CLICK TO DOWNLOAD: Letter to LA when it has not completed an annual review (template letter 8)

This template letter is for general advice purposes and will need to be tailored to your own individual circumstances. Please read all the information on this page and, if possible, we recommend you take advice on using this letter.   

When should I write to the LA? 

Following an annual review your LA must make one of three decisions: 

  • To cease (stop) the EHC plan, or 

  • To leave the EHC plan as it is. 

You can appeal and mediate any of these decisions. If your LA decides to stop the EHC plan or leave it as it is, you can appeal the decision (subject to considering mediation) as soon as your LA sends to you its decision letter. If your LA decides to change the plan, you can appeal this (again subject to considering mediation) once the final amended plan is sent to you. 

We have seen that some LAs tend not to write to you as parents or young people to confirm their decision to leave the EHC plan as it is, as it is a choice to do nothing. It is very important you get written confirmation of your LA’s decision though. This is because you cannot appeal your LA’s decision not to change the EHC plan until your LA sends to you its decision.   

Your LA must tell you what it has decided within four weeks of the annual review meeting taking place. Even if it has failed to hold a meeting, the LA must tell you its decision either within 12 months of the EHC plan being made or 12 months from a previous review of the EHC plan. 

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 online. 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. 

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

Should I make a formal complaint as well? 

Delay in completing an annual review and to your right to mediate and/or appeal is a very serious matter and means the LA is not complying with the law. Therefore, taking the time to complete your LA’s complaints process may not be appropriate (perhaps because your child’s EHC plan needs reviewing and updating as soon as possible), in which case we recommend you use our template letter to alert the LA to the issue and take advice on starting a process calledjudicial reviewinstead of making a formal complaint.  

If the situation is not urgent, you may prefer to complain but first check your LA’s complaints procedure for how long this would take. This can be found in your LA’s Local Offer on its website.  If necessary, after following the LA’s complaints procedure you can escalate the complaint to theLocal Government Social Care Ombudsman. If a complaint goes through all stages of the LGSCO’s process, it can take many months to resolve. So again, if the situation is urgent, we recommend you considerjudicial reviewinstead of making a formal complaint. 

If you decide to complain, 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. If complaining, you should follow the LA’s complaints procedure as well as writing to the Director of Children’s Services. See our page on  taking action when things go wrong with a local authority for more information.      

If you need further advice or you use this template letter and do not get a reply after five working days, you can book an advice line appointment with IPSEA, use our call-in service or take advice and get help with judicial review from a legal aid provider or other organisation. 

If you haven’t been able to find the answer to your question on this page, see our FAQs.