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Specialist independent placement secured through EHCP Tribunal appeal

Rook Irwin Sweeney acted for parents of a 20 year old young man with a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome.

Our client’s son was living at home following the breakdown of an adult social care placement.   He was not receiving any education or social care support and his parents were becoming concerned about  the impact this was having on his mental health and wellbeing. His previous placement at a residential school had ended over 18 months ago and the local authority had informed his parents that his EHC plan had ceased.

His parents decided to instruct James at Rook Irwin Sweeney as their son had expressed an interest in attending a specialist residential college. They had been told the local authority was very unlikely to fund it.

With James’ help the local authority promptly re-instated the EHC plan. The council also put in place a package of education and support to be delivered at home whilst time was spent consulting with the identified college (and other placements the local authority thought might be suitable).

An appeal was lodged with the SEND Tribunal requesting a place at the specialist college. James supported the family to instruct independent experts (including an Educational Psychologist and Social Worker) who provided reports that were supportive of the need for a specialist residential placement.

Eventually with James’ help the local authority agreed to fund the placement before the Tribunal hearing.  A new EHC plan has now been issued naming the college where our client will be able to access a specialist Practical Skills Therapeutic Education which Speech and Language Therapy, Counselling and  Occupational Therapy.

Importantly James got us the results we needed. The journey there was a long one but he guided us well, answered any questions, was clear about our direction and the meaning of the LA’s responses. Even when he was unavoidably absent, the company provided an excellent substitute who knew the case and supported us well. Despite how much we wanted a positive outcome, James never over-promised or misled us in any way. He was incredibly well informed and decided on our strategy very well. He suggested and succeeded in getting our son a personal budget from the LA to pay for support while we waited for the tribunal date. I would recommend RIS and James very highly.


Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

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