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If, after considering all the evidence and information provided through the EHC Needs Assessment, it is agreed that an EHC Plan is not required to meet the child or young person's needs, the first point of contact is the EHC Coordinator in the SEND team. However, independent and impartial advice and support can be obtained from Sutton's Information by the Advice and Support Service (SIASS). Both teams want to work with parents/carers to address any concerns and resolve issues.
Phone: 020 8323 0462
More information can be found at:
IASS can provide free, impartial advice about the law on SEND, local SEND arrangements and support, the national trial and parent/carers rights. It can provide support with managing appeals, including support with preparing cases and attendance at hearings.
This includes advice on making SEND appeals to the Tribunal and links to the appeal form.
If the issue is about the contents of an EHC Plan, although there must be a concern about the educational need or provision in the first place, it is currently possible to ask the Tribunal to look at the health and social care sections of the EHC Plan too (Sections C, D, G, H1 and H2). This is as part of a pilot called the ‘Single Route to Redress National Trial’.
However, a health or social care appeal without a special educational concern doesn’t enable parent/carers to use the SEND Tribunal.
The Tribunal can make “non-binding” recommendations about health and social care provisions in EHC Plans. The judgements that the SEND Tribunal makes about health and social care elements of an EHC Plan are “non-binding”. This means that the law does not require health and social care commissioners to follow the judgements.
Although the judgements are non-binding, the LA and health care commissioners are expected to follow them and because they are recommendations from a specialist tribunal, they cannot be rejected lightly.
The health or social care commissioner must write to the family and the LA within five weeks to tell them if they are going to follow the recommendations or not. If they are, then they need to explain the actions they are going to take. However, if they decide not to follow the tribunal judgement, they must explain why they are not following the tribunal’s recommendations. In these instances, parent/carers can still take their case to the relevant ombudsman (for social care or for health) and / or judicial review as you can now.
The government is trialling this new process for three years, until 31 August 2021. At the end of the period, they will assess how well it has worked and make a decision on what happens next.
IFF Research will be contacting parent/carers/carers and young people who have been through the trial to find out about their experiences. They will be gathering evidence to help the government make this decision.