Watkins Solicitors granted permission to appeal on behalf of 3 children with SEND
Watkins Solicitors have successfully been granted permission to appeal in the Court of Appeal on behalf of 3 children with SEND in a judicial review that could significantly impact on local authority procedures for children with EHCP’s.
The claims concern the timetable for amending an EHCP following an annual review. Devon County Council, respondents in this appeal, are amongst many local authorities who take months if not years to amend an EHCP following an appeal, and this delays the parents right to appeal.
The case is being dealt with by Keith Lomax, who specialises in public law challenges and judicial review, he has argued that the law provides for 12 weeks in total from annual review to a final amended EHC Plan. Therefore, councils that allow themselves more time are acting unlawfully.
In the original case by the time the case was heard, Devon had issued the final amended EHCP’s and so argued that the claims were ‘academic’.
We now look to the Court of Appeal to confirm the claims are not academic, and to confirm what the law says about how councils must approach the timescales for updating EHC Plans for children and young people.
As noted in her order granting permission, the Rt. Hon. Lady Justice Andrews DBE reasoned: “The needs of these children are such that further plans of this nature are bound to be put in place in future years, so the dispute as to the correct interpretation of the regulations is likely to be of real practical importance in future.”