CLICK TO DOWNLOAD: Complaining when the local authority does not send out the final amended EHC plan in time (model letter 15)

What should I do?

A local authority (“LA”) can amend an EHC plan at any time but this is most likely to happen after it has carried out an annual review. Whenever the LA amends an EHC plan it must follow the procedure laid down in law, set out in more detail here. LAs must consult with parents or the young person during this process.

If, following the review, the LA decides to make amendments to the EHC plan then they must send parents or the young person notice of their decision, together with a draft of the proposed amendments, within four weeks of the review meeting. This is called an Amendment Notice. The SEN and Disability Code of Practice says at paragraph 9.177, “If the plan needs to be amended, the local authority should start the process of amendment without delay”.

If you do not agree with the amendments proposed you should write to the local authority explaining exactly what it is that you are unhappy about and why, including a request for a different school or college (or type or school or college) if you want this to change. More detail and a model letter for objecting to proposed amendments is available here

The LA is required to send the finalised amended EHC plan as soon as practicable, and in any event within 8 weeks of the sending you a copy of the Amendment Notice/draft amended EHC plan.  If the LA changes its mind and decides not to amend an EHC plan after proposing to it must also tell you within this timeframe.

When should I write?

8 weeks after receiving the Amendment Notice/draft amended plan.

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 too. However, this should be as well as your own letter.

Who should I write to?

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

Your LA’s Local Offer should clearly set out how a formal complaint can be made in its complaints procedure. This can be found on your LA’s website. You should follow the LA’s complaints procedure as well as writing to the Director of Children’s Services. See our making a complaint about a LA page for more information.

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

If you don’t get a reply after five working days, or if you need further advice, you can book an advice line appointment with IPSEA.

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