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How do I apply for an Education Health and Care Assessment for my child?

Many parents come to me with the concern that their child needs extra help in school and they do not know how to achieve this. Sometimes they have applied for an assessment with the support of the school, or the school has applied on their behalf and this request has been refused by the Local Authority (LA) saying it isn’t required; however the parent and/or school can see that their child still needs help.

It is worth knowing that as parent you have a right also to request an assessment of Education Health and Care needs independently of the school, this does not have to be done by the school, you can issue this request to the LA yourself. This request would be made in accordance s36(1) of Part 3 Children and Families Act 2014.

The information you will need is your child’s name, date of birth, the name of their school and its address. You will also need the name of the director of Education or the Assessment and planning department for your local authority. This can be found on the internet. You should attach any up to date or relevant reports to your request.

It is important to list the needs that your child has and the extra help that you think they would need in school and also any supporting reports and letters with your letter of request. This can be anything from formal reports to a diary of your child’s behaviour. 

The test that the LA must apply in considering your request is contained in Section 36(8) Children and Families Act 2014 and has two parts. Part one of the test is that the child/young person has or may have special educational needs and part two of the test is that it may be necessary for special educational provision to be made for the child or young person through the issuing of an EHC plan.

Once your request is issued the LA have 6 weeks in which to respond to your request with either agreement to assess your child or refusal to assess and the reasons why. If the LA refuse to assess you have a right of appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST).

At Rebecca Whippy SEND Consultants, myself or Faith can help you apply for an Education Health and Care Assessment. However, as we like to give back to our community, I have drafted a template letter to help you do this yourself.

A copy of this letter can be found here