Sentinel

Challenging an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

Date: November 07, 2018 by idu-net

Challenging an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

 

In September 2014, the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) reforms came into effect. From 1 September 2014, any child or young person referred to a local authority for assessment was considered under the new Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan assessment process.

 

Department for Education statistics show that there were 64,555 requests for children and young people to be assessed for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) during 2017 – compared with 55,235 in 2016 – a rise of some 17%. The increase is encouraging, due no doubt to the fact that more families are aware of the support they are legally entitled to receive.

 

However, a Times Educational Supplement (TES) investigation in January 2018 found that around 1,000 children still waited longer than a year for their plan in 2016 and the latest statistics indicate that of the new plans produced during 2017, only a third were issued within the statutory 20-week time limit. Large numbers of children entitled to SEN support are still waiting for their EHCP and more than 20% of parental requests for an assessment for additional support with special educational needs were turned down.

 

That means, based on the latest data, that almost 4,000 children are being denied the help they need and are still waiting for their Statement of Special Educational Needs to be transferred to an EHCP despite the fact that the legal deadline for this transfer was 31 March 2018. This is crucial because a child or young person does not receive the special educational provision they require and benefit from their EHCP until a final EHCP is issued, so many families in need of help and support remain in limbo without a final EHCP in place.

 

IDU Legal can put you in touch with expert education lawyers who can assist with securing an EHCP and also advise on how to get the content of the EHCP correct. An EHCP is a powerful tool, but it is only effective if it specifies and quantifies exactly what support your child needs. If parents aren’t happy with the placement or provision detailed in the finally completed EHCP, it is possible to appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal to seek changes.

 

Even if the transfer from Statement to an EHCP has been done within the statutory time frame, it is possible that the precise nature of any support is not set out in as much depth and detail as necessary, so parents can again seek professional advice to challenge the content of it by appealing if necessary.’

 

Any families who find themselves still awaiting transfer, or are unhappy with the content of an EHCP or have had an assessment request turned down should visit the IDU Legal website or call the FREE legal helpline on 0333 305 4357 to get a direct link to expert solicitors who can help secure the right educational provision for your child.