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How can I request an EHC Needs Assessment and what happens after an EHC Needs Assessment is requested?

The following people have a specific right to ask the local authority to conduct an education, health and care needs assessment for a child or young person aged between 0 and 25:

  • The child’s parents
  • A young person over the age of 16, but under the age of 25, and
  • A person acting on behalf of a school or post – 16 institution (this should ideally be with the knowledge and agreement of the parent or young person where possible)

In addition, anyone else can bring a child or young person who has (or may have) SEN to the attention of the local authority, particularly where they think an EHC needs assessment may be necessary. This could include, for example:

  • foster carers
  • health and social care professionals
  • early years practitioners
  • youth offending teams  or probation services
  • those responsible for education in custody
  • school or college staff
  • family friend

Bringing a child or young person to the attention of the local authority will be undertaken on an individual basis where there are specific concerns. This should be done with the knowledge and, where possible, agreement of the child’s parent or the young person.

Parents, carers and young people can also talk to Hartlepool SEND Information, Advice and Support Service who can provide more information and assist in making a request for an EHC needs assessment.

What happens after an EHC needs assessment is requested

The Local Authority has a SEND Panel which meets to consider requests for EHC needs assessment. The panel includes representatives from education, health and social care and meets every 4 weeks.

When the local authority receives the request for an EHC needs assessment they will send you a letter confirming this and to let you know when the date of the next  SEND Panel meeting will be held to discuss and make a decision on your request for an EHC needs assessment.

Following a request for an EHC needs assessment, or the child or young person having otherwise been brought to its attention, the local authority must determine whether an EHC needs assessment is necessary. The local authority must make a decision and communicate the decision to the child’s parent or to the young person within 6 weeks of receiving the request. The local authority does not have to consider whether an EHC needs assessment is necessary where it has already undertaken an EHC needs assessment for a child or young person during the previous six months, although the local authority may choose to do so if it thinks it is appropriate.

You will then have a maximum of 6 weeks to wait before you find out if the Panel has agreed that an assessment should start or has recommended that the child’s needs can be met at SEN Support.

It is important that the request for an EHC needs assessment contains as much information as possible so that the Panel can reach the right decision about whether or not to start the assessment. The Panel might ask for more information if it is felt that there is not enough detail to make a decision.

After the Panel meeting, the local authority will contact you to let you know what has been decided. If it is decided that your child does not need an assessment, and you disagree with the decision, you can talk to the SENDIAS Service or ask for details of the Independent disagreement resolution arrangements and mediation.

You can contact the service by;

Telephone: 01429 284876/07776491662

Email to: HARTLEPOOLIASS@hartlepool.gov.uk.

Further information about the SENDIAS Service can be found on the website: www.hartlepoolsendiass.co.uk/

If you are still unhappy, you have a right to appeal to the First – tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability).