Information on Educational - Adults - Criminal Justice - Health - Financial Issues
For Information on all Legal aspects from Education, Adults, Criminal Justice, Health and Financial Assisstance scroll down the page for details for each subject heading:
Do you need help with any of the following?
The Code of Practice and how it applies to your child
Your child's Statement of Special Educational Need
Preparing for a Tribunal in order to contest what your LEA wish to do for your child
Are you having difficulties with your LEA
a. arranging specialist provision for your child?
b. refusing or delaying to take the necessary steps for your child?
If so, the following organisations may be able to help:
ORGANISATIONS OFFERING FREE HELP AND ADVICE
As far as help with a possible tribunal is concerned The Disability Law Service will offer parents free legal advice. They can be reached at Tel: 0207 7919800. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Education Law Association: Membership of ELAS is open to anyone interested in education law and consists of legal practitioners, academic lawyers, educational establishments and others who provide educational advice. The organisation aims to promote good practice in educational advice, to develop expertise in the practice of education law and to increase co-operation between lawyers and others working on educational issues. Anyone who wants to consult a solicitor experienced in education law may contact the association at the address below.
37d Grimston Avenue, Folkstone, Kent CT20 2QD - Tel/Fax: 01303 211 570
IPSEA: the Independent Panel for Special Education Advice, is a registered charity providing advice on LEAs' legal duties towards children with special educational needs. It offers free second professional opinions for parents who disagree with an LEA's assessment of their child and free representation at the Special Needs tribunal when parents want to appeal against an LEA decision. All these services are provided by volunteers (who might be teachers, EPs, etc) who have undergone specialist training. The Advice Line telephone number is 0800 018 4016. For Tribunal appeals only: 01394 384711, and general enquiries 01394 380518.
ISEA (Scotland) is at 164 High Street, Dalkeith, EH22 lAY, Parents' Advice Line 0131 4540082.
IPSEA have published a book Taking Action! Your Child's Right to Special Education (Second Edition) Authors John Wright and David Ruebain. Check out our Book & Resources Page for a Review of this book. Questions Publishing Company, 1999. ISBN No 1-84190-010-9. £14.99 + p&p. Buy on-line at www.educationquest.com. Credit card hotline: 0121 2120919.
The following may also have some advice or answers for you
Advisory Centre for Education (ACE) (Free Help line 0808 800 5793 open every afternoon) which also publishes many helpful handbooks including the ACE Special Educational Handbook, Tribunal Toolkit: Going to the SEN Tribunal; Appealing for a School, and various Summaries of the Law.
British Dyslexia Association 0118 9668271
National Autistic Society, Education Advocacy Help line 0800 3588667, Tribunal Support Scheme 0800 3588668
Network 81 01279 647415
Rathbone Special Education Advice (for children in mainstream schools) 0800 9176790
The amount of time and resources these organisations have to spare is limited, however.
If your case is likely to need a lot of time spent on it, you may need to contact a firm of solicitors. All the legal firms will charge full professional fees for their services; so ask about their fee structure before you get too involved. Most firms, however, will offer a short consultation with you first, free of charge, so that they can gauge your needs exactly. You are no longer able to apply for legal aid for SEN Tribunal hearings; you may be able to for a case going to the High Court. Consult your adviser.
The following solicitors are experienced in dealing with issues connected with Special Needs and Statementing, Appeals and Tribunals, breaches of statutory duty and negligence, bullying and exclusions:
Ms Eleanor Wright, Fisher Meredith (London) Tel No 0207 091 2700*
Ms Angela Jackman, Fisher Meredith (London) Tel No 0207 091 2700*
Mr Robert Love, A E Smith & Son (Stroud, Glos) Tel No 01453757444
Mr David Ruebain, David Levene & Co (Haringey) Tel No 0208 8817777
Mrs Susannah Arthur, Gabb & Co (Crickhowell, Powys') Tel No 01873 810629
Also at Abergavenny, Hereford, Leominster Hay-on-Wye.
Mr Paul Conrathe, Coningsbys Solicitors (Croydon) Tel No 0208 6805575
Mr Michael Jones, Hugh James (Cardiff) Tel No 0292 0224871
Ms Elaine Maxwell, Elaine Maxwell & Co (Lancaster) Tel No 01524 840810
Mr Felix Moss, Rust, Moss Solicitors (Accrington) Tel No 01254 390015
Ms Melinda Nettleton, SEN Legal Services (Bury St Edmunds) Tel No 01284 723952
Ms Sarah Palmer, Blake Lapthorn Solicitors (Hants) Tel No 01489 579990
Mr Jack Rabinowicz, Teacher, Stem, Selby (Holborn) Tel No 0207 2423191
Mr Phi Storey, Young & Lee (Birmingham) Tel No 0121633 3233
Mr Glenn Craig, Fisher Jones Greenwood - General Legal Advice - Tel No: 01206 578282
* Also offers Education Law Clinics on first Saturday of each month - up to 30 minutes free advice. Ring first to make appointment, or email email@example.com. This service also available at other times.
