Judicial Review solicitors

Judicial Review of Education Health and Care Plan decisions

Expert education solicitor for EHCP judicial review

If a local authority acts unlawfully in dealing with your child’s Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or they make a decision that is unreasonable, you may be able to ask for a judicial review of their decision.  This is a review by a judge of a decision made by a public body to decide whether the decision was reached in a lawful manner.

We can represent you in seeking a judicial review, for example, to secure provision as set out in section F of the EHCP. We deal with all aspects of Education, Health and Care Plans, from requests for assessment to appeals and judicial reviews.

We are often able to resolve matters by sending a pre-action letter to the local authority. This will be robustly drafted, setting out exactly what we believe to be unlawful and requesting that they reconsider the EHCP and the provision they are making. It is usually the case that when the authority receives a pre-action letter they will take steps to settle the matter to your satisfaction to avoid the expense of legal action.

Where your case is not resolved, we can take it to judicial review. If you are successful at your judicial review, the court will order the local authority to comply with the law.

Our principal is a highly experienced education solicitor who has a strong understanding of the legal process as well as the way in which local authorities deal with education issues. He is a member of the Education Law Association and has Independent Provider of Special Education Advice (IPSEA) training.

We understand how stressful it can be if you do not have the right EHCP in place for your child or the provision is not being made as it should and you will find us to be sympathetic and supportive. We have a strong track record of success and you can be assured that we will do all we can for your child.

 

Our EHCP judicial review services

We offer a full range of services for parents seeking a judicial review of an education decision, including:

  • Reviewing your case and advising on the best approach
  • Assessing whether you have grounds to request a judicial review
  • Entering into pre-action correspondence with the local authority to try and resolve matters out of court
  • Preparing your case for judicial review, together with documentation in support
  • Representing you and your child at a judicial review hearing

Please note that we are only able to take on privately paid cases. If your case is successful at court, you can usually expect the local authority to pay your reasonable legal costs.

 

When can you request a judicial review of education decisions and provision?

A judicial review is available if the decision that has been made in your child’s case did not follow the correct procedure, is not compliant with the SEND legislation/regulations, where the decision was so unreasonable as to be irrational, where the public body acted outside of their powers or made an error in law or where the Human Rights Act has been breached.

Examples include:

  • Not being advised of actions that were taken in your case within the timescale set out in law, such as not providing a decision within four weeks of carrying out an annual review or not advising you that an Education, Health and Care needs assessment is to be carried out within six weeks of it being requested
  • The local authority failing to issue an EHCP after agreeing that it will do so
  • The local authority failing to provide appropriate social care and services
  • The local authority failing to provide something that has been stated as necessary in your child’s EHCP, to include funding
  • An education setting refusing to admit your child despite being named in the EHCP (provided your child has not been excluded)

 

Requesting a judicial review of EHCP decisions or refusals

You should act promptly if you believe you are entitled to request a judicial review as there is a deadline of three months from the date of the decision or failure by which a request should be made.

We can advise you as to whether you have grounds to request a judicial review and deal with the process on your behalf.

It is often possible to resolve matters before action commences. We can send a pre-action letter on your behalf and ask the local authority if they are able to take steps to resolve matters. Because of the costs risk to them of losing, they may be willing to negotiate an acceptable solution.

Where this is not possible, we will prepare a strong case for judicial review and represent you at the hearing.

 

Contact our Birmingham education solicitor

We provide a full service to parents of children with special educational needs, ensuring they have the advice, support and representation they need to secure the right help for their children.

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

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