parents through the stages to this decision making process. If parents want to challenge this process, then we can also advise parents how to appeal and on what grounds.
In short, we can help you:

  • understand the entire admissions process, from start to appeal;
  • consider the Published Admission Number and Net Capacity Statement;
  • challenge the criteria used by a school or academy for admitting students;
  • through the stages of an infant class size appeal;
  • get admission to a school or nursery after your child has been denied a place;
  • if you are considering a deferred entry for your child and school requirements.

The team has been successful in representing parents in the admission of their children to schools and academies.

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Behaviour and Exclusions

We advise parents who are seeking advice when their child is at risk of or has been excluded for a fixed period or permanent duration.
In short, we can help you:

  • understand the powers of a Head Teacher and on what grounds a pupil can be excluded;
  • understand the periods a pupil can be excluded for;
  • consider the process that the school must follow before excluding a pupil;
  • become aware of any discriminatory issues surrounding an exclusion by a school or college
  • understand what parents, Governing Body and Local Authority should be notified of;
  • approach and deal with post-exclusion matters;
  • consider an Independent Review of the exclusion; and
  • appeal after your child was excluded from school or college, or if your child has been unlawfully excluded.

Southampton Contact

Claire Merritt
LLP Partner

T: 023 8048 2112
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Meet the Team

Andrew Willshire
Solicitor

T: 023 8048 2160
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Nick Vaughan
Senior LLP Partner

T: 023 8048 2252
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Clive Dobbin
LLP Partner

T: 023 8048 2370
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