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Supreme Court refuses permission to appeal in dispute over cut by London borough to element of SEND provision

The Supreme Court has refused permission to appeal over the Court of Appeal’s rejection of a claim that a 5% reduction in one element of a London borough’s SEND provision was unlawful because the council was in breach of a duty to consult under s.27 of the Children and Families Act 2014.

A Supreme Court panel comprising Lord Hodge, Lord Sales and Lord Burrows refused the application on 23 February 2021, it has emerged, saying that it did not raise an arguable point of law.

In AD & Ors, R (On the Application Of) v London Borough of Hackney [2020] EWCA Civ 518 the Court of Appeal ruled against the appellants, who were children who have special educational needs and disabilities ("SEND") and attend mainstream schools in Hackney.

The council had decided that the reduction of 5% could be absorbed by schools making efficiencies, without compromising the SEN provision of individual children.

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The appellants’ claim for judicial review over two of Hackney’s policies on provision to meet their special needs had previously been dismissed in the High Court by Mr Justice Supperstone in April 2020..

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