CLICK TO DOWNLOAD: Complaining when the LA will not consult with the school or college you request (template letter 14)

When should I use this letter?

If you have just received your draft education, health and care (EHC) plan, you should instead go to our pages on responding to a draft EHC plan.

This letter is to be used if:

  • you have received your draft EHC plan and it has not yet been finalised, and
  • you have asked for one of the following types of nursery, school or college:
  • your  local authority (LA) is either refusing to consult with that school, or has refused your request for a reason other than:
    • the setting is unsuitable for the age, ability, aptitude or special educational needs (SEN) of your child or young person, or
    • the attendance of your child or young person would be incompatible with the provision of efficient education for others, or
    • the attendance of your child or young person would be incompatible with the efficient use of resources.

(These are the only lawful reasons for an LA to refuse a request of this kind.)

Who should I write to?

Your LA’s Local Offer should clearly set out how a formal complaint can be made using its complaints procedure. It is very important you follow your LA’s complaints process to ensure your complaint is treated as a formal complaint. You can use this letter to make your complaint. Some LA complaints processes involve completing an online form instead of sending or emailing a letter. If this is the case for your LA, you can copy and pasting the wording used in this letter on to the online form.

You can also use this letter to write to the top person at your LA, usually the Director of Children’s Services. You can find this information and contact details for this person online . It may help to copy in your LA’s monitoring officer, your ward councillor, and the LA case worker or officer you have been dealing with as well.

You should make sure you follow your LA’s complaints procedure as well as writing to the Director of Children’s Services. You may find it helpful to read our making a complaint about an LA page for more information and guidance

Remember to keep a copy of any letter or email you send.

What happens next?

Whilst there is no set deadline for your LA to respond to this particular complaint, it should do so as soon as possible, taking into account the legal deadlines it must keep to for issuing a final EHC plan.

These deadlines differ depending on whether the EHC plan is being issued for the first time, or being amended following annual review or reassessment. Given these deadlines, we suggest your LA should respond to your complaint within five working days. If this does not happen, or if you need further advice, you can book an advice line appointment with IPSEA.

If a final EHC plan is issued and you are unhappy with the educational placement named and/or you are unhappy with the content of the final plan, you should take steps to appeal to the SEND Tribunal.