Anna Kennedy Online – Autism Awareness Charity
Let us Learn too – a response from the Prime Minister

Let us Learn too – a response from the Prime Minister

Let us Learn too – a response from the Prime Minister

On 8th September we contributed and signed the ‘Let us Learn too’ letter in collaboration with many other individuals and groups passionate about the right to a good education for our children. Click here for details.

Today, we received the following response from Boris Johnson, whilst this is a positive letter now we need actions and outcomes:

Dear Dr Kennedy,

Thank you for taking the time to contact me about social care charges and disabled people’s needs.

Disabled people should be empowered and their needs met so that they can live with dignity and the Government is commitment to ensuring that the most vulnerable in society are given the support they need.

We are determined to tackle the challenges in social care, creating a sustainable adult care system that is fit for the future. As you may be aware, £36 billion will be invested in the health and care system over the next three years, including £5.4 billion for social care, to ensure it has the long term resources it needs.

Of course, while absolutely vital, these changes alone will not solve the long term problems in the social care system and I can assure you the Government recognises the wider set of issues faced by the sector including the system of social care charges. That is why, over the coming months, the Government will be working alongside the social care sector to develop a “Blueprint for Adult Social Care” which will set out further details on proposals. This will include investing in the Disabled Facilities Grant and supported housing, and exploring other innovative housing solutions to support more people to live independently at home.

I can assure you that disabled people will be heard and involved in reforming social care. These reforms must be meaningful in order to create a fully inclusive society.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

Yours sincerely,

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson MP
Member of Parliament (Uxbridge and South Ruislip)

Mate crime of vulnerable autistic individuals on the increase

Mate crime of vulnerable autistic individuals on the increase

Mate crime of vulnerable autistic individuals on the increase

“I was listening to the news on the radio and yet again a 15-year-old autistic individual targeted by gangs and forced to sell class-A drugs in Wales.”
shared Autism Advocate Dr Anna Kennedy OBE

A county lines gang trafficked a 15-year-old autistic schoolboy from London to Swansea to run drugs, a court has heard.

Five men have been jailed for a total of more than 40 years after texts from the boy to one of the gangs were found describing how he was “broke” and hadn’t eaten “since yesterday”. Messages from him to the drugs line number requesting food were repeatedly ignored. In the last few years, I have been made aware of violent groups take advantage of autistic children’s desire “to be liked and accepted” to convince them to act as mules, trafficking drugs between towns, cities and the countryside, a system known as county line.

As an autism awareness campaigner and a mum of two sons on the autism spectrum I have had concerns about the vulnerability of young autistic individuals who could get caught up in crime, particularly mate crime, and end up in the prison system. I have actually met people as young as 18 in prison and visited a youth offenders’ facility where autistic individuals have been victims of mate crime.

Mate crime is a hideous, often hidden, form of bullying that needs to come out of the shadows.  We need to show these bullies that we are onto them and to reassure members of the autism community that they are not alone. This investigation of the vulnerable young man has shown that the police are able to pursue those involved with exploiting children for drug supply, irrespective of whether a victim assists the police or not. I hope this case will discourage future gangs from using children as drugs runners by showing that it isn’t any barrier to their prosecution.

Anna Kennedy OBE
Chairperson

Autism Awareness at New Scotland Yard

Autism Awareness at New Scotland Yard

Raising Autism Awareness at New Scotland Yard

Last week Anna Kennedy OBE and DCI Dion Brown talked ‘All things Autism’ at New Scotland Yard

AnnaKennedyonline and the Metropolitan Police collaborated in April for World Autism Day raising autism awareness and acceptance.

Both Anna and Sean Kennedy, two autistic officers, DCI Brown (parent to two autistic children) spoke of their experiences and Anna shared about the work of the charity. Katie Price also joined the event to speak about her ‘Track and Troll ‘and ‘Harvey’s Law’ campaigns. 

Since then, the Met’s Autism Support Group for their own families with autistic children and officers on the spectrum has grown to a group of 450.

Anna Kennedy and DCI Dion Brown will continue to work together.

A document is being created on ‘Stop and Search’ for Autistic individuals by Sean Kennedy Barrister and DCI Brown.
More news to follow soon.

The London Police have launched their Autism Alert Card scheme and passport in 2019.

