Myth Buster

Some LAs put pressure on parents to sign the EHCP. There is no requirement in law for this to happen, nor indeed is there a requirement for the parent to agree the EHCP at all. Even if the parent has said that they agreed it (which sometimes happens when the parent has been unable to obtain proper advice), that does not prevent a tribunal appeal.

The LA must give advance notification to parents when they are proposing to cease to maintain an EHCP. This is in the form of  a written notice. It must consult with parents before ceasing an EHCP and advise the date at which they intend to cease maintaining it. This means that support does NOT stop following the issuing of this notice. Parents and schools are able to respond to the LA with their their feedback if they do not agree with the proposed date and are able to appeal to SENDIST. The support in the EHCP must be provided until the appeal is concluded.
In order for the Annual Review to be valid, professionals and schools must send any reports or documents they rely on in the Annual Review meeting to ALL those attending the meeting two weeks before the meeting takes place.
This is not the case. The LA is responsible, under Section 42 of the Children and Families Act 2014, for ensuring that the provision set out in Section F of the EHCP is being delivered. If the school is not delivering the provision, you need to make the LA aware - we suggest email rather than phone - and ask it to remedy the situation with the school immediately so that it can meet its statutory duties under the Act.  If the LA fails to do this, parents are able to consider judicial review. Be aware, however, that the LA may decide to deal with this by naming a different school.
No. The LA cannot reduce the provision after the Annual Review, the current EHCP remains in force until it is formally amended. Until the LA completes the process of issuing a draft, consulting with parents and issuing a final amended EHCP, they have to continue supplying all the support in that EHCP.
That is not accurate. Any conditions that impact the child or young person's ability to learn should go into Section B.  For example, a speech and language delay might be identified by a health professional, in this instance, a speech and language therapist, but as the delay impacts the ability to communicate socially and educationally, this is an educational need and belongs in Section B. If a child or young person's mobility issues impact their ability to access a classroom, and/or require them to have support to do so, this should also be listed in Section B.
Once the LA has agreed to conduct an EHC needs assessment, it must be completed within 16 weeks from the date the request was made. If there is no LA Educational Psychologist available, the LA should be seeking a private assessment in order that it meets the statutory timescales to issue a final EHCP at 20 weeks.
This is not the case. Once the final EHCP is issued, parents can appeal content in Sections B (needs) and F (provision) as well as health and social care content.
You don't need to have any legal representation in order to appeal to tribunal. The Tribunal itself is set up to be an accessible way for parents and young people to appeal. Judges and panel are used to parents representing themselves. You can be represented by a representative/advocate or solicitor, if you require.
This is not the case. The option is there to attend mediation, should you wish. But parents are not obligated to attend ahead of appealing. They do need to contact the mediation service in the timescales set out in the decision letter to request a mediation certificate.