EHCP appeals solicitors Birmingham

Education Appeals to the Tribunal

EHCP appeals solicitors

Expert solicitor for education tribunal appeals

If your child has been given an Education, Health and Care Plan or EHCP that you do not believe is right for them or their plan has been discontinued, you may want to appeal the decision.

Your child’s EHCP is crucial in ensuring they have the help and support they need and if problems arise it is important to deal with these promptly as there is a strict deadline by which an appeal needs to be started.

We represent clients in the Education, Health and Care Plan appeals process. If you need help in making an appeal, we will put together a robust case on behalf of your child and ensure that there is strong evidence to back up each point you are making.

We know how important it is for your child to have the support they need during their formative years. You will find us to be sympathetic and approachable and we will take the time to understand your situation and the outcome that you believe is best for your child.

We have an in-depth understanding of the appeal process and a proven track record of success.

 

Our education tribunal appeals services

We provide a full range of education appeals services, including:

  • Advice on grounds for appeal and the appeals process
  • Completing the appeal application
  • Drafting the appeal grounds
  • Compiling evidence in support of your EHCP appeal
  • Representation at the appeal hearing
  • Advice on appealing a tribunal ruling

 Please note that we are only able to take on privately paid cases.

 

When can you appeal an Education Health and Care Plan decision?

If you have received any of the following decisions or object to certain provisions in an EHCP, you may be able to make an appeal:

  • Refusal to carry out an Education, Health and Care needs assessment
  • Refusal to put an Education, Health and Care Plan in place following an assessment
  • Refusal to carry out a review or reassessment of an EHCP
  • You believe an EHCP should have been amended following a review but it was not
  • An EHCP is being ended after a review but you believe it should remain in place
  • You disagree with what the EHCP says about your child’s special needs or not all of your child’s needs have been included
  • You disagree with what the EHCP says about the provision that will be made for your child or it is not specific enough
  • You disagree with the school or education setting that has been selected for your child

If you are appealing an educational aspect of your child’s EHCP, it is also open to you to raise concerns about the health and social care aspect of the plan at the same time.

 

What is the EHCP appeals process?

If you’re looking to appeal an EHCP decision in Birmingham, there are several options available to you. You can appeal to the independent Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST) if your request for an EHC assessment was refused, if an EHCP was not issued, or if a re-assessment was denied. In addition, you can seek legal advice from a specialist solicitor who can guide you through the appeals process and help you achieve the best possible outcome. Remember, it’s important to act quickly and gather as much evidence as possible to support your case.

Considering mediation

You need to consider mediation before you start the appeals process. Mediation is free and you are under no obligation to enter into it, but you must obtain a mediation certificate confirming that you have participated in a mediation appointment and that you understand you are entitled to mediation but you do not want it.

If you choose not to try mediation, you do not have to give reasons why. A reason to not go to mediation could be because you have asked for things that have been refused point blank, for example.

 

Starting an EHCP appeal

Once you have a mediation certificate, you can lodge your appeal with the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability). We can complete the form on your behalf if you need help, ensuring that it sets out your request and the reasons behind it as clearly and persuasively as possible.

 

Evidence in support of an EHCP appeal

You will also need to provide as much information in support as you can. This can be sent with the appeal form or afterwards if it is not ready straightaway. We can work with you to compile strong evidence of the points you are making and recommend the sorts of evidence you can request if necessary. For example, you could ask someone who works with your child to prepare a report on issues they are experiencing.

Information that can be sent includes:

  • Reports and correspondence from your child’s school
  • Examples of your child’s work
  • Reports from medical experts and therapists
  • Your child’s Individual Education Plan
  • An offer of a school place, particularly if this includes details of how the school believes they can help your child

There are rules about how much can be sent and the way in which a tribunal bundle should be prepared. We can deal with this aspect of your appeal if necessary, to make sure that your case is compliant with the rules and that the evidence is presented in the most effective way.

You have two months from the date of the letter setting out the decision that you wish to appeal in which to start your appeal, or 30 days from the date of the mediation certificate, whichever is later.

 

EHCP appeal hearing

Your EHCP appeal will usually be heard by a panel of three – a judge plus two special educational needs expert. You can attend with your child and, where appropriate, your child may be able to speak to the tribunal to give evidence and express their views. If your child will be attending, you must tell the tribunal in advance. Your child will not be present for the whole hearing so you will need to make sure that someone is with you to look after them while you are in the hearing.

Much of the questioning may be directed towards the local authority but you will no doubt be asked for some input as well. We can help prepare you for this so that you understand what will be required of you.

 

EHCP appeal result

You should hear back with a written decision within around ten working days in most cases.

If the local authority is required to amend or reinstate an EHCP, this should be done within five weeks.

If you have been through an appeal process that was not successful, you can ask us to review the decision. In some cases, if there has been an error in law, it may be possible to request a further appeal. It is important to do this quickly as there are tight deadlines.

 

Contact our Birmingham Special Educational Needs solicitor

We can help you secure the EHCP you need for your child. As well as a high level of expertise in education law and procedure, we offer an exceptional level of service to all of our clients.

To talk to an expert education solicitor in Birmingham, call on 0121 309 0013, email us or fill in our contact form.

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