Local Authorities have a duty under the Children and Families Act (CFA) 2014 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 (EHCNA), also known as 'Statutory Needs Assessment'.

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 the LA refuse, the parent/young person must be informed in writing and they will be given the right to appeal this decision to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.

The Tribunal is an independent body who will hear your case and determine if the LA have made the right decision.

If the LA agree to carry out an EHC needs assessment they must by law seek the advice and views of key professionals such as for example an Educational Psychologist (EP), a Speech and Language Therapist (SALT), or an Occupational Therapist (OT) to gather information for the assessment.

Once the information is collected and reports have been received by the LA, the LA will decide whether or not to issue an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) for the child or for the young person.

For further information please contact us