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Insights / News
Alex Line was recently successful in an important Upper Tribunal appeal, JL (by EA as appointed person) v Somerset County Council. This appeal concerned the duration of an Education Health Care Plan and the reasons for the decision have now been published.
In JL (by EA as appointed person) v Somerset County Council  UKUT 324 (AAC), Alex successfully represented the appellant.
On 25 August 2021, Upper Tribunal Judge Ward gave a decision allowing the appeal and set aside the decision of the First-tier Tribunal.
This case is of importance because it contains consideration of the meaning of the term ‘academic year’ and establishes that, in certain situations, an Education Health Care Plan can extend to the day before a young person’s 26th birthday, contrary to the commonly held understanding that EHC Plans extend only to the age of 25. This means that young people may be able to enjoy the legal protection and benefits of an Education Health Care Plan for an extra year, at a critical time in their transition to adulthood.
Guidance is also given by the Upper Tribunal as to how cases should be approached by the First-tier Tribunal where special educational provision may extend beyond a young person’s 25th birthday.
Alex was instructed by Helen Gill of SinclairsLaw.
Read the full judgment here: JL (by EA as appointed person) v Somerset County Council
Alex Line has a broad range of experience in education law, covering areas including special educational needs, admissions and exclusions, safeguarding, civil and public law claims involving schools, colleges, universities and local authorities, internal appeals before university panels. He also advises on complaints to the Office for the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education, internal hearings before school governing bodies, and fitness to practice issues affecting students and teaching staff.
He has particular expertise of statutory appeals within the jurisdiction of the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs & Disability). To find out more about Louis, contact Paul Barton on +44 (0)20 7427 4907 or Chris Rowe on +44 (0)207 427 4911 for a confidential discussion.