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Special Educational Needs

What if the local authority decides that your child does not need an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan?

After the local authority has completed an EHC needs assessment of your child, it may decide that your child’s needs can be met by a local mainstream placement, without the need for an EHC plan.

The local authority will have learned a great deal about your child’s needs as a result of the EHC needs assessment and it will use this information to draw up notes to guide the early years setting/school/college special educational needs planning for your child.

These notes will set out the reasons for the local authority's decision not to make an EHC plan. The local authority will send you copies of all the advice received during the EHC needs assessment. The notes, and that advice, will provide you with reasons for the decision. It would be helpful if you could agree to this information being passed on to the early years setting, school or college to help your child’s key worker/teacher decide how best to help him or her in the future.

Your child's work and progress will continue to be monitored and reviewed through personal planning arrangements made by the early years setting, school or college and you will be kept fully involved.

What if you disagree with the local authority’s decision?

If you have any concerns about the decision the local authority has made you may wish to:

  • contact the officer named in the letter that you received about this, who will be able to explain in more detail how the decision was reached.
  • ask for a meeting in the early years setting, school or college with the special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCo), headteacher/principal or any other member of staff who may be able to discuss your child's special educational needs and how they can be met by the support already available in the early years setting, school or college.
  • ask the early years setting, school or college and other professionals working with your child to set up an Inclusion Partnership Agreement. This is a formal agreement between you and everyone involved which promptly identifies the support your child will receive and how progress will be monitored through regular reviews.
  • Contact Support4SEND (formerly Parent Partnership Service) which offers a free, confidential, impartial information advice and support service for all parents and carers of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and for children and young people with SEND in Hampshire.
  • Contact a mediation and disagreement resolution service, independent of the local authority, which has been set up to help resolve or prevent disputes between parents and the local authority and/or the Health Service. Please contact Support4SEND for further details or go to Hampshire's Local Offer.

You also have a right of appeal to an independent Tribunal over the local authority's decision not to make an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan for your child. Before making an appeal you must demonstrate that you have considered mediation with the local authority by contacting a mediation and disagreement resolution service within two months of the date of the letter advising you of the decision. They will be able to give you a certificate to show you have done so. Mediation is free and the local authority will pay reasonable expenses as set out in regulations.

Your right to go to Tribunal is not affected by involvement in mediation or any of the actions listed above. Appeal forms and details of the procedure to be followed can be obtained direct from the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability).

If you decide you wish to appeal, you have two months from the date you receive the letter from the local authority to lodge an appeal with the Tribunal. There may be extra time depending on the involvement of the mediation service.

Involvement in ongoing discussions does not affect your right of appeal.