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How to appeal an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

If your child's request for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) assessment is declined, or you disagree with the finalised EHCP content, you have the right to appeal the decision. Here is an overview of the EHCP appeals process in England and what it involves:

Grounds for appeal

You can appeal for various reasons, for example, the Council has:

  • Refused to conduct an EHCP assessment
  • Decided an EHCP is unnecessary after assessment
  • Issued an EHCP lacking appropriate detail or provision
  • Failed to finalise an EHCP within the timeframe

Your appeal request letter must clearly lay out your specific reason(s) for appealing.
 

Timescales

To appeal, you must:

  • Within 2 months of the decision, send a letter to the council requesting an appeal.
  • The Council then has 30 days to agree on a resolution with you or issue a notice of appeal.
  • The appeal hearing must occur within 30 days of the notice being issued.

Meeting these deadlines is important to avoid delays in securing support.
 

Other ways to resolve your request for support

Before pursuing a full appeal hearing, consider:

  • Mediation 
    You can request independent mediation to try resolving issues first.
  • Case re-examination 
    The Council may look at the case again and change the decision, avoiding appeal.
  • New assessment 
    In some situations, a re-assessment may be agreed instead to re-examine needs.

Preparing your case

To build your strongest appeal case:

  • Gather evidence like medical reports, expert letters, and examples of needs.
  • Request paperwork like decision rationale, assessment reports and EHCP drafts.
  • Consult with advisory groups
  • Enlist specialist witnesses like therapists or nurses to reinforce testimony.

At the hearing

If you reach the appeal stage, an impartial SEN Tribunal panel will listen to your appeal. You will have the option to present your case for why the decision should be changed. The Council will then explain their reasons for the original decision.

The panel will carefully consider arguments from both sides before making a judgement on the appeal.
 

Who can help me?

If you wish to appeal any of the decisions made regarding a Statutory Assessment for your child or yourself, or anything within the content of your child's or your EHC Plan, Plymouth Information, Advice and Support for SEND (PIAS) will be able to support you with this.

For more information about the appeal process, please read the appeal an education, health and care (EHC) plan decision guidance on the GOV.UK website.
 

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