Once again we are heading to the SEN Tribunal as our son does not have a school place in September due to his complex special educational needs and difficulties getting the right placement for his needs. The SEN tribunal is the legal route for addressing this problem and to ensure that he is not left without a suitable school place. This is the third time now we have had to take this route.
The process from getting a final EHCP (legal document which names needs and the school) to appealing to the tribunal is time consuming and can be difficult to navigate smoothly, if you do not have the correct information based on the law and not local policies. Fortunately, we turned to SOS! SEN to help us with finalising the EHCP, filling out the appeal form (which is complex anyway) and assistance with writing the reasons for appeal. Appeal is now lodged and we are waiting for a hearing date for the Royal Courts of Justice.
SOS! SEN are an independent charity and as such do not receive any government funding or grants. This allows the charity to give advice based on SEN law and not on blanket policies. They rely on funds to keep their services going and to help as many parents/carers with children/young people as possible:
The charity offers the following services to generate funds for the charity:
- 1:1 meetings
- draft/amended Education, Health, Care Plans (legal documents detailing SEN needs, provision, school, health needs etc)
- drafting parental appeals and working documents for tribunal
- pre-action letters - legal letters to warn local authorities of possible legal action
However, they also offer a term-time helpline and 12 walk-in advice centres to reach out to as many parents in England and Scotland as well. The helpline and advice centres all have overheads like rent etc.To keep costs as low as possibly they are are run by dedicated and experienced volunteers.
Please see their website for more information - www.sossen.org.uk
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