CCLC acted for a young person (AB) in an appeal before the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability).
CCLC were instructed to represent AB in the case of Mr C (on behalf of AB) v X Council. AB appealed against the sections of her Education, Health and Care Plan issues by her local authority relating to the nature of her educational needs and the type of school she should attend.
The local authority proposed a post-16 further education college and two days of tuition per week with an additional day at a work placement. AB, with the support of her father, sought a placement at an independent specialist college where should would attend as a residential pupil having access to a ‘waking day’ curriculum. The local authority strongly defended its opposition to naming the specialist college, whilst at the same time only proposing minimal educational input, which fell considerably below the level support that AB required for her SEN and to prepare for adulthood. The Tribunal upheld AB’s appeal directing the local authority to name the independent specialist college.
This was a fantastic outcome for AB, ensuring that she will have access to a high level of support which will hopefully ensure that AB goes on to acquire the skills to live and work independently in the future. The situation faced by AB prior to the appeal was sadly one which is common for many children and young people with SEN. Whether this arises from inadequate funding or local authorities not taking sufficient care to fully identify the necessary provision required to address the nature of SEN presented by children and young people, it is very concerning.
This case further highlights the importance of legal aid being available in such cases, as without proper advice and assistance, AB would have been unable to make the complex necessary legal arguments to win her case. Additional grant funding made it possible to instruct an independent expert to carefully scrutinise the suitability of the local authority’s proposal at the Tribunal.
CCLC instructed Counsel, Mark Greaves of Old Square Chambers to represent AB at the hearing. Click here for Mr Greaves’ article about the case.
Written by Qaisar Sheikh, Solicitor and Manager of Education Law Team