Appealing after an Annual Review

An Education, Health & Care Plans (EHCP) must be reviewed at least once a year. As the needs of children and young people change over time, and the provisions they need, it is important that the plan is reviewed and updated where necessary. This should follow up to date and relevant expert evidence.

If you are looking to make changes to the EHCP, the annual review is the ideal time. If the local authority refuses to make changes after an Annual review then you can appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST).


What is an Annual Review?

An Annual review is a follow-up by the local authority of the Education, Health and Care Plan of a child or young person with Special Educational Needs.

The primary purpose of the annual review is to evaluate the child or young person’s progress towards achieving the outcomes specified in their EHCP.


What happens in an Annual Review?

A meeting will be held with parents, the child (if able), the local authority, the school and all the professionals involved, to discuss the child’s progress over the previous 12 months and consider whether amendments need to be made to the child’s EHCP, including if the Section E outcomes need amending.

After the meeting, the head teacher will submit an Annual Review report to the local authority with or without requested amendments to your child’s EHCP. The local authority will consider this and either issue an amended proposed EHCP or decide not to amend it. Parents can appeal against the contents of the EHCP once it is finalised, or against the local authority's refusal to amend the EHCP.


What happens if our local authority refuses to amend our EHCP after an annual review?

If the local authority refuses to amend the EHCP after a review, the parents, or young person , has a legal right to appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST). Before starting an appeal, you must at least consider mediation. Mediation can be helpful, for example, if new evidence is available.

If you complete mediation or inform the mediation service that you do not wish to try mediation, you will be issued with a mediation certificate. The SENDIST must receive your appeal papers, including appeal form, no more than one month after the date on the mediation certificate, or two months from the date of the local authority’s decision, whichever is later.

For more information, you can read our guide to the appeals process.


How can our Special Educational Needs solicitors help?

Our experts understand Special Educational Needs and have vast experience in dealing with appeals, the local authorities, SENDIST appeals and hearings. We offer a free initial discussion where we can advise you on the likelihood of mediation being successful, and help obtain further necessary evidence, preparing written representations and compiling evidence to help with your appeal.

I am so happy at the outcome, I don't think we would have had such a comprehensive service from any other law firm, and you took the worry away...I do not regret a single second of the whole process, apart from the bit before you got involved. 

James' mother, Boyes Turner client

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