Please click here for more information

Photo Credit: Terry Scott

Judicial Alternative Dispute Resolution Hearings Pilot 2021

Judicial Alternative Dispute Resolution Hearings Pilot 2021

Judicial Alternative Dispute Resolution Hearings Pilot 2021

Very recent tribunal announcement on Judicial Alternative Dispute Resolution Hearings Pilot 2021:

  1. From May 2021 until the end of July 2021, the First-tier Tribunal Special Educational Needs and Disability will list certain types of appeals for judicial alternative dispute resolution (JADR) hearings.  These will be cases which involve Section I of an EHC plan.
  2. The JADR hearing will be listed approximately one week after the final evidence date and two weeks before the date of the final hearing. It will have an estimated length of up to 1.5 hours.
  3. The purpose of the JADR hearing is to support parties to resolve their disputes by agreement. At the hearing the judge, who has been trained in judicial mediation, will consider how to assist the parties to reach an agreement.
  4. It may be possible for the judge at the JADR hearing to provide a view as to whether either party is being unrealistic, either in respect of the evidence provided to support the placement they propose or the grounds of appeal or response. In some cases, it may be possible for the judge to express an opinion as to the strength or weakness of the appeal or response (or parts of them).
  5. It is important to stress that JADR hearings are private, confidential hearings and that the judge who conducts the JADR hearing will not conduct the final hearing in the case, if the parties cannot reach an agreement. If the judge expresses a view about the strength or weakness of the appeal or response, or about the strength of the evidence, that is not binding on the parties, but it is hoped that it will help them to reach their own agreement. Anything said at the JADR meeting should be kept confidential and not referred to after that hearing.
  6. The judge may ask the parties to sign a draft consent order if an agreement is reached in principle. If the parties are not able to reach agreement at the JADR hearing a short report will be prepared identifying the issues to be decided by the Tribunal and relevant legislative provisions to be taken into consideration.
  7. It is important to stress that the purpose of the JADR hearing is to carry out the Tribunal’s duty under rule 3 of the Tribunal Procedure Rules 2008 (as amended) to encourage the use by the parties of an alternative procedure for the resolution of the dispute and facilitate the use of the procedure if the parties so wish and to further the overriding objective set out in rule 2.
  8. The overriding objective enables the Tribunal to deal with cases fairly and justly, which includes:
  • ensuring that the parties are on an equal footing;
  • dealing with cases in ways which are proportionate to the complexity and importance of the issues;
  • avoiding unnecessary formality and seeking flexibility in the proceedings;
  • avoiding delay, so far as compatible with proper consideration of the issues; and
  • using any special expertise of the Tribunal effectively.

These principles will be applied in JADR hearings.

Although in exceptional circumstances, some necessary case management directions may be given by the judge at the JADR hearing, the purpose of the hearing will be to focus on ways of encouraging the parties to resolve their dispute by agreement. It would not be appropriate to consider issues such as postponing the final hearing, directing further evidence or considering detailed disputes over a hearing bundle, at a JADR hearing.

Credit: SOS SEN: https://sossen.org.uk/

Introducing – The Big e

Introducing – The Big e

Introducing “The Big e”

Specialist advisory service using an #Intersectional approach to identify needs, provision, outcomes and one to one teaching. The Big e will consistently aim to educate, empower, empathise, and engage families on their SEND journey…

Marguerite is the Founder of Haye Independent Services which was successfully launched in June 2014 as a result of the Children and Families Act 2014. Marguerite’s primary goal was to support families through the new Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) journey with the new legislation. Marguerite successfully advocated for 1000s of families working in different roles nationally.  Marguerite is knowledgeable in the SEND legislation she embraces its ethos at the heart of everything she does, by adopting a child-centred approach to ensure every child receives the right provision.

Marguerite has worked in various roles in the education sector with her most recent being a Headteacher.  Marguerite recognises the missing voices in the area of SEND from children to adults, especially within the Black community.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Marguerite became seriously ill which resulted in her having to make life changes to her role. It was decided that she would no longer be working in the role as a advocate but would use her extensive experience to offer assessments of needs and 1:1 tutoring for children with special educational needs or disabilities. This is where the – The Big e was born.

Marguerite can offer assessments, 1:1 tutoring (online) and more.

Click here for further details.

Judicial Alternative Dispute Resolution Hearings Pilot 2021

Special Educational Provision – Who is Responsible for Ensuring it is Put in Place?

Special Educational Provision
Who is Responsible for Ensuring it is Put in Place?

This video gives and overview of the law around the special educational provision contained in an EHC plan and identifies who is responsible for ensuring it is made or put in place. Many people believe it is the school or Post16 provision identified in section I of the EHC plan and this is simply not the case:-

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