Special Education Law

Here is How I Would Fix Special Education

Education is one of the cornerstones of individual growth and societal development. However, within the broad spectrum of educational systems lies a critical segment that often experiences significant challenges and setbacks: special education. To address these concerns and transform special education into a more effective and inclusive system, I propose several actionable strategies.

Firstly, we need to prioritize and increase funding for special education programs. Financial support is foundational to ensure that schools have the resources necessary for specialized instructional materials, assistive technology, and adequately staffed classrooms. By boosting funding, we can reduce student-to-teacher ratios, which is crucial for providing individualized attention to students with special needs.

Secondly, it is essential to invest in the professional development of special education teachers. Ongoing training opportunities will help them stay abreast of the latest educational strategies and technological advancements in special needs education. Furthermore, teaching strategies should be adaptable and diversified to cater to a wide array of learning disabilities and difficulties.

Thirdly, we should embrace and integrate technology within the curriculum. Assistive technologies such as speech-to-text software, audiobooks, and applications designed for learners with dyslexia can revolutionize the learning experience for many students. Moreover, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) tools can offer immersive educational experiences that can be particularly beneficial for students with autism spectrum disorders.

Fourthly, active parent involvement must be encouraged. Parents provide essential insights into their children’s unique needs and behaviors which can be instrumental in crafting tailored educational approaches. Regular communication between parents and educators should be facilitated through parent-teacher meetings, detailed progress reports, and collaborative development of individualized education programs (IEPs).

Lastly, there is a need for a cultural shift towards inclusion within schools. An inclusive environment not only supports students with special needs but also educates their peers about diversity and empathy. This inclusive culture can be fostered by promoting interaction among all students through joint school projects or mixed-ability sports teams.

By comprehensively addressing these focal areas—funding, professional development, technology integration, parental involvement, and inclusion—I envision a landscape where special education is no longer sidelined but rather interwoven into the fabric of our educational system to offer all students equal opportunities to excel.

Realizing this vision will demand concerted efforts from educators, policymakers, parents, and society at large; however, the resultant benefits will herald an era where every child has access to an education that caters effectively to their individual strengths and challenges.

SENDIST and Family Court: Who Has the Final Say? | Teaching Expertise


When it comes to making decisions about a child’s education, especially in cases involving special educational needs, parents and guardians may find themselves navigating complex legal systems. The SENDIST (Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal) and the Family Court system are examples of these systems. This article will explore the roles of SENDIST and Family Court in determining special educational needs (SEN) provisions, and ultimately, who has the final say.

SENDIST: An Overview:

The Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST) is an independent legal body that hears appeals from parents and guardians who disagree with decisions made by their local authority concerning their child’s special educational needs (SEN). This tribunal is responsible for ensuring that children with SEN receive appropriate support from their schools and local authorities.

Family Court: An Overview:

The Family Court system deals with a wide range of family-related issues such as divorce, custody arrangements, child support, and adoption. In some cases, the Family Court may be involved in disputes related to a child’s education or special educational needs.

Who Has the Final Say?

In most cases concerning a child’s SEN provision, SENDIST will have the final say. If a parent or guardian disagrees with the local authority’s assessment of their child’s SEN or its proposed provisions, they can appeal to SENDIST. Parents have several reasons for going to tribunal; these can include appealing against an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or requesting that their child be assessed for one if they have not received any such support.

When considering an appeal, SENDIST takes into account all relevant information provided by the parents, local authority, school staff, and other professionals. Based on this information, SENDIST will make a legally binding decision on whether or not to uphold the appeal.

However, there are situations in which other parties may have a say on a child’s educational needs. For example, if there are ongoing Family Court proceedings related to child custody, the court may take into account both parents’ views on the child’s education, including any concerns about special educational needs. In such cases, the Family Court may make a decision that broadly impacts the child’s educational provisions. It is important to note that these rulings differ from SENDIST decisions since they focus primarily on the child’s general welfare rather than specific SEN provisions.


When it comes to disputes over a child’s special educational needs provisions, SENDIST is generally the final decision-making authority. However, in cases involving Family Court proceedings related to child custody or welfare, the court may also have an impact on educational decisions. Parents and guardians involved in these cases should seek expert legal advice to navigate the complexities of SENDIST and Family Court systems effectively.

Developing Pupils’ Social Skills to Improve Teamwork: Part 1


In today’s fast-paced and interconnected world, the ability to work together as a team is an essential skill for success. As educators, we have the responsibility to equip our pupils with the necessary tools to thrive not just academically but also in social situations. One of the most crucial aspects of teamwork is the development of social skills. In this article, we will discuss the importance of fostering social skills in pupils and provide some strategies that can be implemented in the classroom to improve teamwork.

