Asking the LA for information about what is available in its area and its delegated funding: Model letter 17  

When should I use this letter?

This letter is likely to be helpful if you have been refused an Education, Health and Care (“EHC”) needs assessment, or if you have had an EHC needs assessment and the local authority (“LA”) has decided that an EHC plan is not necessary.

You can use this letter to ask the LA about what is available in its area and the funding its delegates to your child’s nursery, school or college. This information will help show what cannot be provided without an EHC plan. Therefore, it could provide helpful evidence in proving that the test for carrying out an EHC needs assessment or issuing an EHC plan is met.

We recommend that you also look at our information on appealing to the SEND Tribunal, and if relevant our refusal to assess pack which includes detailed guidance on preparing for and carrying out a refusal to assess appeal.

When do the LA need to reply?

There is no set deadline for the LA to reply.

If the LA delays in replying, do not miss your deadline for appealing. You must send the appeal form to the SEND Tribunal within two months of the date of the LA’s decision letter, or one month from the date you obtain a mediation certificate, whichever is the later.

If the LA has failed to reply, or refused to provide this information, you can request that the SEND Tribunal makes an order for this information to be provided.

You can always withdraw your appeal if the information you receive makes you think again about your case.

Who should I write to?

The covering letter sent by the LA with the letter refusing to assess, or refusing to issue an EHC plan, will give you the contact details of the SEN officer dealing with your case.

If you are not sure who to contact, 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.

Remember to keep a copy of any letter you send. If you need further advice, you can book a tribunal helpline appointment with IPSEA.