The following people can make a request for an EHC needs assessment:
An Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment is the first step to getting an EHC plan. The legal test that the Local Authority (LA) must consider is:
If you are making the request, you will need to complete the following and send to the locality team in your area, contact details can be found here: SEN Team at Dorset Local Authority (LA)
The LA must tell you in writing of their decision within 6 weeks of your application.
The LA must ask for advice and information from:
Advice and information requested by the LA should be provided within 6 weeks.
If your family is not already getting support from social care, you can ask the LA to do a separate social care assessment.
If your child/YP has been refused an EHC needs assessment, the LA must send this decision in writing. You can appeal this decision to an independent tribunal. This must be done within 2 months of the date of the decision letter, or 1 month from the date of the mediation certificate – whichever is later.
You will receive a draft EHC plan, you have at least 15 days to communicate your views to the LA about the contents of the plan. The final plan must be issued within a maximum of 20 weeks of the initial request for an assessment.
An EHC needs assessment does not always lead to a child/YP receiving an EHC plan. For example, the local authority might decide that the child/YP’s needs can be met by the setting. Further information on SEN support
If the LA is not going to issue a plan, they must write to you no later than 16 weeks from the date the request for an EHC assessment was made. You will have the right to appeal, and the LA must give you information about this.
Dorset Council Local Offer – EHCP information