Asking for a re-assessment of a child or young person’s needs: Model letter 2

When should I ask?

You may wish to request a re-assessment if you believe that:

  • the needs of the child or young person have changed since the last EHC plan was issued; or
  • a different kind of help, or more help, is needed; or
  • the child or young person should attend a different kind of school or college.

A re-assessment is an opportunity to gather new evidence to work out what support the child or young person now needs. When you write to the local authority (“LA”) asking for a re-assessment of the child or young person’s education, health and care needs, explain why you think the current EHC plan is not good enough.

The LA do not have to reassess if they have carried out an assessment within the previous six months or if they consider that a further assessment is not necessary.

If you already have the evidence of the changes needed by the child or young person, it may be more effective to request that the EHC plan is amended after a review. This could be after an annual review or you could request an early review.

Should I speak to the school or college first?

Yes, definitely. Speak to the SENCO, the relevant class teacher or subject teacher and the head teacher or principal about your worries. They may be able to provide evidence to support your request.

What if the school or college offers to write on my behalf?

Anyone acting on behalf of a school or post-16 institution is able to write and ask the LA to carry out a re-assessment, but if you do it yourself you can be sure that the request has definitely been made. However, if the school or college is willing, you could ask them to write a letter which supports your request for a re-assessment.

Who should I write to?

You should write to the most senior person at the LA, usually called the Director of Children’s Services. You can find information and contact details for this person by clicking here.

When will I hear back?

The LA should respond within 15 days of receiving your request.

Remember to keep a copy of any letter or email you send. If you don’t get a reply within 15 days, or if you need further advice, you can book an appointment to speak with us.

What happens next?

Unlike where a LA refuses to carry out an early review, there is a right of appeal if the LA refuses to carry out a re-assessment. The LA must send notice of this right of appeal when it notifies you of a refusal to re-assess. 

The procedure for appealing against this is the same as appealing against a refusal to carry out an EHC needs assessment. You can find out more information about this here.

If the LA agrees to re-assess then they must carry out a full EHC needs assessment, including obtaining all the information and advice required (see the section on EHC needs assessments for more information).

Following the re-assessment, if the LA decide to amend the EHC plan, you must be sent a draft EHC plan and given at least 15 days to make representations about the contents and to request that a particular school or college is named. The LA must then send a finalised EHC plan within 14 weeks of the date on which it agreed to re-assess.

If the LA carries out a re-assessment but decides not to amend the EHC plan, they must still notify you of this and send you the final EHC plan within 14 weeks of the date on which it agreed to re-assess.

If you disagree with the contents of the final EHC plan (either because it has not been amended or because you disagree with the amendments made), or you disagree with the school or college named in that EHC plan, you can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) (theSEND Tribunal”).

 

If you haven’t been able to find the answer to your question on this page, see our FAQs.