S44(1) The Children and Families Act 2014 requires that a child or young person’s Education Health and Care plan (EHCp) be reviewed:
- in the period of 12 months starting with the date on which the plan was first made, and
- in each subsequent period of 12 months starting with the date on which the plan was last reviewed under this section [often referred to as the annual review].
How reviews must be conducted is prescribed by The Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014.
The review process is designed to ensure that the EHCp identifies and continues to meet the child or young person’s education, health and social care needs.
Despite the above clear statutory framework, it would be reasonable to say the Local Authority that was the subject of this complaint dragged its feet when it came to discharging its responsibilities.
The Ombudsman found and recommended that:
There was a two-year delay by the Council in completing an annual review for a young person for whom it maintains an EHC Plan. This is unacceptable delay and its fault. This has caused uncertainty and additional time and trouble to the family. The young person may also have missed out on provision to develop their independence. The Council must now complete the review and provide a decision. Recommendations for an apology, financial payment (totalling £450) and service improvements are also made.
Full details can be found HERE
The above is a reminder not to sit passively if a Local Authority decides to ignore the EHCp review process and, if they do, how the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman can assist in such cases.
25th May 2019