In addition, a barrister in independent practice who can be approached directly is:
Mr Peter Bibby,Peter Bibby Tel: 0208 693 8752
NB: Most solicitors specialising in Special Educational Needs issues will also specialise in Community Care Law relating to disabilities.
SEN in Mainstream schools:
Rathbones have a good selection of free information sheets covering a number of problems: exclusion, how to complain, finding funding, etc. Ring them on 0800 917 6790.
The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) is committed to building a world-class education and training framework that meets the changing needs of individuals, business and society. We lead developments in curriculum, assessments, examinations and qualifications.
Special arrangements for the National Curriculum Assessment
Further clarification and information about some changes to special arrangements for the National Curriculum Assessment Tests are included in the Assessment and Reporting Arrangements booklets which QCA sent to all schools in October. These include:
· use of prompters;
· compensatory awards in the mental maths and spelling tests for pupils with profound hearing loss;
· special consideration - allows a pupil's final level to be adjusted in very exceptional circumstances;
· dealing with disruption during the test.
Guidance has also been updated on the use of word processors, amanuenses, transcripts and readers; special arrangements for the mental maths tests, and rest breaks. There is also more detailed guidance on the use of additional time and early opening of papers.
The booklets are available from QCA publications, Tel: 01787 884444 and at: www.qca.org.uk
Adults & Criminal Justice System:
Levines - is a law firm who have some experience in all aspects of the legal system and awareness of ADHD and associated conditions - they have specialist advisors for SEN Tribunal, Childrens Law, Educational Law, Prison Law and most other other aspects of the Law. "I have spoken to a couple of people within this company and they have been very helpful and have said that they are happy to speak to anyone about the Law and take on cases for those who have ADHD for which they do have experience especially with education and criminal law" CH Ed
Fisher Meredith - is a law firm who have some experience in all aspects of the legal system and awareness of ADHD and associated conditions - they have specialist advisors for SEN Tribunal, Childrens Law, Educational Law, Prison Law and most other other aspects of the Law. "I have spoken to a couple of people within this company and they have been very helpful and have said that they are happy to speak to anyone about the Law and take on cases for those who have ADHD for which they do have experience especially with education and criminal law" CH Ed
Website: Fisher Meredith
Fisher Jones Greenwood LLP - is a law firm who have experience in all aspects of the legal system but especially with things like: "Education: Special educational needs, Exclusions and disciplinary matters, Children out of school, Attendance and truancy, Examination results, Choice of schools, Sick children, School transport, Human rights and judicial reviews, Disability discrimination, Education negligence. Community Rights: Access to statutory services, Community care law, Young people leaving care, Disability discrimination, Housing, Homelessness, Welfare Benefits. We are always pleased to give talks and presentations to community groups and charities on all aspects of our work at no cost. We are able to offer free specialist legal advice to those on low incomes or welfare benefits through the Legal Aid scheme."
Fisher Jones Greenwood LLP
There is also the Disability Law Service:
Disability Law Service, Ground Floor, 39-45 Cavell Street, London E1 2BP
Tel: 020 7791 9800, Fax: 020 7791 9802, Textphone: 020 7791 9801, Helpline: 020 7791 9800
Provides free, confidential legal advice to disabled people, their families, carers and enablers throughout the UK.
Sinclairs Solicitors - Are a specialist education law practice with a legal aid franchise in the subject. They are one of the few firms that specialise in both school and Higher Education matters covering support not only for children but to adults. They also work with specialist knowledge of criminal law and medical difficulties.
Maxwell Gillott Solicitors - We are a specialist firm, working in the fields of education law, special educational needs, clinical negligence and medical law. We act for people throughout England and Wales on all aspects of education and medical law, advising them on their rights, representing them at Tribunals and panels, and bringing Court actions where necessary. Most of our work is for children with disabilities, but we will act for people of all ages who have problems in these areas
Maxwell Gillott Solicitors
Health Service Problems:
AvMA - How we can help you. AvMA has a team of medically and legally trained caseworkers who can provide free and confidential advice following a medical accident. This includes advice on your rights; medical information or explanations; help in getting the issues investigated; assessment of potential for obtaining compensation; and other sources of practical and emotional support. They have some fantastic advice online including how to complain about problems within the health service, access to medical records as well as loads of other information, help and advice on your rights and also details of solicitors who are specialised in this area. Certainly worth a visit when there are problems like this to get the best up to date information on your rights within the NHS.
Fielding Porter Solicitors (Bolton) Tel: 01204 591123 is a legal practice whose Mental Health Department offers expertise to parents concerned about the best way to organise their own financial affairs on behalf of their child, or the child's own finances. The firm offers parents a free, brief consultation over the phone. Speak to Ms Catherine Grimshaw.
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