The findings of a barrister-led review into how applications for Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) are dealt with in Hertfordshire are set to be published by July 2.

Barrister Leon Glenister was commissioned to review the county council’s Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment process, in April – with the aim of reporting on the operation and effectiveness of the process, as well as potential improvements.

Council officials have now received the barrister’s draft report, with the final report expected to be published by July 2.

“We have received the draft report and, as per the terms of reference, we and the claimant will now have the opportunity to review the report and feedback comments,” says a statement published on the county council’s website.

EHCPs are legally-binding documents that set out the special education health and care needs of a child or young person and the extra help and support they will need to overcome barriers to learning.

The review was commissioned to focus on the early stages of the process – amid concerns about the number of applications turned down before reaching the assessment stage.

As a result, the review was designed to look at the initial decision to assess a child or young person or not – and appeals against refusals to assess.

It was also set to look at concessions made in refusal to assess appeals and the subsequent completion of the EHC assessment.

The review was commissioned less than a year after an inspection by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission found ‘systemic failings’ in the provision of SEND services in the county.

Council officials have said that it was prompted by allegations of ‘systemic failings’ made by a parent in the High Court last year.

The independent review was expected to take six weeks at a cost of £30,000.