We are experts in representing children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) resulting from a brain injury caused by medical negligence or a traumatic brain injury. As a team, we can provide a holistic approach to the challenges faced by you, as parents of a brain injured child; by providing specialist advice in relation to, not only a compensation claim, but also education law and SEN issues.
Challenges in school
Children with a brain injury, or those who are returning to school after a traumatic brain injury, often face challenges in ensuring that their needs are met in school and their additional needs are recognised by the Local Authority, who pay for the educational placement.
Children with a brain injury often have additional needs associated with difficulties with motor skills, communication, cognition, social relationships and behaviour. It is imperative that these additional needs are recognised and additional support is available for your child in school, to maximise their learning potential, and to ensure that they enjoy and can participate fully and actively, in the learning environment.
Ensuring that the school environment is suitable for your child is multifactorial and requires a full and detailed assessment of their special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). It involves ensuring that they have the right level of additional support, and that teaching methods and approaches are targeted towards their needs. It may also require an assessment of different aids and equipment, including communications aids, assistive technology, mobility and feeding aids that they will need to access the school environment, and participate in learning.
Education support and compensation
As part of any claim for compensation, we will ensure that the cost of any additional support required by your child in school as a result of their brain injury is claimed; whether that is the cost of a one to one teaching assistant to support their learning or ensuring that the right equipment is available in school, to allow full participation in the school environment.
It is essential that your child is able to attend the school that best meets their needs, and therefore as part of any claim for compensation, we may be able to include the costs of paying to attend the right school on a private basis, if a local authority is unwilling to fund your child’s placement.
Alternatively, we can claim the cost of obtaining legal advice to challenge and provide representation at appeals hearings relating to their Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
Funding challenges to ECHPs
An EHCP is a legal document which identifies the additional special educational needs that your child has and sets out the additional support required to meet those needs.
A Local Authority can be requested to carry out an assessment by a parent, doctor, health visitor or teacher if they think that your child has additional educational needs. Evidence of your child’s additional needs will be obtained and then the Local Authority will prepare a draft EHCP and send a copy to you for your comments.
It is important that the EHCP is a correct reflection of your child’s additional needs and that the educational provision and facility will be appropriate, as the Local Authority will be under a duty to fund the placement.
You may not happy with the content of the EHCP and want to challenge it. Therefore, we can claim the cost of obtaining legal advice to challenge and provide representation at appeals hearings relating to the ECHP as part of a claim for compensation.
We believe that it is important for you to have a team around you to support you in achieving the best for your child. So we have lawyers that can provide SEND advice during the claim to help you respond to any problems that arise with accessing the appropriate educational support for your child.
Loss of Earning and Pension Loss compensation
It is also possible to claim for your child’s future loss of earnings and pension. If, as a result of their brain injury, they will not be able to work, or the type of work that they will be able to undertake means that the will receive a lower annual income, then we will be able to recover their loss of earnings over the whole of their lifetime, including any later loss of pension as part of a claim for compensation.
It may also be possible to include the cost of conductive education as part of your child’s compensation claim. Conductive education is a comprehensive method of learning using repetitive physical activities incorporating rhythm, song and phrases to help young people with neurological conditions and brain injury carry out simple movements that children without such impairment learn through normal life experiences.
Children with conditions such as cerebral palsy, Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) and Downs Syndrome may benefit from conductive education.
We are specialists in brain injury compensation and we are committed to maximising the amount of compensation that your child receives to enable them to obtain the support that they need to reach their full potential. We can also help ease some of the pressures of the ECHP process and can offer education (SEND) advice to support you in all aspects of your child’s educational needs, in addition to claiming compensation.