If your child has disabilities, difficulty in learning or behavioural difficulties, they may have special educational needs (SEN) and can therefore qualify for additional educational support.
There is a laid down process to help determine your child’s special educational needs and following a defined process these needs are set out in an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). We have set out below what is involved in the process.
The process is the means by which a child’s Special Educational Needs are assessed and provided for by a Local Authority (LA).
A parent can request that a EHC Assessment of their child’s needs is undertaken by a LA. The authority has 6 weeks in which to decide if they are going to do so. If the LA refuses to undertake a Statutory Assessment parents have a right of appeal to the SEND Tribunal. This appeal must be made within two months of the LA’s decision.
The LA need to carry out the Statutory Assessment of a child’s needs within 16 weeks. In doing so they must seek advice from:
- The child’s school
- The child’s parents
- A medical officer
- The LA’s Educational Psychology Service
- Social Services
- Together with any other professional the authority feels it is appropriate to involve – (eg the Speech and Language Therapy Service)
The LA should inform a parent of the outcome of the assessment within two weeks of its completion. This includes whether they will issue an EHCP as a result of the assessment. In some cases the LA will issue a Note in Lieu and parents have a right of appeal against this decision to the SEND Tribunal which must be pursued within 2 months.
Whitehead Monckton education lawyers can assist you throughout this assessment process or only get involved if you need to complete an appeal to the SEND Tribunal, the decision depends on how much support you need and the specific circumstances for your child.