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Education Law

Expert Education Law advice courtesy of the dedicated team of nationally respected specialist lawyers at HCB.

  • Comprehensive advice on all aspects of education law
  • Proven expertise in special educational needs and higher education law

How to get an EHCP

“My child’s school cannot provide for their special educational needs.”

When a child has special educational needs, but their school cannot provide the necessary special educational provision, they need an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

An EHCP is a legally binding document which sets out the child or young person’s needs, the provision they require and the educational placement they should attend. The EHCP should be detailed and contain specific information about the support that should be delivered. The vast majority of EHCPs that are prepared do not contain sufficient detail about the provision or support that is needed.

Before an EHCP can be issued, the local authority must make an EHC needs assessment.

At the conclusion of the EHC needs assessment, the local authority will decide whether an EHCP is necessary,

The term “necessary” has been the focus of much litigation. It means that the local authority must consider the subjective needs of the child or young person, the special educational provision that they need and whether it is reasonably likely that a mainstream school can deliver that support.

Typically, if the child or young person needs support from external specialists, additional teaching time, 1:1 support, therapeutic support and/or specialist equipment it is likely that they require an EHCP. If the child or young person needs a placement in a special school, this is also indicative that they might need an EHCP.

In our experience, local authorities often apply policies rather than the law when deciding whether or not to make an EHCP for a child or young person. This can mean that decisions are based on the policies rather than the law. This can mean that local authorities refuse to make EHCPs for children or young people when they clearly qualify for one with the correct application of the law.

If the local authority refuses to make an EHCP, you can appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.

If you have any questions about securing an Education Health and Care Plan, or are having difficulties in securing one, our specialist education law solicitors are here to help.

 

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