The first review must be completed by the Local Authority within 12 months of the date when the EHC plan was issued. After that, within 12 months of any previous review. The Local Authority’s decision following the review meeting must be notified to the child's parent or the young person within four weeks of the review meeting.
If the Local Authority decides not to amend your child's EHC plan or decides to cease to maintain it, they must notify you of:
· your right to appeal that decision
· the time limits for doing so
· the requirements for you to consider mediation should you wish to appeal
· the availability of information, advice and support and disagreement resolution services.
What you can appeal
In most cases, you are likely to be seeking a change to the description of the child's needs (Section B), the provision (Section F) or the placement (Section I).
It may be that your child has had an additional diagnosis or an assessment has shown a new need that needs to be included in the EHC plan. For example, an assessment by a Speech and Language therapist may have diagnosed a speech and language disorder, and this diagnosis should be included in Section B, with the recommendation for therapy provision specified in Section F. This may also require the Outcomes to be amended. While there is no appeal against Section E, the Tribunal has the power, in this type of appeal, to amend the Outcomes if it becomes clear that they need to change.
See also: Appeal against the Contents of an EHC plan.
As always, the success of this type of appeal will depend on the evidence that is provided. In this case, it may be that the minutes and reports submitted as part of the review process will provide the necessary evidence. In some cases, there is clear evidence about the new needs but the recommendations about the provision are unclear. You can contact the relevant professional to see if the recommendations can be made more specific. If not, then it may be necessary to consider obtaining an assessment by an independent expert, such as an independent Speech and Language therapist.
The Legal Test
All EHC plans must, by law, be reviewed every year (Children and Families Act 2014 and SEND Regulations 2, 18, 19, 20 and 21.
SEND Code of Practice, 2015.
See Chapter 9: paragraphs 9.166 - 9.185
The SEND COP provides guidance on the procedure that must be followed in regard to reviewing an EHC plan: