Requesting an EHC needs assessment
Should I speak to the school or college first?
Yes, definitely. Speak to your child’s class/subject teacher and the head teacher, SEND Co-ordinator or to the principal of the College the young person is attending about your worries before writing to the LA.
What if the school or college offers to write on my behalf?
Anyone acting on behalf of a school or post 16 institutions is able to write and request an EHC needs assessment. They are often best placed to make the request as they will need to provide the LA with specific information to support it.
When should I request an EHC needs assessment?
The EHC needs assessment should not normally be the first step in the process, rather it should follow on from planning already undertaken with parents and young people in conjunction with an early years provider, school, post-16 institution or other provider.
If following SEN support and the involvement of specialists the child or young person has not made expected progress the school or parent should consider requesting the local authority to carry out an EHC needs assessment. To inform its decision the local authority will expect to see evidence of the action taken by the school or college as part of SEN Support.
Remember you can only ask for an EHC needs assessment if the child or young person has or may have special educational needs – it does not apply where there are only health and/or care needs no matter how severe.
When should I hear back?
The LA must reply within six weeks. They will always reply to you as a parent or young person – even where the request was made by the school or college.