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.
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 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:
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/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.
Links to external websites
- Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP) for your child
- Submit a request for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) assessment
- How to appeal an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
- Annual reviews for children with special educational needs
- Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) flowchart
- Early Help Assessment Tool
- Education, Health and Care Plan frequently asked questions
- Plymouth Early Help and SEND Advice Line
Plymouth's Local Offer is organised into four main categories covering the following age ranges:
- Early years (0 to 5 years old)
- Primary (5 to 11 years old)
- Secondary (11 to 18 years old)
- Preparing for adulthood
Is the information correct?
Let us know if the information on this page is wrong and needs to be updated.