Can I raise in an EHCP content and named school appeal points I didn’t raise when given the 15 days to comment on the draft?
I am currently in the 15 days reviewing the draft EHCP and finding it fairly overwhelming. There is clearly stuff I need to ask them to put in to the final EHCP. For example they have ignored the private reports saying weekly Speech Therapy and weekly Occupational Therapy are a must. We have a recommendation for certain class size and the draft ignores this and just says “small classes”.
We have a lot of private reports and I’m worried about missing points when I go back to them on the draft. I am obviously going to do my best to identify everything that needs to go in.
If I do later want to mention additional points in my appeal (assuming they don’t agree to change the draft), will it be an issue that I didn’t raise them before? Especially as I had all the reports and so could have done?
- 1 Yes
- 0 No
- 0 Other
- 21 Jul 2023
I understand that things may be a bit stressful for a you at the moment, so I thought you would appreciate a prompt response, although I must answer in general terms.
In my view, it's best for a parent or young person to try and convince the local authority to include as many of their evidence-based amendments in the EHCP as possible. If some requests are not successful, a parent or young person can address them during mediation. If mediation doesn't work out or is not used, they can raise any amendments during the appeal process. When trying to negotiate with the LA, a parent or young person may need to take a view as to the benefits of continuing negotiations beyond the 15-day period.
Raising additional possible evidence based amendments to the EHCp that were missed earlier during an appeal won't be a problem for the Tribunal. They will consider the child or young person's needs etc at the date of the hearing, using the evidence before them (albeit they can ask for more) and also the working document - this contains the LA's and the parents or young persons suggested amendments to the EHCp along with any areas of agreements.
Also, keep in mind that this is not meant to be a wholly adversarial process. The local authority could have suggested any amendments the parent or young person may have missed if they had a copy of the expert evidence the parent or young person had procured.
Finally, if a parent or young person needs to seek the Tribunal's assistance – though we always hope that it doesn't come to that – they need to make sure their evidence is both relevant AND up-to-date.
I hope this helps, and I'm looking forward to reading any contributions from others. If there are any other questions, please don’t hesitate to raise them.
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