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Education Legal services for Families, in particular, Special Educational Needs & Disability
Education Lawyers

Applying for an EHC Needs Assessment

When your child has a special education need or disability it can be a confusing and worrying time. If their needs are significant, you may decide to apply for an EHC Needs Assessment.

If your child has a clear disability when they are born or are diagnosed in their first few years, you may already be familiar with the available support systems from health and care services. While school may not be uppermost in your mind when you have a baby or toddler with a complex condition, it is very important you consider where and how they are going to be educated as early as possible.

Applying for an EHC Needs Assessment

Applying before school age

A child is eligible for an Education Health and Care Plan from birth. If it is clear from a very early age that your child is going to need significant intervention and support throughout their education, you should not delay applying for an EHC needs assessment.

It is not advisable to wait until they are about to start nursery or school; indeed, having an EHCP in place will mean that specialist provision can be put into action from day one.

 We can help take the strain of making a request to the Local Authority for an EHC needs assessment for an Education, Health and Care Plan. We are experts in ensuring your child’s plan is legally compliant and meets their needs and can work with you to a successful conclusion.

Get in touch by calling us on 01452 555 166 or use our contact form

 Applying when your child is at school

 Sometimes, a child’s needs do not become apparent until they start school and you see them with their peers. This may be the first indication that something is amiss.

You are entitled, by law, to be fully involved with all the decisions taken to support your child’s SEN needs from the moment a difficulty is suspected.

Schools have a specific “delegated” budget to be used for interventions for all children on what is known as SEN Support. This is not individualised and depends on a number of factors in each school.

You may also be able to access support found on your area’s Local Offer website. If you find a service on there that may help your child’s outcomes, discuss with your school SENCo about how to access it. Read more about SEN Support on [our page here]

What if it’s not enough to help my child?

If you believe that the SEN Support provisions being put into place by their school are not helping enough, you may be considering whether to apply for an Education, Health and Care needs assessment. This enables the child to access more intensive support. If an assessment is successful, your child will have an Education, Health & Care Plan, which is a legal document that lays out your child’s needs, provision to meet their needs and where they will be educated.

While it’s possible to do this by yourself, many parents find the process distressing, time-consuming and difficult to cope with, especially when they are given misinformation by the school or local authority. Free sources of support are stretched, and you need to be careful when approaching advocates without proper legal qualifications.

We can help. Our team is highly experienced in SEND law. Because we work with local authorities and the SEND Tribunal all the time, we know how best to ensure your appeal is successful with the least amount of stress for your family. 

We’ll work with you to ensure all your child’s needs are recorded and provision is made. We can also assist in finding the right school for your child from our extensive experience of working with specialist provision in England and Wales. If you’re opting for mainstream school, we will ensure you have a water-tight, legally compliant EHCP to support your child.

Read more about the statutory assessment process on our page here. We also have an EHC Needs Assessment FAQs you can read here. If you’d like to speak to us about our services and how we could help support you, call us on 01452 555 166 or contact us online.

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