If you have gone through the process of an EHC Needs assessment and drawing up a draft EHCP without legal assistance, you have done very well. However, it is often at this stage that difficulties arise.
By this stage of the process, you may well be feeling quite a bit of stress! You’ve successfully persuaded the LA to assess your child’s needs and it has decided to make an EHC Plan.
But when the final plan arrives, it falls short of what you believe your child requires. Sometimes the plan fails to include all their needs. Sometimes much of the required provision is lacking. Or it might be that the school, college or other setting named in Section I of a plan isn’t what you had asked for.
If you need help to appeal after an annual review read our annual reviews page to find out more about how we can help..
What parts of a final EHCP can I appeal?
If you have received a final Education, Health and Care Plan that you are not happy with, you can one or more of the sections set out within it. You can appeal:
- anything in Section B (that sets out your child’s needs),
- Section F (the provision the local authority has deemed necessary to meet your child’s needs)
- Section I (the educational setting or residential placement, or lack thereof)
There is currently a national trial underway which extends the powers of the SEND Tribunal powers. This means you can also appeal the health and social care sections of EHCPs as long as you are also appealing some or all of the educational parts (B, F or I, as above)
We can help by giving you advice in a telephone, email or face-to-face meeting (appropriately COVID-safe). We can also represent you all the way through the appeal. We are well-known for getting excellent results for families before it is necessary to go to Tribunal, something our clients really appreciate.
If the local authority won’t come to a satisfactory agreement, we can also present your case at the Tribunal hearing itself and take care of everything needed beforehand.
If the plan has been finalised by the local authority and the LA is refusing to make the changes you have requested, it is important you consider appealing to the First-Tier SEND Tribunal. You’ve come a long way already by this point and your child needs the plan to be the right one.
If you wish, you can participate in mediation before you lodge an appeal to see if the LA will change its position. If you don’t feel mediation will be beneficial, you can simply obtain a mediation certificate and appeal as soon as you have it.
How we can help
If you need support from this stage, we can step in and advise you, including – depending on your case – about whether you should try participating in mediation.
Once you have decided to engage our services, we will represent you and your child throughout the whole appeal process to the SEND Tribunal. We can take the strain for you by lodging your appeal and preparing the relevant documentation, including obtaining the required mediation certificate if you have not already done this.
We will go through your child’s finalised plan carefully with you and review the evidence you already have. We will advise on any potential further expert reports or assessments you may need to consider to support your case.
We are often able to negotiate with the local authority during the interim period to make the needed changes before the case reaches a hearing. If that isn’t possible, we will also advise and assist you in obtaining expert witnesses and represent you at the SEND Tribunal hearing, if the case gets that far.
Get in touch to see how we can help you to secure a legally-compliant Education, Health and Care Plan that meets your child’s special educational needs and disabilities.