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DEVON IN COURT OVER REFUSAL TO ASSESS BOY

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Devon CC's refusal to assess a seven-year-old boy for special needs education is being challenged in the courts by ...
Devon CC's refusal to assess a seven-year-old boy for special needs education is being challenged in the courts by his mother, the county confirmed this week.

Janet Pile has applied to the High Court for leave for judicial review of the county's decision not to assess her son Steven for special support. The boy has a high IQ but suffers from dyslexia.

One issue of contention is the status of guidance issued by the government and reproduced in the county's special educational needs guidance, stating that about 2% of children will need some form of special educational help.

Mrs Pile's solicitors Teacher Stern Selby told LGC this guide is often applied over-rigidly, with councils looking to help 2% of children whatever the local or individual circumstances.

But Devon, which is contesting the case, denies it operates a '2% rule of thumb policy' as various recent media reports suggest.

Its guidelines quote the government's 2% statement but do not set it down as a policy, it said.

'If a child needs special help then we provide it,' a spokesman said.

He said Steven Piles had been examined by an educational psychologist who accepted the boy had problems, but that they were not serious enough to issue a statement of special needs.

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