All it says is that she is a friendly and playful little girl (which we already knew) with ‘a general delay with her learning’. In fact she has a specific problem with reading and writing. In other areas her development is fine. What can we do?

It is important to get Section B of your child’s education, health and care (“EHC”) plan right. This is because the LA must specify, under Section F, provision to meet each and every one of the needs identified in Section B. If Section B fails to mention one of your child‘s needs, they may not get the provision required to meet that need. If you are not happy with your draft EHC plan, it is vital to check whether you need to request to change Section F as well as Section B. 

After receiving the draft EHC plan, you will have at least 15 days to write to the local authority (“LA”) and make written representations to them about the contents of the EHC plan and/or ask for a meeting. There is more information in the section on what to do when you receive the draft EHC plan

You should first read through all of the professional advice which you will have received along with the draft EHC plan. They may contain more specific descriptions of your daughter’s learning difficulties than the one contained in Section B of the EHC plan. 

It is acceptable for Section B to include some other detail about the child, rather than just her needs and difficulties, but those needs must still be set out clearly. 

If you agree with the descriptions of your daughter’s needs in the advice, then in your written representations and/or at your meeting with the LA ask that the draft EHC plan is amended in order to include the specific descriptions of her needs as they appear in the professional advice. Remind the officer that in law Section B of the EHC Plan must refer to the needs identified during your daughter’s assessment. 

There have been a large number of cases which have confirmed this. See the section on what an EHC plan should contain for more information. You can also use IPSEA’s EHC plan checklist to check whether your draft EHC plan complies with the legal requirements for how it should be set out. 

If you disagree with the way your daughter’s needs are described in the professional advice, you should consider flagging this up with the advice giver directly. The section on taking action when an EHC needs assessment is not carried out properly contains more information on how to do this.  

When you ask the LA to amend the EHC plan, give the LA officer a copy of what it is you want the EHC plan to say in Section B (and Section F, if necessary). Prepare this before the meeting. Leave a copy with the LA officer and keep one for yourself. 

If the LA finalises the EHC plan as it was originally drafted, without amending it as you requested, you can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability). The deadline for appealing is two months from the date of the final plan or one month from the date of the mediation certificate, whichever date falls the latest.