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Education: Individuals

UK-wide

2 Years Ranked

About

Provided by Douglas Hamer

UK

Practice Areas

Douglas works in the Education team advising and assisting parents and young people on a variety of education issues, with a particular focus on special educational needs and appeals to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. Douglas has diagnoses of autism and ADHD, which although presenting challenges to him, also present strengths and give him a high level of insight into what his clients’ children go through.

He has over nine years’ experience in education law. His focus is on EHC plans – achieving them for parents and then ensuring they not only secure the right provision and placement for the child or young person, but also that they are worded robustly and protect the child or young person in the future. He also provides services in relation to section 444 attendance issues, care issues, admissions appeals, disability discrimination, exclusions appeals, higher education and disability benefits.

One of Douglas’s key competences is in the ‘working document’ stage, where an EHCP’s wording is negotiated by both parties. He attributes his extreme attention to detail and perfectionist approach in this area to his neurodivergence, an example of it being a blessing rather than a curse in a professional context, which Douglas is keen for his clients’ children to experience.

Douglas has developed an expertise in connection with education otherwise than at school (EOTAS) and represents clients in order to secure highly bespoke EOTAS packages, often for children who have reached autistic burnout or a prohibitive state of anxiety. EOTAS can be achieved both through section 61 of the Children and Families Act 2014, by way of an EHCP, and also through section 19 of the Education Act 1996, which is a lesser known route that can yield results in urgent circumstances. He also advises clients on elective home education (EHE).

Douglas has experienced success in the past year in appeals to have children placed in numerous specialist settings, including the following:

Grateley House School (weekly residential)

Swalcliffe Park School (weekly residential)

Hurst Lodge School

Unicorn School

Moor House School and College

Blossom House School

Side by Side School

Gesher School

Hardwick House

Douglas has secured placements at dozens of other special schools around the country in addition to the above, as well as securing numerous EOTAS packages.

Douglas takes every one of his cases extremely seriously and puts maximal efforts into helping clients identify the best school or educational route for their child and fighting tenaciously to achieve the result they need to make the best of their potential.

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