EHCP and Tribunal Support
The EHC Plan process
When a child with or without a diagnosis is struggling at school eg is significantly behind peers and/or finds it very difficult to function in the classroom, the school may apply for an EHCP (Education Health Care Plan). Initially the school (or family) applies to the relevant LA (local authority) to request that the child be assessed. The LA then decides whether to conduct an EHC needs assessment, a process that takes up to six weeks. If yes, the parents are notified and the LA gathers information usually from an Educational Psychologist and Speech and Language Therapist (who visit the child at school) and occasionally from an Occupational Therapist. If no, the parents can appeal the decision not to assess.
Once the LA have gathered information for EHC assessment, they then decide whether an EHCP is needed. If yes a plan is drafted and sent to the parents, who then have 15 calendar days to comment/express a preference for a particular school and can also seek agreement for a personal budget. If the LA decide not to issue a plan, the parents have the right to appeal within a maximum of 16 weeks from the request for assessment.
The LA must consult with the proposed school before naming it in the plan (the school/educational institution should respond within 15 days). Following consultation with the parents, the draft plan is amended where need and then issued. The whole process from request a plan to one being issued should not take more than 20 weeks.
Appealing an EHCP
Parents can formally appeal an LA’s decision if a) the child is refused and assessment, b) the LA decides not to issue a plan after assessment or reassessment or c) the parents are not happy with the content of the EHCP
Usually an appeal process starts with mediation, which is a free service. If this doesn’t work an appeal can be made to a Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) tribunal. The appeal is a legal process and the parents or solicitor need to build the case for the hearing (the LA would do the same).
Kids In Sync assistance in the EHCP process
Kids In Sync want the best for your child and can help you at all stages of the EHCP process by:
Providing an in depth report for the EHC needs assessment outlining the child’s difficulties and needs from as Occupation Therapy and Sensory perspective
Building a case to support OT/SI provision within an EHCP
Helping parents with choice of school
Attending mediation and tribunal meetings to support parents in getting the support they need for their child
Providing guidance to schools on EHCP implementation
Support from schools:
"This centre is amazing. Much needed for such a long time. At last parents have a professional safe haven and children will get help understanding and reach their full potential. Well done Jacqui, you have my full support. It is truly innovative and exciting."