Have you been turned down by your LA for an EHC needs assessment (first stage of the EHCP process)? If so, what reason were you given and did you appeal it?

Rachel Amos

Rachel Amos
Support SEND Kids
18 Aug 2021
Watched by 4

A: SenseCheck

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  • 23 Aug 2021
  • Yes


    Yes and in my experience, it is not unusual to be turned down for an EHCNA. The majority of reasons that I have come across are around the child's needs being met sufficiently at school. Section 36 (8) of the Children and Families Act 2014 states “the LA must secure an EHC needs assessment if after having regard to views expressed within the evidence submitted that the child or young person has, or may have, SEN, and may be necessary for special educational provision to be made”.

    If you are turned down at this stage, please do appeal. It is very easy to do and quite often the Local Authorities will change their decision before it gets to the appeal date. There is a lot of support available online for you to be able to do this yourself. IPSEA: www.ipsea.org.uk is a great resource for appealing an EHCNA, and it worked for me!

    Liz Chappell

    Liz Chappell
    Support SEND Kids

  • Comment

  • 20 Aug 2021
  • Other


    Can't answer yes or no.:

    I'm a SEND advisor rather than a parent. But, if you have been turned down, two common reasons are:

    1. The info given to the LA suggests that the child’s SEND doesn’t even need an EHC needs assessment.
    The evidence suggests that the child’s SEND can be met via support that school put in place. School would use money from their own SEND budget for this. Therefore, the child doesn’t need an EHCP as they don’t need over and above what school can provide.

    2. Key evidence to suggest that a child needs an EHC assessment has not been included.
    If a Local Authority are going to spend hundreds of pounds assessing a child, it’s not unreasonable to ask for information to check that that spending is essential. After all, that money comes from the SEND pot for all children so it’s understandable that the LA might try to make sure it’s spent wisely.

    It’s quicker and probably less stressful to send in key docs before the LA has to decide whether to do an EHC needs assessment.

    Depending on the child’s needs, key docs would include:
    • Diagnosis letters (e.g. autism, eye clinic)
    • Health letters (e.g. Speech & Language Therapy)
    • School report, including information on progress and what the school have put in place for the child’s SEND.
    • SEND Support plans (these are sometimes known by other names like IEPs or My Plans)
    • A few photos of the child doing activities
    • Behaviour Support Plans
    • Risk assessments
    • Records of exclusion(s)
    • Records of part-time timetables

    The above list gives you ideas to get started, but there may be other info that’s relevant to your child. It is a good starter whether you are it is the school asking for the assessment or the parent/carer.

    The IPSEA website has lots of great info. This page is a good place to start: www.ipsea.org.uk/asking-for-an-ehc-needs-ass…

    Aaron King

    Aaron King
    9000 Lives SEND Consultancy

  • Comment

  • 18 Aug 2021
  • No


    My son who has Down’s syndrome was refused an assessment by Camden LEA at the age of 4 on the basis that there was no evidence he had special educational needs. I read in the press that at that time (17 years ago) some LEA’s were trying to cut costs by refusing to assess children’s needs as, as soon as a need was identified, they were compelled to make provision for it. I emailed the LEA explaining that I had seen the articles in the press, am a lawyer, would be appealling if they did not assess my son’s needs and that they did not have a leg to stand on as he had a clear diagnosis of Down’s syndrome from a blood test. They backed down immediately and agreed to assess him.

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