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New fixed fee advice service launched: EHCP “Health Check”

We are pleased to launch a new fixed fee advice service to help parents resolve issues with their child’s Education, Health and Care Plan (“EHCP”) and to provide advice ahead of an annual review.

We are conscious that many parents may be ineligible for legal aid, but might also not be able to afford the full costs of legal advice. At Rook Irwin Sweeney LLP we also operate a Social Justice Fund to help parents who may struggle to pay for legal advice – however that fund is limited, has its own set criteria, and we are keen to ensure there are other ways for parents to access reasonably priced legal advice.

Getting early advice on an EHCP is often helpful because if issues with an EHCP can be resolved through the annual review process and by engaging with the school/local authority, this can then avoid the need for a costly and more stressful Tribunal appeal. The aim of the EHCP Health Check is to identify what concerns parents have about the current EHCP, review the existing EHCP, advise parents on what changes should be requested at the next annual review and how to go about doing that, and what to do if the local authority refuses to make those changes.

Who is this for?

It is for parents of children who are currently being educated in school, and are under the age of 16. In due course we may extend the health check to cover those who are 16 and over.

If your child is not being educated in school currently, this product will not be suitable for you as it is likely that more in depth advice will be needed to resolve the issues with the EHCP. Please feel free to contact us separately and we can discuss this further with you.

The Health Check is designed to provide advice to help you avoid the need for an appeal, and to help you make changes to the plan at an annual review. If you already know you will need to issue an appeal or have issued one already then this product will not be suitable for you – however please feel free to contact us separately and we can provide advice to you under alternative arrangements.

What does the Health Check involve?

This is a reduced fixed fee product to do a one-off review of an EHCP and provide some initial advice ahead of an annual review. This will cover all sections of the EHCP.

We will send you a client information form so that you can provide us with relevant information and set out any concerns you have with anything currently in the EHCP. We will ask you to complete the form and send it back with a copy of the current EHCP.

We will then review the EHCP, take into account the concerns you have flagged in the information form, and provide you with written advice on the EHCP, the legality of the plan in its current form, and what you can do to amend it.

All of the advice you receive will come from a qualified solicitor specialising in education law.

We are not able to consider other documents besides the EHCP as part of this Health Check, or carry out any additional work. If you would like us to do a more in depth advice involving meetings and/or us reviewing additional documentation, then we would be happy to discuss this with you separately. Please contact our enquiries mailbox – enquiries@rislaw.co.uk

How much does this cost?

The EHCP Health Check costs a fixed fee of £350 plus VAT.

How long will it take?

We aim to provide advice on the EHCP within 1-2 weeks of receiving the completed client information form and EHC Plan from you.

When should the Health Check take place?

You can contact us at any time throughout the year. However where possible we would advise that you contact us at least 2 months before an Annual Review so that there is time for you to receive our advice before the deadline for parents’ comments (which is 2 weeks before the Annual Review).

Next Steps

If you are interested, please contact us at enquiries@rislaw.co.uk, making it clear in your email that you would like to instruct us to undertake an EHCP Health Check for an Annual Review.

Want to contact us?

If you would like further information about the services we provide or to contact us about a case, we’re here.

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