EHCPs – Changing Provisions, Making Appeals And Requesting Reviews
The Law Of… Getting The Right Support
Regardless of whether your child has just received their first Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or they have had one for some time, making sure it is drafted correctly by your Local Authority is crucial.
Joanne Levey, Paralegal in Education Law, explains what options you have if you believe your child's EHCP is not up to date or incorrect in some way, including using our EHCP health check service.
What Does An EHCP Health Check Involve?
If you think your child's EHCP isn't meeting their special educational needs (SEN) or just want to check whether anything else could be put in place to support them, we can offer you an EHCP health check service.
As part of this service, our Education Law team can:
- Assess your child's EHCP
- Offer detailed advice about the EHCP
- Make recommendations about any changes that need to be made, including whether you might be able to request an early annual review or make an appeal to the SEND Tribunal
My Child's EHCP Doesn't Accurately Describe Their Needs – How Can I Get It Changed?
Unfortunately, we find that the contents of many EHCPs do not comply with what is required by law. Some of the problems that we have noticed are that EHCPs do not adequately describe a child’s or young person’s SEN.
As a result, the provision included within the EHCP is often insufficient to meet a child’s or young person’s needs, or is often vague, unspecified and unquantified in terms of how much support is to be provided.
If you find yourself in this situation, we can assess your child's EHCP and offer you advice as to whether you might be able to get any of the provisions amended.
EHCPs must be reviewed every 12 months and the Annual Review is your opportunity to discuss with your child’s school or college what changes might need to be made to the content of Section B (the description of needs), Section F (the provision to meet those needs), and Section I (the placement).
In some circumstances, you may be able to request that the Annual Review is held early. You must bear in mind that in order to persuade the Local Authority to make changes you would normally need expert evidence to support your request (for example advice from an independent Educational Psychologist).
But, we are able to advise you about issues such as incorrect formatting, vague wording and a lack of properly quantified provision, without necessarily having to rely on input from other educational specialists.
Some Of The Information In My Child's EHCP Is Included In The Wrong Section – What Can I Do?
We have come across examples of formatting inaccuracies, such as EHCPs being issued where all of the special educational provision is included in the wrong section. This can cause difficulties with enforcing the provision, should it not be delivered.
In this case, you can challenge the contents of the EHCP by going through the appeals process, which our specialist team can support you throughout.
What Can I Do If Provisions In My Child's EHCP Are Outdated?
In addition, following the process of converting Statements of SEN to EHCPs, we have found that EHCPs are not always being based on up-to-date evidence as often up-to-date assessments have not been commissioned.
If the information in your child's EHCP isn't accurate, our Education Law specialists can offer you an EHCP health check and make recommendations as to whether you could request an early Annual Review of the plan, what evidence you might need to back up your request and what changes could be made.
How Can Simpson Millar's Education Law Solicitors Help My Child?
It is crucial that an EHCP is properly and lawfully drafted to ensure that a child or young person’s special educational needs are appropriately described, that the EHCP details a suitable level of support to meet their SEN, and that the school or college named in Section I is a suitable placement for them.
If you need some advice or want to find out more about our health check service, our experts will be more than happy to speak to you.