We also provide representation at SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) Tribunals. This generally involves representing parents of schoolchildren with hearing impairment who disagree with the choice of school named in their child’s SEN Statement on the grounds that the school named is acoustically not suitable.
We will measure noise levels and reverberation times in the schools concerned, prepare a report and proof of evidence, and if necessary give evidence at the SEND Tribunal. We have a very good record of success and in a recent decision the Tribunal’s written decision stated:
We were impressed with the evidence given by Mr James and given the nature of his expertise and the thoroughness with which he conducted the assessment. We accept his evidence that the County Council’s named school does not meet the necessary acoustic standards for hearing impaired children in the rooms that he visited.
Further information on the role of the SEND Tribunal can be found on the Government's Justice website. There is also a wealth of useful information on the websites of specialist Education Solicitors SEN Legal and of Advocacy and Mediation Consultants with whom we have worked on a number of SEND Tribunals.
The September 2013 issue of the BATOD magazine (British Association of Teachers of the Deaf) includes an article by Adrian on “Acoustics and SEND Tribunals.” You can download a copy from our technical papers page. Other useful resources for parents of children with special hearing needs are the CICS Group and The National Deaf Children's Society.