QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
THE ADMINISTRATIVE COURT
B e f o r e :
|THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF K||(CLAIMANT)|
|LONDON BOROUGH OF WANDSWORTH||(DEFENDANT)|
Smith Bernal Wordwave Limited
190 Fleet Street London EC4A 2AG
Tel No: 020 7404 1400 Fax No: 020 7831 8838
(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
MR WOLFE appeared on behalf of the DEFENDANT
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"E currently has sessions in the sensory room at G School once a week with her class group and once every two weeks with a teacher for the visually impaired together with another child. There is a room at P School offering similar provision. This is known as the interactive technology room. E would be able to access this provision. In addition the class teacher uses a multi-sensory approach to teaching and learning in the classroom and the children also have access to soft play equipment for multi-sensory experiences. Enhancements for the multi-sensory provision available to secondary PMLD pupils at P School are planned by the LEA."
"(A) Access to a broad and balanced developmental curriculum with a multi-sensory environment and opportunities for regular multi-sensory experiences ... (H) Access to hydrotherapy sessions on a fortnightly basis. (I) Opportunities for regular music therapy or music teaching utilising music therapy techniques."
"Mrs du Preez was E's teacher for the last two years until 23rd May. She told us how E accessed the sensory room at G. She told us that the room was well equipped and of sufficient size to enable E to be taken out of her wheelchair and lie on a board or mattress which were better for E than being in her wheelchair ..."
"Ms Charman is the Head Teacher of P. She told us that P had a sensory room but it is too small for E to be taken out of her wheelchair. The room is used specifically for focus work by the therapists and the teacher for the visually impaired, who at P would be the same person that works with E at G.
"Ms Charman told us that she recognised that children such as E needed a multi-sensory curriculum and that unfortunately P had limitations in space. They do have soft play equipment which is brought out into the hall. Mrs Norgate [an LEA official] accepted that P's accommodation, particularly the sensory room, was not ideal. It was not as large or well resourced as B, but she said that appropriate equipment was in the room and E would have access to it."
"Mr Urani is an Independent Educational Psychologist who prepared a report for K ... Mr Urani did not consider that there was objective evidence that the sensory room at P, although smaller than G's, would not be able to be used to meet E's educational needs."
"Ms Charman accepts that there are limitations in the accommodation at P and medium term solutions are being considered by the LEA. She considers that despite the facilities, P is an appropriate placement for E and that P could meet her needs."
"Of the concerns expressed over the suitability of P, we do not consider that the size of the sensory room at P affects the ability of the school to provide appropriate provision. Although it is smaller than the room at B or indeed G, it has the appropriate equipment and E would work with the same visually impaired peripatetic teacher that she currently has. She has not expressed any concern about P's sensory room. Although Mrs du Preez stressed the value of E being able to be taken out of her wheelchair for the sensory sessions, this did not appear to have been a factor which Mr Urani considered worth mentioning in his report. Indeed, he considered that there was no objective evidence to support the view that the facility at P, although smaller, would not be able to meet E's educational needs in this area. We accept Mr Urani's opinion."
"In view of the assertion that there was no 'relevant evidence' upon which the tribunal could have come to the conclusion that it did, it was inevitable that affidavits would be sworn to provide the court with the full picture and, in particular, to inform the court as to the expertise and experience of the witnesses. To the extent that they provided that material they were therefore affidavits which were admissible and properly receivable."
"We would add, however, that we do not consider it generally appropriate that a statutory tribunal which is required to give reasoned decisions should respond to an appeal by purporting to amplify its reasons ... If reference needs to be made to the evidence for the purpose of the statutory appeal, the ordinary resort is to as much of the documentation and notes of evidence as will help to determine what material there was for the impugned part of the decision~... Fresh evidence, even on judicial review, has a restricted ambit ... which can be no larger on a statutory appeal. Decisions such as that at Latham J in S v SENT  1 WLR 1627, 1635, admitting evidence on the question whether there had been any admissible basis for the SENT's decision, may fall within this restricted field, especially since SENT reasons are permitted by the SENT Regulations 1994, reg. 30(2) to be in summary form; but the practice described ... of parties submitting evidence at will to the court hearing an appeal against a SENT decision is in our present view unacceptable."
"P is an appropriate placement."
"Offer curriculum for E but because of facilities cannot offer appropriate placement ... Not able to provide appropriate. Multi-sensory facilities. Can provide SEN needs and meet her needs within the resources."
"Ms Charman believes educ. Children have right to education and can deliver curriculum. To enable them to become active members of the community."