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Special Educational Needs

Department for Education written question – answered on 14th March 2016.

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Photo of Lord Storey Lord Storey Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Education)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether there is a statutory duty on local authorities when turning down an education or health or care plan to advise parents of their right of appeal.

Photo of Lord Nash Lord Nash The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

When a local authority decides not to issue an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan following an EHC needs assessment, it has a statutory duty to inform the child’s parents or the young person of their right to appeal that decision to the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) and the timescale for doing so. This duty is set out in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25, paragraph 9.57, which is attached and available on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/send-code-of-practice-0-to-25

Local authorities must also inform parents and young people of their right to appeal when issuing a final EHC plan, since they are able to appeal the description of SEN, the specified SEN provision or the educational institution named in the plan. The duty also applies to other decisions taken by a local authority in connection with an EHC plan, such as the decision not to carry out an assessment or re-assessment, not to amend an EHC plan following an annual review or to cease to maintain an EHC plan. In each case the authority must inform the parents or young person of their right to appeal.

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