The link between Judicial Review and the annual review process

News and Events

The link between Judicial Review and the annual review process

The link between Judicial Review and the annual review process

We are regularly contacted by clients who have had an Annual Review of their child’s Special Educational Needs, but the review process has not been fully completed by the Local Authority. 

This is an example of where pre-action protocol proceedings (potential Judicial Review) and SEN law can interlink. 

Pre-Action Protocol Proceedings

A pre-action protocol letter can be issued 4 weeks after the Annual Review meeting if the Local Authority has not issued a decision notice. 

Note that the Local Authority must issue a decision notice 4 weeks from the date of the Annual Review meeting and, if proposing to amend, must issue the amendment notice (i.e. proposed amended EHCP - new draft) at the same time. 

Reviewing the Proposed Amended EHCP

Once the proposed amended EHCP has been obtained, it is vital that a review is undertaken to ensure that the EHC plan is to be amended appropriately.

This needs to involve:

  • Reviewing the content of the proposed amended EHCP, including any proposed deletions
  • Review of the current reports 
  • Review of the annual review paperwork and other associated documents. 

As part of the annual review process, consideration must also be given as to whether any documents/assessments are out of date and need to be updated. 

Representations can also be made in respect of placement decisions. (Section I of the EHCP.) 

The Local Authority will usually indicate to parents that they have 15 days to make representations in respect of any draft or amended EHCP; this is a minimum, not a maximum and extensions of time to respond can be requested. Do not feel rushed; this is an important time where careful representations must be made, especially in respect of amendments that are needed.

EHCP Annual Review Support Available

Watkins Solicitors Education Department offers a package of support whereby we can issue the pre-action protocol letter, obtain the proposed amended EHCP, review the amended EHCP and respond to obtain a final amended EHCP

If you wish to obtain further information or have an informal chat, please get in touch with Emma Grimbly at to discuss further. 

Contact our experts for further advice