Requesting an EHC needs assessment
Should I speak to the school or college first?
Yes, definitely. Speak to your child’s class/ subject teacher and the head teacher or to the principal of the College the young person is attending about your worries before writing to the LA.
What if the school or college offers to write on my behalf?
Anyone acting on behalf of a school or post 16 institutions is able to write and request an EHC needs assessment. They are often best placed to make the request as they will need to provide the Local Authority with specific information to support it.
When should I request an EHC needs assessment?
Whenever a child or young person has a learning difficulty or a disability which is holding them back at school or college and the parents of the child or the young person (or the young person themselves) believe that the school or college is not able to provide the help and support which is needed.
For children under 16 the parent makes the request. This includes children from 0 to 5 where parents should make a request if they believe that the child will need extra help when school starts.
In the case of a young person (over 16 and up to 25) they can make the request themselves if they understand it sufficiently well themselves – otherwise the parent can make the request on a young person’s behalf.
Remember you can only ask for an EHC needs assessment if the child or young person has or may have educational needs – it does not apply where there are only health and/or care needs no matter how severe.
When should I hear back?
The LA must reply within six weeks. They will always reply to you as a parent or young person – even where the request was made by the school or college.