Working Document and a Tribunal Bundle

Working Document

The Working Document (WD) is an important part of a contents appeal. It is a Word version of the EHCP which will be amended by both parties in the run up to the hearing – it will go back and forth, back and forth.

As parents you should be given a Word version of the final EHCP.  If you don’t get one you must contact the LA to be sent one.  If you do not have access the internet, do ask for a copy to be posted to you.

The LA must send you the WD by a certain date.  This is the first date in the box at the bottom of your Parental Registration Letter (the letter you got when the appeal was registered).  It will state:

The LA must send its response, attendance form and an electronic copy of the EHC plan to the Parents and the Tribunal so that it is received by (then a date).

When it states “electronic copy of the EHC plan” this is what the Working Document is.  It may only be Sections B and F or the whole EHCP in full.  Whatever it is it must be in a Word.

The SEND Tribunal directions (Parental Registration Letter) will include a deadline for when the working document with both parties’ amendments needs to be submitted to the SEND Tribunal, although you can continue to negotiate it after that date. 

It makes sense to wait until all of the evidence has been filed by both parties and then work through the evidence to see what amendments are needed.

You should use the table below to mark your suggested amendments to the EHCP on the working document. You then send it to the Tribunal Officers Team – send.appeals@surreycc.gov.uk (Do look at our ‘Checking a Plan’ for help if needed).

Surrey LA should then come back to you accepting anything that they agree with or it may be that they suggest other amendments (again using the table below).  The Working Document then goes back and forth between you and the LA before the hearing date.  The idea is that the key issues which you and the LA disagree about are narrowed down to make the hearing much more efficient:

Key for amendments

Normal typeOriginal EHC plan
Underlined type/ Underlined strikethroughAmendments agreed by both parties
Bold typeParents’ proposed amendments
Bold strikethroughParents’ proposed deletions
Italic typeLA’s proposed amendments
Italic strikethroughLA’s proposed deletions

Important; The LA will also state:

“Please adhere to the key above:

  • Please ensure that you clearly reference all requested changes using footnotes (at the bottom of the page where the requested wording occurs), e.g. “Smith, EP, 28/02/2019, p.1, para. 5”
  • Please do not use embedded comments or track changes.
  • Please only use black type and Arial 12 pt for changes within the WD, though you can use a dark colour for any comments.
  • NB:  Footnotes and other comments will be removed from the amended EHCP”

See ‘Checking a Plan’ – you need to look at the changes you feel are needed in the plan.  You need to go through all the evidence making note of the SEN (special educational needs) identified and the SEP (special educational provision) recommended. Make sure that all of this is in the EHCP and it is in the right sections.  It needs to be clear and specific.

You only need to use quotes or even highlight the key points which show the relevant needs or provision. There is no need to copy large sections from professional reports. 

If you are asking for a particular School or College placement do think about how the child or young person’s needs and provision can show that this placement is needed.

If you are not able to reach agreement with the LA about the contents of the EHCP, the case will proceed to a hearing.

Footnote

What is a Footnote?

Footnotes appear at the bottom of the page.  A number on the footnote matches up with a reference mark in the document.

How to add a Footnote?

Put your cursor where you want to add a Footnote in the Working Document text, (|). Go to ‘References’, then ‘Insert Footnote’:

A small number will appear where your cursor was / where you wanted to Footnote, like this[1]

As you do the above, the page will jump to the bottom so you can type what you are referencing e.g.  Smith, EP, 28/02/2019, p.1, para. 5

Key:

This is “Smith” the professional that wrote the report.

“EP” is the type of report

“28/02/2019” is the date of the report

“p.1” is where the information can be found on Page 1 of the Report

“para. 5” is where the information can be found, in paragraph 5 of the report.

To delete a Footnote just delete the small number of the one you want to delete.

To Edit a Footnote then double click on the information at the bottom of the page that you want to edit.

To save a Working Document

You must push ‘save as’ and not ‘save’ as you need to rename the Working Document as the next version, e.g. Version 2 or 3 etc, e.g.

V.1 – LA to Parents (12/03/2022)

V.2 – Parents to LA (16/03/2022)

V.3 – LA to Parents (20/03/2022)

V.4 – Parents to LA (21/03/2022)

Also:

Remember to add this information at the top of the Working Document too before pushing ‘save as’.

[1] Smith, EP, 28/02/2019, p.1, para. 5

The Bundle

Local Authorities in every EHC appeal must prepare a ‘tribunal bundle’. The bundle includes all documents that were sent by either you or the LA as evidence in the appeal.  (It’s all the evidence that has already been sent to the other party and the tribunal).

The Bundle can be a large document and maybe sent in a few separate emails with zipped files attached. The LA cannot choose which evidence from the other party to include in the bundle or leave out.  There will be a summary at the beginning with all the attachments listed under Sections.

The tribunal bundle deadlines

The tribunal will tell the LA what the deadline is for sending its bundle to the tribunal in the Key Dates box within the letter you get when your hearing is registered.