Click to download: Asking the LA to seek information and advice during EHC needs assessments (model letter 20)

Which professionals should my local authority get advice from during an EHC needs assessment?  

When your local authority (LA) agrees (or the SEND Tribunal orders it) to carry out an education, health and care (EHC) needs assessment for your child, or for you if you are a young person, the law requires it to seek information and advice from a specified list of professionals. Most of those professionals should provide their advice and information within 6 weeks of being contacted by your LA (subject to limited exceptions). The advice and information provided must cover: 

  • what special educational needs have been identified 

  • the special educational provision required, and  

  • what outcomes are intended to be achieved by the provision being in place 

The list of professionals your LA must get this information from is contained in Regulation 6 (1) of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014. 

You should be aware that certain professionals, including speech and language therapists and occupational therapists, do not appear on the specified list. Whilst the list does require your LA to get advice from a “health care professional” it does not specify which health care professional this should be. If you would like your LA to obtain information and advice from professionals who are not explicitly included in the list, you will need to make a request to your LA for it to do this. You have a right to make this request and provided the request is reasonable, your LA must obtain the information and advice, under The SEND Regulations 2014, regulation 6 (1) (h).  

How do I ask my LA to get advice from someone else?  

You can use this model letter to help you make your request and set out why you believe your request is reasonable. Our page on what happens in an EHC needs assessment contains further information on what a ‘reasonable’ request could be, along with the full list of professionals your LA must get advice from.   

The covering letter sent by your LA, informing you that it will carry out the EHC needs assessment, should give you the contact details of the person you should get in touch with.  

If you are not sure who to write to, then write to the most senior person at the LA, usually called the Director of Children’s Services. If you do not know who this is at your LA, you can use this page to find their name and contact details. 

When should I ask my LA to seek advice and information?  

You should ask your LA to get advice and information from the professional/service as soon as you realise it’s needed.   

You could even include this kind of request when asking the LA to carry out an EHC needs assessment and repeat it using this letter when the LA informs you that it will be assessing.  

What if my LA refuses?  

If you make a reasonable request and the LA refuses you can complain. We have a different model letter you can use to complain if your LA is not carrying out the EHC needs assessment properly.