Lachlan Wilson argues for parents before the Upper Tribunal that a powered wheelchair constitutes special educational provision

East Sussex County Council v JC

Lachlan Wilson recently represented the parents of a young man with significant mobility impairments before the Upper Tribunal. The dispute related to the provision and use of a powered wheelchair. Mr Wilson argued for the parents that the wheelchair provided as much education and training to their son, “W”, as a communications device; he had to learn how to use the powered wheelchair and exercise independent decision making about where and when he wished to go. The wheelchair was essential for him to exercise independence of judgment in his movement about the college.

Upper Tribunal Judge Levenson pointed out that inanimate objects can be educational or training provision – think of books. He also held that there is no rule excluding from consideration as special educational provision that which provides access: if (and it might be a big if) the use of the powered wheelchair educates or trains, as per the statutory test at section 21(5) of the Children and Families Act 2014, there is no rule excluding its provision from being educational or training provision merely because it may also be said to provide "access to education".

See the Upper Tribunal decision here.

Click on the link below to read Lachlan Wilson's analysis of the case - This article was first published on Lexis®PSL Local Government on 27 April 2018:
The distinction between educational and healthcare provision - East Sussex cc v JC - an analysis by Lachlan Wilson for Lexis Nexis