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Most of the information about special education law is found in this comprehensive book. And an excellent introduction places the law in its contemporary context. That is, one in which the law is simply not being followed by many local education authorities. The book will help parents who are having problems obtaining appropriate provision for their child, although they will still need to seek advice on their individual circumstances rather than rely entirely on any written guide.

It is also an essential work of reference for professionals so that they can help defend the rights to appropriate provision, in particular, of those children whose parents may not be able or confident enough to do so.

Headteachers will be interested to learn that despite the bluster of central and local government over the past few years, the basic rights and duties established by the 1981 Education Act are strong and intact.

The excellent last chapter provides an A-Z guide to educational issues which can mesh with SEN issues and cause confusion. For example, curriculum, examinations, exclusions from school.

John Wright

Chief executive, Independent Panel for Special Education Advice

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