If you do not receive these, ask the local authority for copies.
Reviewing the reports early in the draft plan process gives you time to look over the recommendations. If you disagree with a professional, you can try to get a second opinion. This may mean paying for a private assessment from another professional.
The local authority must give you at least 15 days to review and comment on the draft EHC plan. Your feedback is sometimes called ‘representations’.
The 15 day deadline only starts when you get the local authority’s letter. The letter may arrive separately to the draft plan. The draft plan can arrive by post or email.
It can help to keep in contact with your SEN caseworker, sometimes called EHC plan co-ordinator, throughout the process. But if you and the school do not receive a copy of the draft plan within 14 weeks from your assessment application, contact your local authority.
Also check any reports by professionals against the EHC draft plan. Any specific recommendations from professionals should be included.
You can use the reports as evidence if the plan does not reflect:
your child’s needs outlined in the professional assessments
support or provision recommended in the professionals’ reports
If you think there’s a mistake or you disagree with the contents of a professional’s report, you can raise this with the professional and the local authority.
You might need to get a second opinion if they do not agree with your comments. This may mean paying for a private assessment from another professional.
Conflicting assessments or recommendations between the local authority and the second opinion might need mediation. If it’s not resolved and the final plan is released, you can appeal to a tribunal to resolve the issue as an independent party.
If you’re not happy with the final EHC plan, you do not have to appeal straight away. A formal appeal can involve time and money, and may be stressful. Every situation is different and there is no right answer about which option to take.
try the plan for some time and, if your child is not getting the support they need, ask for an early annual review
wait for the EHCP annual review and ask for changes after reviewing your child’s progress or getting more evidence
You can still make a formal appeal if you decide to try the plan first. You can do this after an early or annual review. The local authority should give you information about appealing with their decision letter.
The local authority’s paperwork should tell you what you need to do. The process usually starts with mediation.
If mediation does not work, you can appeal to a Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) tribunal. The appeal is a legal process and you or a solicitor would need to build your case for a hearing. The local authority would do the same.