Irwin Mitchell has teamed up with deafblind charity Sense and Steve Broach, a barrister at Monckton Chambers, to design legal training for ‘Independent Supporters’ – a government-funded programme led by the Council for Disabled Children to provide support to families who have children with special educational needs and need additional advice on the reforms.

As part of this project, Irwin Mitchell and its partners have prepared a series of factsheets and template letters on Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014.


The following factsheets have been prepared to provide additional information to parents and young people:


  1. Introduction
  2. Definitions
  3. Duties on Schools
  4. EHC needs assessments
  5. The EHC plan
  6. Health duties
  7. Social care assessments and duties for children
  8. Social care assessments and duties over 18 
  9. Duties to carers and carers assessments
  10. The Local Offer
  11. Advocacy
  12. Consultation
  13. Information, advice and support
  14. Support for pupils with medical conditions
  15. SEN support – early years
  16. SEN support – schools
  17. SEN support – further education
  18. Personal Budgets
  19. Direct Payments
  20. Annual Reviews and Re-assessments
  21. Preparing for adulthood
  22. Implementation and transitional agreements
  23. Mediation
  24. Tribunal appeals
  25. Complaints
  26. Judicial Review
  27. Legal Aid
  28. Organisations that can provide specialist support and advice

Template Letters

The following template letters have been prepared to support parents and young people in writing to local authorities:


  1. Requesting an EHC needs assessment
  2. Chasing up on the outcome of an assessment request
  3. Requesting amendments to a draft plan (including requesting a school or placement)
  4. Chasing up on the outcome of a final plan 
  5. Requesting a personal budget
  6. Requesting a direct payment 
  7. Appealing a decision to refuse direct payments 
  8. Requesting a social care assessment for a child or young person under 18
  9. Requesting a social care assessment for a young person over 18
  10. Requesting a carers assessment
  11. Requesting information regarding the Local Offer
  12. Requesting further information, advice and support 
  13. Requesting support from an advocate
  14. Making a complaint in relation to failure to work together 
  15. Making a complaint in relation to failure to arrange provision in the EHC plan
  16. Chasing up on the outcome of an annual review
  17. Chasing up on the progress of issuing an amended statement 
Template letters have not been prepared for circumstances where parents or young people wish to challenge a decision or exercise their rights of appeal, as they should seek specialist advice instead.