Legal Information – help and resources

Pinpoint has run legal seminars for parent carers on children and  young people’s rights, with local solicitors Irwin Mitchell and Buckles, looking at education, health and care issues.

You can also access a series of factsheets and template letters on various topics, prepared by Irwin Mitchell and partners especially for parents and young people who need more information about key aspects of the Children and Families Act 2014.   All these resources can be found on the Irwin Mitchell website

Factsheets include:

  • Duties on Schools
  • EHC needs assessments
  • The EHC plan
  • Health duties
  • Social care assessments and duties for children
  • Social care assessments and duties over 18
  • Duties to carers and carers assessments
  • The Local Offer
  • Advocacy
  • Consultation
  • Information, advice and support
  • Support for pupils with medical conditions
  • SEN support – early years
  • SEN support – schools
  • SEN support – further education
  • Personal Budgets
  • Direct Payments
  • Annual Reviews and Re-assessments
  • Preparing for adulthood
  • Mediation
  • Tribunal appeals
  • Complaints
  • Judicial Review
  • Legal Aid

Template letters

  • Requesting an EHC needs assessment
  • Chasing up on the outcome of an assessment request
  • Requesting amendments to a draft plan (including requesting a school or placement)
  • Chasing up on the outcome of a final plan
  • Requesting a personal budget
  • Requesting a direct payment
  • Appealing a decision to refuse direct payments
  • Requesting a social care assessment for a child or young person under 18
  • Requesting a social care assessment for a young person over 18
  • Requesting a carers assessment
  • Requesting information regarding the Local Offer

Education battles?

IPSEA, Independent Parental Special Education Advice, has free and downloadable website resources to help families get the right education for children and young people with all kinds of special educational needs and/or disability.

You can access these resources via the ipsea website. There are model letters, frequently asked questions, a jargon buster and lots more.

IPSEA’s trained volunteers give free, legally based independent advice and support in England.

You can book a 30 minute appointment via the website to slot to speak to one of IPSEA’s volunteers on any educational issue that is the result of a child’s special educational needs or disability. An IPSEA Volunteer Adviser will give you up-to-date information on the law, and what it allows you to do. They will also give you clear next-step advice.

Working and caring – know your rights

Working Families logo

If you’re caring for a disabled child, remaining in paid work can be quite challenging.

Knowing your rights can help you combine paid work and caring for your child.

Charity Working Families has set up ‘Waving not drowning’ – a dedicated network and advice service for parents of disabled children who work or wish to work.

Child welfare or social worker/children's services issues/advice

Family Rights Group is a charity working with parents whose children are in need, at risk or are in the care system and with members of the wider family who are raising children unable to remain at home.

FRG advises parents, grandparents, other relatives and friends about their rights and options when social workers or courts make decisions about their children’s welfare.

It’s free and confidential advice service has expert advisors  with extensive experience in legal and social work practice.  They help families understand the families  law and child welfare processes, as well as better understand the concerns of social workers.

Free helpline: 0808 801 0366 (Monday to Friday 9.30am to 3pm)

Visit the FRG website

Disabled Children's Legal Handbook

This handbook aims to empower disabled children and their families through better understanding of rights and entitlements.

It costs £50 to buy but you can download a free PDF adaption of each chapter via the Council for Disabled Children’s website.

Free App from Douglas Silas Solicitors

Douglas Silas Solicitors have a free App for Smartphone or Tablet for anyone (whether personally or professionally) involved with a child or young person with Special Educational Needs (SEN). The App sections include: News, FAQs, Law, Videos. The app also includes a copy ‘A Guide To The SEND Code of Practice (updated for 2016/17)’ which contains the Code itself with internal and external links to relevant parts of it and other guidance and legislation. http://www.specialeducationalneeds.co.uk/senfyi-app.html

Like some free family law or employment advice?

The  Law Clinic at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge offers free half hour appointments.

It can help with family law matters including issues around the breakdown of relationships and arrangements for children. And employment issues such as unfair dismissal, discrimination, carer’s rights and returning to work.

Contact Sarah Calder. The clinic number is 01223 698497.