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Family Law

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16 SEP 2011

Special educational needs: balancing the interests of children and parents in the statementing process [2008] CFLQ 199

While the law in England and Wales has gradually begun to recognise the autonomous legal interests of children, the provisions governing the special educational needs statementing process have not followed this trend. In spite of the obvious importance of allowing the child to contribute to the various stages of this process, such as assessments, drafting and reviewing of statements, choice of school and appeals, the law almost invariably makes strong statutory provision for the protection of parental participation and preference while only indirectly protecting the interests of the child through the non-binding Code of Practice. This failure to make adequate provision for the child's participation rights risks jeopardising the child's best interests, and is arguably in breach of Articles 3 and 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 (UNCRC).

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