CLICK TO DOWNLOAD: Complaining when the provision in an EHC plan is not being made (model letter 6)

How do I know what should be provided?

This should be ‘specified’ in Section F of the EHC plan.

Does the LA have to “arrange” this help?

In law, the LA must “secure the special educational provision” specified in Section F of an EHC plan from the date of the plan. Although in practice most of the provision will be made by the school or college, if for any reason they are unable to do so (for example, because they do not have the resources, money or expertise) then the LA must take steps to ensure the provision as set out in the EHC plan is made.

When should I complain?

If you discover that your child or young person is not getting the special educational provision specified in Section F of the EHC plan, or that the provision is being removed or reduced without the EHC plan being amended.

Should I speak to the school or college about this?

Yes, definitely. Speak to your child’s class or subject teacher, the SENCO and the head teacher or principal about your worries as well as writing to complain to the LA.

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

It is OK for the school or college to write as well, but the most important thing is to write yourself. The only one who can take legal action in order to ensure that the child or young person receives the provision specified in their EHC plan is a parent or the young person themselves. The head teacher or principal cannot do this, even if he or she wants to!

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.

You can escalate your complaint to the Local Government Social Care Ombudsman if the matter is still not resolved by the time you have exhausted your LA’s complaints process. Failure to deliver the special educational provision in an EHC plan is a very serious matter, so if exhausting your LA’s complaints process is not appropriate you may wish to consider judicial review instead.

 

If you do not get a reply to your request after five working days, or if you need further advice, you can book an advice line appointment with IPSEA.