Under the Children and Families Act 2014 Local Authorities have a duty to consider requests for an Education, Health and Care needs assessment which could lead the child/young person being issued with an EHCP (Education and Health Care Plan). This is relevant where expected progress is not being made despite the attempts that have been made by the school to identify assess and meet the needs of the child/young person.
The Local Authority has a legal obligation to carry out the assessment when it considers that it may be necessary for special educational provision to be made for the child/young person in accordance with an EHCP.
They will expect to see evidence of the steps have been taken to meet the special educational needs of the child/young person. One key piece of evidence is an assessment report from an Educational Psychologist who would ideally undertake an assessment in the place where the child/young person is studying; this enables them to speak with the Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator and teachers as well as observing classes.
After considering the request, if the Local Authority decides not to proceed with an EHCP assessment it must provide reasons and there is a right to appeal the decision in the First-Tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) (SENDIST). If the Local Authority decides to proceed but, at the end of the process, decides not to issue an EHCP there is also a right of appeal to SENDIST.
What is the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal?
SENDIST is where a Panel considers appeals against Local Authority decisions concerning the special educational needs of a child/young person as assess a child’s educational, health and care needs; reassessing their special educational needs; maintaining the EHCP.
It also has the jurisdiction to deal with claims of disability discrimination claims made against schools.
The Panel usually consists of a Tribunal Judge and specialist panel member with experience of special educational needs. The procedure now expects appeals against the local authority’s refusal to carry out an EHCP to be progressed on the papers alone, i.e. without the need for an appeal hearing where parties attend to deliver their evidence.
How can Match Solicitors help you with your reassessment?
To properly prepare for your reassessment you will need to provide as much evidence as possible concerning why you feel reassessment is necessary and why your child should be issued with an EHCP. You should explain what you think your child requires to satisfy his or her needs and provide the relevant evidence to support your view. Properly gathering and presenting your evidence is of the utmost importance.
Match can help you with this preparation, to include in advising as to which expert/(s) to
provide you with the best possible chance of success. For the best chance of achieving a favourable outcome, speak to one of our special educational needs experts today.