Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

New digital guide for SEND families on disability discrimination in education

A new digital guide for families with children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) on disability discrimination in education has been launched.

The guide from the charity Support SEND Kids is a free public resource to assist all those who deal with special educational needs and disability law, including judges, legal practitioners, local authorities, and parents.

It is the first draft of a new guide on Disability Discrimination in education created by Mandy Aulak and Sean Kennedy of Talem Law which fits into a series of guides being curated by Support SEND Kids.

The aim is to help parents and carers of children with a disability start to understand how the law around disability discrimination works in education so that they can request the additional disability related support that their children are legally entitled to.

The guide is available as both a pdf and as interactive Q and A on the charity’s platform where contributors include lawyers, SEND tribunal specialists and SENCos.

Many Aulak and Sean Kennedy, founders of Talem Law, said “The challenge of assisting children, young people and adults with the often oppressive disability and other related challenges they face is huge and we are proud to be supporting the Support SEND Kids efforts to bring greater transparency and availability of clear and accurate answers to the SEND community of parents, practitioners and educators. As parents of SEND children ourselves, we know how important this is.”

Guides help parents make the right choices for their children at the right time

The charity has also updated its existing guide to SEND law co-authored by barristers from Matrix and Landmark Chambers. This latest update covers all relevant case law to do with special educational needs since the last publication in March 2022 ensuring that the SEND community have the very latest case law to help them navigate the often protracted and complex Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) application process.

Rachel Amos, co-founder of Support SEND Kids, said, “SEND parents have to assimilate multiple areas of law on their journey to fulfil their children’s human right to access an education. Our growing pool of free and easy-to-use resources is designed to help SEND parents understand where to focus their efforts so that they can make the right choices for their children at the right time.

“When it comes to disability provision, it is particularly important that SEND parents aim to get on the front foot, as securing in-school adjustments retrospectively tends to be less successful. For instance, if a school fails to make reasonable adjustments for a child with disabilities on a class outing, there is little that can be done to resolve this after the event. But in contrast, if these entitlements are sought and put in place at the outset, they can provide a robust framework for ongoing, long-term support, potentially continuing into further education and even into the workplace.”

Support SEND Kids intends to expand the content and expertise available via its hub to include guides on other related areas of SEND law, including exclusions, wills and court of protection. Plans are also underway to create a digital workflow for EHCP applications with practical and technical advice for parents.

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