Asking for an early review of an EHC plan: Model letter 5

Why might I need an early review?

You should ask for an early statutory review if you believe:

  • that the child or young person’s education, health or social care needs have changed and are no longer accurately described in the EHC plan; or
  • that the education, health or social care provision in the EHC plan is no longer meeting the child or young person’s needs.

If the child or young person has been excluded from school or is considered to be a risk of exclusion, this would also be a good reason to ask for an early review.

When can I ask for an early review?

At any time, as long as you have a good reason. The local authority (“LA”) must arrange a statutory review of the EHC plan at least once every year. If you believe that there is an urgent need for a change to the child or young person’s EHC plan, you should ask for a statutory review to be arranged as soon as possible.

This is specifically carried out by the LA (not the school, college or the health service). However, the evidence gathering meeting on which the LA bases its actual review of the EHC plan may well be delegated to the school or college by the LA, and if there is health care provision the health service provider in your area who is arranging the provision will be invited as well.

Should I speak to the school or college first?

Yes, definitely. Speak to the SENCO, the relevant class or subject teachers, and the head teacher or principal about your worries as well as writing to the LA.

What if the school or college offers to write on my behalf?

It is fine for the school or college to also write to the LA if they believe that an early review is needed, but this should be as well as your own letter.

Who should I write to?

You should write to the most senior person at the LA, usually called the Director of Children’s Services. You can find information and contact details for this person by clicking here.

You should also copy in the school or college so they are aware that you are asking for an early statutory review.

Remember to keep a copy of any letter or email you send. If you don’t get a reply within two weeks, or if you need further advice, you can book an appointment to speak with us.

What can I do if the LA refuse?

There is no right of appeal against a refusal to carry out an early assessment. You could:

  • Wait until the next annual review;
  • Gather further evidence to support the need for an early review, and then make another request; or
  • If appropriate, request a re-assessment of the child or young person’s education, health and care needs.


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