Children may suffer a Psychiatric Injury as a result of Educational Negligence.
What is Educational Negligence?
A Psychiatric Injury isn’t always a diagnosis of a recognised injury such as depression or anxiety. It has been suggested that Children can express a psychological injury in different, less obvious ways such as; a change in their sleeping pattern, withdrawal or increased levels of aggression.
Educational Negligence may occur in a number of different instances, such as:
- Failure to reasonably deal with, and / or resolve an issue with bullying;
- Failure to reasonably deal with, and/ or resolve an issue with harassment;
- Failure to refer a child who has additional needs to an outside body such as educational psychologists, learning support or the local authority, etc. both in a timely manner and in accordance to their need(s);
- Failure to implement reasonable adjustments for a child with or without additional needs appropriately, at all or within a reasonable time frame.
In instances where:
- There have been two or more (or prolonged) occurrences of bullying;
- The School had been made aware of each occasion your Child has been bullied, inclusive of the impact the bullying had on your child;
- You feel as though the matter has not been resolved in a reasonable manner after approaching the school and following their grievance procedure, to the extent that no other teaching professional would have reached the same conclusion;
- Your child sustained a psychiatric injury as a direct result of the lack of, or inappropriate resolution proposed by the school.
If your child has experienced any of the above, we may be able to assist you in bringing a claim against your school.
It should be noted that we encourage all resolutions with the school to be dealt with in house in the first instance, with either the School or the Local Authority, in accordance with their applicable policies.
Alternatively, in instances where:
- The School had notice of your Child’s additional need(s) and any deterioration within your child’s behaviour, mental health or academic performance, should have been foreseeable;
- Your School has failed to follow the graduated process and acted unreasonably, omitting their duty of care to provide your child with a safe and acceptable standard of teaching, and has subsequently, failed to cater to your child’s additional need(s);
- The school has acted in a way that no other professional of the same grade would have acted in at that time;
- You have followed the procedures outlined within your Child’s School and/ Local Authority;
- You believe your child has sustained a psychiatric injury as a direct result of the School’s actions or omissions.
If your child has experienced any of the above, we may be able to assist you in bringing a Psychiatric Injury claim against your child’s school as a result of the school’s negligent actions.
It is important to note that there are a number of different options available to your child, that the School could provide which is dependent upon their own specific individual need(s).
For example, your child may be provided with one or more of the following, dependent upon their needs:
- A One Page Profile
- An Individual Education Plan
- A My Support Plan
- An Educational Health Care Plan
Your Child may also be referred to one or more of the following, dependent upon their needs inclusive of but not limited to:
- Your Local Hospital for an appropriate assessment
- CAHMS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services)
- Learning Support Service
- CIAT (Communication Interaction and Access Team)
- Educational Psychologists
- Speech and Language Therapists
- Occupational Therapists
- Children’s Sensory Impairment Team
- SENART (Special Educational Needs Assessment and Review Team)
It is important to note that the school should follow a ‘graduated approach’ to address your child’s additional needs. Which means over a period of time, if one option isn’t working, alternative referrals or steps can be taken to attempt to accommodate your child’s needs.
It may be the case that some or all of these provisions may not be necessary or applicable to your child. This is, again, needs dependent.
However, where reasonable steps are not taken to assist your child, and your child suffers a psychiatric injury as a result, we may be able to assist you further.
WHAT TO DO NEXT
Contact our Educational Negligence team today for a free initial consultation, or call us on 0113 200 9787 to find out how we can help you.