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ESSEX COUNTY COUNCIL v ANTONY JOHN WILLIAMS

A person who had attained the age of 19 was no longer a “child” within the Education Act 1996 s.312(5). The local authority maintaining her statement of special educational needs was no longer bound to maintain the statement because it had ceased to be responsible for her.

21 November 2011

The appellant local authority appealed against a decision of the Upper Tribunal that the First-tier Tribunal had jurisdiction to hear an appeal brought by the respondent father (F) under the Education Act 1996 Sch.27 para.11(2)(b). F’s daughter (M) had Down’s Syndrome and had a statement of special educational needs maintained by the local authority. The local authority told F that it would cease to maintain M’s statement after her 19th birthday. F appealed and M was provided with an additional year’s schooling. Some months later the local authority again indicated that it would cease to maintain the statement. F appealed but the First-tier Tribunal ruled that it lacked jurisdiction on the grounds that M was no longer a child as defined by s.312(5) of the Act, having attained the age of 19.

The Upper Tribunal held that the First-tier Tribunal did have jurisdiction on the basis that M was still a child: although she was over 19, she remained a registered pupil at a sec...

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