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Access to high quality education is critical for a child with autism and yet a parent’s journey to achieving this for their loved one is often a long and stressful experience. For this Q & A we partnered with Jill Davies, Manager of the Special Educational Needs (SEN) Helpline at Contact and Family, and Steve Broach of Doughty Street Chambers, who is an expert on the rights of ‘children in need’ and disabled adults. This event covered education issues in the UK only. You can read the transcript below.
Jill is a Special Educational Needs (SEN) adviser and manager of the SEN Helpline at Contact a Family, a charity which provides advice, information and support to families with disabled children. Before joining Contact a Family just over a year ago, Jill worked for the Advisory Centre for Education (ACE) advising on a wide range of education related issues from SEN to admissions and exclusions.
She has also been involved with IPSEA (Independent Parental Special Education Advice) for several years, firstly as a volunteer with their Tribunal support service, and subsequently on the Tribunal helpline. Jill is a parent of two children, one of whom was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at the age of 15. For more information on the Contact a Family SEN helpline.
Steve is a public lawyer with a broad judicial review and Upper Tribunal practice. He has a particular focus on the rights of children 'in need' (including disabled children) and disabled adults.
Steve acts mainly for individual claimants but also advises and represents a number of NGOs and public bodies. He is co-author of Children in Need: Local Authority Support for Children and Families (Legal Action Group, April 2011) and Disabled Children: A Legal Handbook (Legal Action Group, October 2010). Steve was awarded Young Barrister of the Year at the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards 2011.