Education/Special Educational Needs

Legal representation and advice on behalf of children to include:

Education Law

Including Special Educational Needs Law

Health and Social Care Trusts

Relating to medical treatment and services

Education/SEN Law

We provide advice and legal representation on every aspect of education law in NI. This includes special educational needs law and children with disabilities. 

We firmly believe that disabled children and their families have a right to a quality of life comparable to that enjoyed by others who do not live with a disability. If a child is disabled they are entitled to enhanced supports and services. Simply contact us for advice and guidance.

We proudly advise and represent parents/carers of children with disabilities, either of an educational nature; medical nature or indeed both. What is important to recognise is that if your child has a disability, either of a physical or psychological nature, the law affords them special status and additional legal rights and entitlements. If a child has a recognised disability, often parents/carers don’t realise that they too have a legal entitlement to be assessed for support; services and on occasion financial assistance. We can take you through all your options and entitlements.

We provide informed legal advice on the duties required of Education and Library Boards (now known as the Education Authority) and Health and Social Care Trusts in respect of children with disabilities. This covers a vast array of complex legislation and case law which many are unaware of or simply don’t have the resources/wherewithal to pursue.

Our initial 1 hour consultation is for free. Legal aid funding may be available for your child to help pay for our services.

Legal representation disabled children
Legal representation disabled children 2
  • Legal advice for children with educational/special educational needs to include
  • a) statutory assessments;
  • b) the statementing process;
  • c) advice on draft and final statements;
  • d) advice on SEN provision;
  • e) provision of speech and language therapy;
  • f) occupational therapy;
  • g) physiotherapy provision.
  • h) Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal preparation and representation / advocacy. Our Mr Quinn has considerable experience in appearing on behalf of parents before this specialist Tribunal. He can assist parents in the preparation of evidence and presentation of a case before the Tribunal. Contact our Mr Quinn for initial advice on what can be appealed before the Tribunal and how to do it successfully.
  • i) School Admissions Appeal Tribunal representation
  • j) Bullying in school cases
  • k) Injuries sustained whilst in school;
  • l) Suspension and expulsion legal advice and challenges.
  • m) Educational negligence against Schools and the EA
  • Legal aid funding advice concerning children for both special educational advice and Judicial Review proceedings etc (both of which are assessed on the basis of the child’s financial resources and not the parents). Legal aid funding can also on occasions be granted to obtain expert evidence from Educational Psychologists or other experts required.

The Department of Education has recently acknowledged that more children than ever are presenting with educational/special educational needs problems.

As a result a lot more children are being diagnosed with special educational needs and made the subject of Statements of Special Educational Needs. This enhanced status affords additional legal rights to such children that often needs to be fought for, either through appeals to Tribunals, or Judicial Review proceedings in the High Court.

Year on year more and more children are appearing before the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. This specialist Appeal Tribunal sits to hear and determine, amongst other things, the provision required to meet a child’s special educational needs or school placements. Its procedures and rules can be complex. The expert evidence can be detailed. The Education Authority is always legally represented at such appeals making it all the more daunting for parents at hearings. We specialise in the preparation and presentation of such appeals before the Tribunal, our Mr Quinn having appeared before it on many occasions.

Approximately 22% of the entire school population in NI now have special educational needs, a figure which is reportedly on the rise. There has been a 13% rise in the diagnosis of children with special educational needs since 2011. Currently, only 21% of Statements of Special Educational Needs are issued within the 26 week statutory time limit. Enrollment in special educational needs schools rose by 900 pupils in the past 4 years to 5,736.

Need assistance?

Please contact our office in order to see if we can assist you in the above, or any other matters. We offer a free initial consultation in some circumstances.