EHC Needs Assessments

Local Authorities have a clear duty to assess a child or young person’s education, health and care needs where they may have SEN (special educational needs) and they may need special educational provision to be made for them at a level or of a kind which requires an assessment of a child or young person’s education, health and care needs. This is called an EHC needs assessment.

It is also sometimes called a “statutory assessment” - an assessment that a Local Authority is required to carry out in accordance with statute, in this case the Children and Families Act 2014. It has replaced the old form of statutory assessment under the Education Act 1996.

If a parent, young person or a school/college asks the Local Authority (LA) to carry out an EHC needs assessment then the LA must respond to the request within 6 weeks saying if they will or will not carry out the assessment.

If they refuse, the parent/young person must be informed and has the right to appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.

Once an LA agrees to carry out an EHC needs assessment they must by law seek advice and information from a number of key professionals as part of the process. Based on the evidence they have gathered they must then decide whether they will issue an EHC plan for that child or young person.

Follow the links below for more information about triggering an EHC needs assessment and for what happens during the assessment process.

IPSEA mailing list

Click here to join our mailing list so that we can send you relevant updates and information.

Advice Line

This provides next step advice on: problems with schools, requesting statutory assessment, statements and Education, Health and Care Plans, annual reviews, disability discrimination and exclusion. Please click here to book an appointment to get one of our advisers to call you back.

Tribunal Helpline

Our Tribunal Helpline Gives next step advice on SEN appeals and disability discrimination claims to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. When you call we will also assess whether you need casework support. Please click here to book an appointment to get one of our advisers to call you back.

IPSEA training

IPSEA provides a wide range of SEN training for Parents, School Staff, Parent Forums, Support Groups, Local Authority SEN teams, Parent Partnership Schemes, School Governors and other groups / organisations. Click here for details.

Information Service

The Information Services is for general legal enquiries and will signpost you to factsheets and resources on our website. Click here for more details about our Information Service

Face to Face Advice

IPSEA is now able to offer free and independent legally based SEN advice at Face to Face sessions organised in conjunction with the Pen Green Centre for children and families (pengreen.org).

For information on how to book a session please click here.