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SEN Week in Review | 9th - 15th November 2020

  1. The Guardian looked at the ‘spiralling number of children refusing to go to school’. The most recent government figures suggest that there are about 770,000 persistent absentees in England. A frightening yet sadly not surprising statistic particularly given, as referenced in the article, increased pressure on school performance coupled with cuts to support services. We see this reflected time and time again in the experiences of our clients. It is difficult to differentiate between those children who simply cannot be at school, with those who need extra support which isn’t being made available. CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE.
  2. An article published by the BBC looked at the ‘use of restraint upon those with learning disabilities. It reported that every 15 minutes, on average, a patient with learning difficulties was restrained in hospital last year. Restraint can range from ‘prone restraint’ which, shockingly, was used more than 4000 times last year despite being contrary to government guidelines, to seclusion. It refers to the case of Bethany, who was kept in a room with just a foam mattress and a chair, and fed through a hatch, for 21 months until she was placed in a specialist unit, where she is thriving. The use of restraint throws up a lot of complex and competing issues but it is important to remember that it would be incredibly rare to plan restraint, which should always be a last resort. Restraint will often amount to a breach of human rights so providers need to be cautious and staff highly trained before it is contemplated. CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE. 
  3. Channel 4 News have been investigating  the lack of support for people with learning disabilities who haven’t had the right support during the pandemic. The news report supported and reflected upon the recent published government data (HERE) that looked at the Covid-19 death rate of people with learning disabilities. So why are people with learning disabilities so much more likely to die with the virus? CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE.
  4. It’s nice to read some happy and positive news after so much negativity in recent months. What a fabulous and well-deserved award for ‘teacher of the year’ for Jon White, who is a PE teacher – being recognised for ensuring that children with SEND have a positive experience in school. Congratulations Mr White! CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE. 
  5. A judgement was published this week which looks at assessing capacity in relation to educational provision under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. It concerns a 19 year old man with autism and an EHCP. This is the first judgement of its kind, so makes a very interesting read. It. A touching note included in this judgement is the letter from the judge to the young man explaining what had happened in court. CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE. 
  6. Did you know?...  It’s the 25th anniversary of the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 introduced the first legislative form of protection for disabled children against discrimination. Although it has now been replaced by the Equality Act 2010, judgements made under the DDA are still valid law.  

If you have any concerns or need further advice regarding your child's education, our friendly Education Law Team offer free advice on 01926 354704 or email: 


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