A group of parents and carers have launched a fundraiser to fund legal representation to challenge Sutton authorities over their SEND services.

Sutton EHCP Crisis Group is trying to 'restore lawful decision making' for Educational Health Care Assessments and Plans in Sutton.

The group says they have identified that there may be a claim that Sutton authorities should not be providing SEND services through a profit-driven company, called Cognus Ltd.

Cognus Ltd, is the largely council-owned company in charge of SEND school support.

Sutton EHCP says, Sutton has denied hundreds of families with children with SEND, who have been forced to go to tribunal to get the help they need.

In 2018, around 700 children were refused an assessment for extra support at school.

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Now, the group, are looking to investigate whether they can bring a Judicial Review against the Local Authority for outsourcing services to Cognus Ltd.

SEND Barrister Steve Broach and law firm Rook Irwin Sweeney have agreed to represent Sutton EHCP Crisis Group in the potential challenge.

Sutton EHCP Crisis Group says they need to raise an initial £2600 to begin the initial work needed.

Sutton EHCP Crisis Group said: "The aim is that our children’s statutory services are brought back in- house, so that this company can no longer be used as buffer by the local authority and accountability is restored.

"And to improve the stressful and exhausting process for families of children with special educational needs and disabilities.

"Any claim we bring may include a challenge that our local authority’s relationship with Cognus Ltd breaches the Localism Act 2010, along with potentially other legal duties.

"If successful, this proposed claim could have positive lifelong effects on the future of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities in Sutton."

A spokesperson for Sutton Council said: “We are ambitious for all of our children and young people in the borough and work closely with schools, settings and partners to ensure this is and remains a top priority.

Sutton Council is committed to working with Cognus to achieve the best possible outcomes for children and families.

"We are working together to continue building on the progress made over recent years, which has recently been acknowledged in May by Ofsted and the CQC.”

Donations reached £895 out of the targeted £2,600 at the time of publishing.

To donate visit at: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/suttonehcpcrisis/