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Leigh Day client secures right to extended day curriculum at residential special school

Specialist education lawyer Alison Millar successfully challenges contents of SEN statement

Photo: istock

27 July 2011

Alison Millar, a specialist education solicitor and partner in the human rights department at Leigh Day, and her assistant, Rebecca Davis, have recently brought a successful challenge against the contents of a statement of special educational needs (SEN) maintained by Redbridge Council.

The statement is maintained for a 14 year old boy, Abass, who has complex special educational needs associated with severe four-limb cerebral palsy. Abass has severe physical and communication difficulties and is dependant on carers for all aspects of self-help and independent skills.

Abass’ mother brought an appeal to allow for her son to attend a residential special school where he could be provided with an extended day curriculum through out the waking day.

The appeal against the contents of Abass’ statement was heard on 5 and 6 July 2011 at the First Tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability). The Tribunal heard evidence that Abass had no functional independent means of communication available to him at his current mainstream school and that he was unable to access any after school clubs or activities. In the Tribunal decision it was concluded that “Abass’s statement has not allowed him real participation to learning.”
In relation to a waking day curriculum, the Tribunal concluded that “This consistent approach has at its heart the need for Abass to access the learning activities of daily living so his skills and understanding develop in unison. This could not be provided in a day school setting”.

The Tribunal was persuaded that Abass required a placement at a residential school for children and young people in order to meet his complex needs.    

Alison Millar commented on the decision “We are extremely pleased with the Tribunal’s decision to amend Abass’ statement in order to allow him to be placed in a residential school where he can be provided with an extended day curriculum.  This placement will provide Abass with the means to develop and use his skills of independent living and communication which were previously denied to him.”

Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details.

Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details.

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Who worked on this case

Alison Millar