My son has a terrible EHCP in place (current review at draft stage), but he’s been rejected from a Sen school by LA, and mainstream nursery won’t have him as his EHCP doesn’t reflect his needs - what options do I have?

My son will be 3 in July. His current EHCP reflects very little needs, which is very inaccurate (his paediatrician has written that he needs 1:1 in mainstream, just for context). The LA rejected his school place request at early review quoting the child and families act, but didn’t actually give a reason why. The school we applied for takes from age 3. The LA have said they will consult with the school about looking into the school place April 2025. The mainstream nursery have said they can’t secure extra funding needed to support my son at nursery with his current EHCP as it is, so what options do I have?
I’m very confused if a school take from 3, why we would be rejected now but put forward for consideration next April instead as surely this is based on his current needs?


Nicola Hood
17 Apr 2024

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A: SenseCheck

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  • 18 Apr 2024
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    Can't answer yes or no.:

    Ms Hood,

    The situation you've outlined sounds very difficult.

    It appears from your account that you believe your son's Education, Health, and Care Plan (EHCP) does not accurately reflect his Special Educational Needs (SEN) and, consequently, lacks the necessary special educational provision to meet his SEN. It seems that the Local Authority (LA) is presently in the process of amending the document.

    Allow me to propose several courses of action for your consideration:

    a) To take no action, which obviously is not your preference,

     b) Given the ongoing process of amending the EHCP, engage in dialogue with the LA to advocate for the necessary adjustments to ensure the document is thorough and precise in addressing your son's special educational needs. You are best positioned to assess the likelihood of success in this endeavour. 

    c) Upon receipt of the newly issued EHCP, consider engaging in mediation with the LA. Should this avenue prove unfruitful or undesirable, you have the option to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (FtT). Based on your description, you may wish to particularly challenge sections B, F, and I, though challenges to the health and social care provisions can also be pursued.

    Regarding your concerns about school placement, as you rightly imply, an accurate and comprehensive EHCp is crucial for a child's effective engagement in education. It is reasonable to assume that schools realise this, and may be reluctant to offer a placement to a child when their special educational needs are manifestly not being me. It is incumbent upon the LA to ensure that sections B (SEN) and F (Special Educational Provision) are comprehensive and complete. Should this not occur, you, as a parent, have the right to seek redress through the FtT.

    In contesting any discrepancies within the document, it is usually necessary to present informed expert evidence. For example, while I acknowledge the input from the paediatrician which was presumably well intentioned, some LAs may contend that their expertise lies primarily in medical rather than educational matters. I am sure you get the point.

    I understand that this is a lot to absorb, but a helpful starting point would be to consult the "Noddy Guide". This resource offers a concise yet comprehensive overview of what an EHCP should contain, as well as guidance on the process of appealing to the FtT. You can access the document here:

    Can I download the Noddy 'No-nonsense' Guide as a pdf? 

    I trust that this proves helpful, and we would appreciate it if you could confirm its efficacy. Should you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to raise them.

    Best wishes, Sean Kennedy.

    Sean Kennedy

    Sean Kennedy
    Talem Law