Most children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities have their needs met within schools or other educational settings without the allocation of additional resources to that setting.
Despite the best endeavours of schools, early years settings and colleges, some children and young people may require a higher level of support. To find out what the special educational needs of these children and young people are and how these needs can be met, the Local Authority (LA) may undertake, on request, an Education Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessment.
Requesting an EHC Needs Assessment
A request for an EHC Needs Assessment can be made to the Local Authority by a number of people and agencies but is usually made by the child’s parent or carer, the young person or the education setting. [A ‘young person’ means a person between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five. To be considered a ‘young person’, a sixteen year old must have completed the academic (school) year (usually Year 11) during which they had their sixteenth birthday.]
When a request is received by the LA, it will lead to:
EITHER an agreed request for assessment, in which case the assessment process has begun
OR a request for assessment which is not agreed, in which case there is a right of appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.
If a parent, young person or a school (or other setting) asks the Local Authority (LA) to carry out an EHC needs assessment then the LA must respond to the request within six weeks saying if they will or will not carry out the assessment.
Regardless of who made the request, only the parent or the young person can lodge an appeal.
An EHC Needs Assessment does not always lead to an EHC Plan. The information gathered may indicate that the child or young person’s assessed needs can be met through the resource already allocated to the school or other setting.
To access the EHC Hub to request an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessment, please click here