Schools and parents can contact their Local Authority requesting an EHC needs assessment of a child / young person. The Local Authority must respond in 6 weeks confirming whether or not they will undertake an assessment. Note that a request for an assessment may be rejected by the Local Authority if they believe it does not meet the criteria. If they refuse, the parent / young person must be informed and has the right to appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.
The EHC needs assessment is 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.
Once a Local Authority 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 (EHCP) for that child or young person.