The Importance of Social Skills

Social skills, such as communication, empathy, and cooperation, play a significant role in maximizing learning experiences and achieving academic success. By developing these abilities, students can form strong bonds with their peers and teachers, making it easier for them to work together on group projects and activities. Furthermore, social skills are not limited to school settings; they also directly impact students’ future personal lives, relationships, and careers.

Strategies for Developing Social Skills

1. Create a positive classroom environment: The first step toward cultivating social skills in pupils is providing a safe and supportive classroom atmosphere where students feel comfortable expressing themselves and engaging with their peers. Encourage respect and understanding by discussing appropriate behavior expectations and establishing class rules that promote open communication.

2. Provide opportunities for group work: Assigning group projects enables students to practice teamwork skills such as collaboration, conflict resolution, decision-making, and delegation responsibilities. Scaffold these activities by consistently offering feedback to improve their interactions progressively.

3. Role-playing exercises: Encourage students to participate in role-playing exercises that explore different social situations they might encounter outside of school or during team-based activities. This helps them gain perspective on other people’s feelings while practicing how to communicate effectively.

4. Teach active listening: Active listening is a critical social skill that allows pupils to show empathy understanding when cooperating with others. Instruct students on how to listen mindfully by maintaining eye contact, nodding in agreement, and asking relevant questions to encourage dialogue.

5. Promote self-reflection: Encourage students to reflect on their interactions with others and consider whether their behavior was respectful, understanding, and kind. By engaging in regular self-reflection, students become more aware of their strengths and weaknesses in social situations.


Developing pupils’ social skills will significantly impact their teamwork abilities and overall success in education and beyond. By implementing these strategies in the classroom, educators can help create a supportive environment where students feel confident interacting with each other and working together towards common goals.

In part two of this article series, we will delve deeper into specific techniques for cultivating communication skills, conflict resolution strategies, and methods for promoting empathy among students for stronger teamwork experiences.

The Role of SENCO: Legal Developments


The role of the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) has undergone significant changes in recent years, due in part to various legal developments in the education sphere. As the importance of providing adequate support to students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) has grown, so too has the need for well-equipped SENCOs who are capable of navigating this complex landscape. This article will explore the major legal developments that have impacted the role of the SENCO and how these changes have shaped the field of special education needs today.

1. The Children and Families Act 2014

One of the most significant pieces of legislation affecting the role of SENCOs is the Children and Families Act 2014, which introduced key reforms to how special educational needs are identified and supported. Under this Act, local authorities are required to work together with health services, parents, and young people to create an education, health, and care (EHC) plan for each child with SEND. It is now the responsibility of SENCOs to work closely with relevant professionals when developing these EHC plans, ensuring they are tailored to individual student needs while also aligning with broader school policy.

2. The SEND Code of Practice 2014

Alongside the Children and Families Act, in 2014 a revised version of the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice was introduced. This statutory guidance outlines best practices for identifying, assessing, supporting, and reviewing the progress of students with SEND in schools. One key element of this legislation is that SENCOs must be qualified teachers and undertake specific training relating to their coordinating role. Furthermore, it emphasizes a more collaborative approach – involving parents, teachers, support staff, external agencies – underpinned by regular reviews that draw upon a range of perspectives.

3. Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010, which consolidates previous anti-discrimination laws, also has implications for SENCOs and their work in special education. Under the Act, schools must not discriminate against or victimize students with disabilities and are required to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to allow equal access to educational opportunities. Furthermore, the Act places an emphasis on anticipating the needs of students with disabilities, which means SENCOs must be proactive in ensuring that appropriate support measures are put in place before problems arise.

4. Mental Health Green Paper

In response to growing concerns about the mental well-being of young people in education, a Green Paper on Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision was published in 2017. This document outlines a series of proposals aimed at improving mental health support across educational settings, particularly within mainstream schools. Among these proposals is an expectation that every school should appoint a designated mental health lead – often expected to be a SENCO – responsible for overseeing both preventative measures and support mechanisms for students facing mental health challenges.


Legal developments over the past decade have placed an increased emphasis on the role of the SENCO as a central figure overseeing SEND provision within schools. From EHC plan implementation to anti-discrimination practices and promoting mental well-being, SENCOs must balance a wide range of responsibilities while also navigating evolving legal frameworks. By understanding how these developments have shaped special educational needs support in schools today, we can better appreciate the importance of SENCOs and their ever-growing responsibilities within educational settings.