My Child Has Autism – What Does This Mean For Their Education?


The Law Of… Having The Right Educational Support

Liam Wells, Paralegal in Education Law at Simpson Millar, explains what educational support is available for children with autism and other special educational needs (SEN) and how we can help you.

My Child Has Been Refused An Assessment For An Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) – What Can I Do?

An EHCP is a legal document issued for children and young people with SEN that:

  • Records their education, health, and care needs
  • States the provisions required to meet those needs
  • States the type of placement that can meet their needs

If you think your child needs an EHCP you should ask your Local Authority (LA) to carry out an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment (EHCNA). The LA then has 6 weeks to make a decision about whether to carry out an EHCNA. If agreed, the LA has a deadline to carry out an EHCNA, which is no longer than 20 weeks from the date the EHCNA was originally requested.

If the LA fails to uphold these timescales, it is important to keep a note of the date you requested an EHCNA in order to make sure the LA does not breach their statutory duty in respect of their deadlines.

If your child is refused an EHCNA from your LA, you will be entitled to appeal against this decision to the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND Tribunal)).

How Long Do I Have To Make An Appeal?

The deadline to make an appeal is within 2 months from the date of the decision from your Local Authority or 1 month from the date of the mediation certificate – whichever date is later.

As we frequently support parents and young people with appeals, we will be able to walk you through each step of the process and ensure you're as prepared as possible.

What Can I Do If My Child Has Been Refused An EHCP?

If your LA has refused to issue an EHCP for your child after doing an EHCNA, you have the right to appeal against this decision to the SEND Tribunal within a certain time frame.

The deadline for making an appeal is either within 2 months from the date of the decision from your LA or 1 month from the date of the mediation certificate – again, this will depend on which date is later.

Dealing with an appeal can be stressful and complicated, but you can rely on our team to advise and support you throughout the process. 

I'm Not Happy With My Child's EHCP And It's Not Meeting Their Needs – What Can I Do?

If your child isn't progressing there's a chance that their EHCP might be outdated or inaccurate, or you may feel that the placement named isn't right for them.

For example, the provisions within the EHCP may be vague or ambiguous, meaning that they are failing to get the correct support.

We can offer you tailored advice on the contents of the EHCP and the process of getting it amended. If you don't have a right of appeal to the SEND Tribunal, we can also assist you with obtaining this and can ultimately help address any concerns you may have with your child’s education.

How Can Simpson Millar's Education Law Team Help?

Securing the right educational provisions shouldn't be an uphill battle for parents.

We have specialist expertise in supporting parents of children with autism as well as other SEN, and will ensure that your child's learning and development don't suffer.  

If you have any questions relating to your child’s education and SEN, please contact our team of experts to find out how we can help.  

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