Education Health & Care Plans

Our Education Law solicitors can assist with EHCPs

If your child is struggling and having difficulty at school and further support and assistance may be required then you can apply to the Local Authority for a Statutory Assessment of your child’s educational needs. You will need to collate all medical and educational reports and any school records you may have. The Local Authority will then have 6 weeks in which to decide whether to carry out an assessment or not. We can provide support with the Statutory request. We will make the request for you setting out the law and legal framework that applies to your case and sending the relevant documentation in support. Using solicitors often results in a successful outcome.

If the Local Authority decide they are willing to carry out an assessment then the Local Authority will instruct experts to assess your child. They will normally instruct an Educational Psychologist but it is dependent on the needs of the child and there may be further experts that are required such as Speech and Language Therapists and Occupational Therapists. Once they have carried out the assessment they will then decide whether they will then issue an EHCP.

If the Local Authority refuse to carry out an assessment then they will write to you letting you know the reasons for their decision. If your application does get refused then that does not mean that your child does not require additional provision and you should appeal their decision to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.

If the Local Authority have assessed your child and agreed to issue an EHCP you will first be provided with a draft plan. This is the first version of the EHCP and you will be asked for your comments on the sections contained within the draft plan. Whilst you will check the whole plan it is important that the needs are accurately described, the provision your child is to receive is accurate and quantified. This is your first opportunity to raise any concerns you have or suggest changes. The Local Authority will then consider those changes and thereafter issue a final plan. We can help you with the review of your EHCP. We will review all the evidence that has been obtained and check whether the correct information has been included. We will make written representations to the Local Authority on your behalf indicating where amendments need to be made or where evidence may be missing.

An EHCP is available for children and young people up to the age of 25 and must specify the child or young person’s identified special educational needs, the provision to meet each one of those specified needs and the school or school setting that is the most appropriate placement to properly educate your child or young person.

We also advise on Individual Development Plans. Speak to our education law solicitors today for an initial discussion about your situation.

Education Health & Care Plans FAQs

Any child or young person who has special educational needs or a disability that requires additional provision and those needs and provision cannot be met by the support that is normally available at their school or college.

Often children and young people do not make expected progress in their school and require some additional help and support.  This can more often than not be provided by their school.  However, some children and young people experience major difficulties and have such significant needs that an EHCP is required to provide the additional support.  It is those children who require additional specialist provision that cannot be provided within the school’s normal budget that require an EHCP.  An EHCP will identify educational, health and social needs and set out the additional support to meet those needs and help the child or young person achieve within the education environment.

Once you have made a formal request for an EHCP that marks the start of the statutory timetable.  The Local Authority will have 6 weeks from the request notification to decide whether they are willing to carry out an assessment.  If they agree to carry out an assessment, they will have a further 10 weeks in which to arrange for all assessments to be undertaken.  At the end of those 10 weeks, they will have to inform you in writing if they are not going to issue an EHCP.

If they are intending to issue an EHCP then they will have a maximum of 20 weeks from the time of the original request to issue a final EHCP.  During that period, they also have to provide you with a draft EHCP and allow you 15 days to consider the draft version and make representations.  These are statutory timescales, and they must be adhered to.

Please feel free to contact us if you need help working out the timetable or if the Local Authority have missed any deadlines.

The decision all comes down to whether the law is satisfied.  The Children and Families Act 2014 outlines the legal criteria required to be successful in securing an EHCP.  Whilst the law should provide clear guidelines that must be applied in each situation it is not always straightforward and there are many arguments and challenges that can arise.  We can apply the law to your case and give you a good indication of your chances of success.

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