How can I obtain an Education Health and Care Plan for my child or young person?
To secure an EHCP for your child or young person a request first must be made for an Education, Health and Care Needs assessment to the Local Authority. This request can either be made by you as parents, by the young person or by your child’s school.
It may be the case that your child’s school refuses to make the request. Our experience is that many schools are not fully aware of the legal test and therefore sometimes parents are told that their child will not qualify for the assessment when there is overwhelming evidence as to the extent of their needs and the need for an assessment.
A request can be made by sending a letter setting out why you are seeking the assessment and it is usually best to send some supporting evidence with the request, if experts are involved make sure your experts state clearly in their reports that they support the request, why they support it and where relevant what should be included in an EHCP. You may be able to submit the request via a link on the Local Authority website.
It may be that you need to spend some time gathering additional supporting evidence to maximise the chances of the request being successful.
The Local Authority will have 6 weeks to consider the request and the Code of Practice sets out that ‘A Local Authority must conduct an assessment of education, health and care needs when it considers that it may be necessary for special educational provision to be made for the child or young person in accordance with an EHC plan.’ This is the legal test that the LA must apply when making its decision.
If the Local Authority agree to the request, they will then start the assessment which can take up to 10 weeks. If they refuse, they will write to you to let you know that you have a right of appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SEND).
If you require any advice in relation to a request for an EHC needs assessment or seek any advice in relation to your child’s education, please contact us on 01329 823322.