Expert annual/emergency EHCP review solicitor
If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan, also referred to as an EHCP or EHC plan, the local authority is required to formally review this every year.
The annual review is an opportunity for you to bring any changes to the local authority’s attention and ask for any alterations that you would like to see happen.
If something has happened in respect of your child’s development, such as a diagnosis, you can request an early annual review of the EHCP.
We represent parents in dealing with annual EHCP reviews and requests for emergency EHCP reviews. We can ensure that your case is put as strongly as possible and where necessary raise objections and advise on an appeal.
We have extensive experience in dealing with the complex education and special needs system. We have a track record of success in securing the best possible outcomes for his clients’ children.
An EHCP review will ordinarily be carried out every twelve months to assess whether the plan is still right for your child. However, in some circumstances, you may need to request an emergency EHCP review to secure your child the help and support they need. We take a look at the process.
Our annual / emergency EHCP review services
We deal with a full range of EHCP review issues, including:
- Requesting an emergency review
- Advising you on and drafting a request for an emergency review
- Compiling expert evidence in support of your request
- Appealing the results of an EHCP review
- Request for re-assessment of your child’s needs
Please note that we are only able to take on privately paid cases.
The Education Health and Care Plan annual review process
The local authority is required to review your child’s EHCP within 12 months of it being finalised.
They will invite you to attend an annual review meeting, along with other individuals with knowledge of your child’s situation, including the principal from their education setting, healthcare professionals and the local authority’s own education officer and social care officer.
Depending on your child’s age and their level of understanding, they can also be invited to attend the meeting so that they can put forward their thoughts and wishes.
Others who can be asked to attend include physiotherapists, speech and language therapists and mental health professionals.
You are advised to prepare for the meeting by writing out a list of issues that you would like to discuss and what you think should change.
The purpose of the meeting is to look at the progress your child has made and consider whether the help they are being given needs to be altered in any way as well as whether the proposed outcomes are still realistic.
The local authority may decide to keep the plan as it is, make changes or end it.
Within two weeks of the meeting, you should receive a written report setting out any proposed amendments to the EHCP. If anyone at the meeting had a different opinion, you should also receive this information.
If it is proposed to drop the plan or keep it as it is, you have a right to appeal. You are also entitled to respond to any proposed changes to the plan and request a particular school for your child if you wish.
The final plan will be issued within eight weeks of advising you of the planned changes. If it is not what you were hoping for, you have a right to appeal to the SEND Tribunal.
When can you request an emergency EHCP review?
If your child’s Education, Health and Care Plan is no longer adequately meeting their needs or your child’s situation has changed and the plan does not accurately reflect matters, you can ask your local authority to conduct an interim or emergency review.
This will be similar to the annual review, but moved forward to deal with matters more urgently. You can use this process if you believe that your child’s plan needs to be amended without delay. You will need a good reason for requesting an emergency review and we can assess your child’s case and help ensure that you put forward the strongest possible request.
How can you request an emergency EHCP review?
You should ask your child’s teacher or other professional at their educational setting if they will contact the local authority to ask for a review. You should also write to the local authority yourself, whether or not the school does.
What will the local authority look at in an emergency EHCP review?
If the local authority accepts that a review is necessary, it will arrange a meeting. You and your child will be invited, along with professionals involved in your child’s education and development, such as teachers and therapists. The local authority’s education and social care officers will also attend.
Before the meeting, you should set out in writing what you hope to achieve and what changes you would like to be made. You should also give the local authority details of what has changed in your child’s life, for example, in areas such as:
- Communication and interaction with others
- Learning and cognitive abilities
- Social, emotional and mental wellbeing
- Sensory and physical abilities
- Ability to be independent and self-help
Your child can also have some input, setting out what they would like to see happen.
At the review meeting, your child’s progress will be looked at as well as how effective the current plan is. The changes will be discussed as well as proposals for helping and making amendments to the plan.
Receiving the proposed amendments to the EHCP
After the meeting, you will be sent details of any proposed changes that the local authority is considering. You will have the opportunity to respond and you can appeal if it is proposed to end the plan or not to make any changes.
If an amended plan is proposed, you should receive the final copy within a further eight weeks. You have a right to appeal in respect of this if you feel it is still not right for your child.
Contact our Birmingham education solicitor
We represent parents in securing emergency EHCP reviews, ensuring that their case is robust and that they have the strongest possible evidence in support. We can advise you of your rights and take steps to help you have the right plan put in place for your child’s future.
To talk to an expert education solicitor in Birmingham, call on 0121 309 0013, email us at email@example.com or fill in our contact form.