UPDATED: 1st June 2020
If you are a parent or carer (with parental responsibility) or a young person aged 16 or over you are able to make a request for Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment.
It might be helpful to view:
What happens if you think your child has SEND
Our new checklist; and Frequently Asked Questions about Education, Health and Care Needs Requests/Assessments/Plans VIDEO
Questions & Answers about EHCNA and Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP)
Below are questions that may help you when considering applying for an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment. All questions and answers are aimed at the parent carer, or the young person themselves, depending on who is applying. However, in the wording we will just use the word ‘you’ and ‘your’, but for the parent carer these terms will refer to your child.
What should I do before I apply for an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment (EHCNA)?
It is very important you discuss any intention to request an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment with your educational provider before you make the application. They will be asked to provide information about you and how they currently meet your needs. Good practice dictates that applications of this type will be made jointly between the parent/carer or young person and their education provider.
Please also ensure you review the Guidance and Criteria for Requests for Education Health & Care Needs Assessments BEFORE you apply.
Please also consider the guidance for supporting children and young people to contribute to a request for assessment before completing these. Your views can be provided in any format of your choice, however we have also designed template forms for your use. You will see there are 3 possible versions, you should choose the most suitable depending on your age and needs. See the Pupil Contribution A-C forms at the bottom of this page. If you choose to submit your own template please ensure it covers the details held within these templates.
I need support to request for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). Who can help me?
If you need help considering this document or help with an application you can contact SENDIAS (an impartial information, advice and support service) on: 03302 228 555 or [email protected] They can also help getting your concerns across, or support in accessing mediation or appealing to the SEN Tribunal Service.
How do I request for an EHCNA?
After you apply:
Timescales: How long should an EHC Needs Assessment and EHC Plan and Transfer Review take?
What happens if I don’t agree with the outcomes for my child?
If there is anything that you are confused about or do not agree with, you can phone SENAT and speak to your Planning Coordinator. You can ask for a meeting to discuss your concerns and to see if they can be resolved.
You can also phone the SEND Information, Advice and Support Service for impartial advice on anything you don’t understand at any time. The SENDIAS provides information, advice and support for parents and, if needed, they will direct you to a separate organisation to support a young person. If after talking to SENAT you still feel there are unresolved concerns or decisions that you are not happy with you can consider mediation. Even if you have already lodged an appeal with the Tribunals Service, it is still worth trying mediation to see if any agreement can be reached with the Local Authority without the need to go to appeal through the Tribunals Service. Under the new legislation you must talk to a Mediation Adviser before going to tribunal. When cases go to tribunal the decision is out of your hands, with mediation you decide on the final outcome. The Local Authority provides mediation through a company called ‘Global Mediation’ and your Planning Co-ordinator or the SEND Information, Advice and Support Service can make arrangements for this to happen.
The Suffolk SENDIAS Service have produced a series of videos to help understand and complete the SEND Tribunal Appeal Form 35 which you can use to appeal a local authority’s decision about a child or young person.
What happens when a request for an EHC Plan Assessment is turned down?
Your Planning Co-ordinator will contact you to let you know the decision. If the EHC needs assessment is not agreed it does not mean that your child does not have special educational needs, just that these needs can be met from the support ordinarily available at school without the need for an EHCP.
SENAT will also inform your child’s setting of the decision and where required a meeting can take place to discuss the decision.
You are able to appeal the decision if you wish and details associated with this will be in the letter you receive. SENAT would, however, like to avoid this process and so we would encourage you to talk to your Planning Co-Ordinator if you think you may want to appeal. They may refer your concerns to colleagues within the team to try to reach resolution without the need for an appeal.
The Suffolk SENDIAS Service have produced a series of videos to help understand and complete the SEND Tribunal Appeal Form 35A which is used if a refusal to assess occurs.
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