Jonathan Rourke from KIDS is running a training session for parents on "Refusal to assess for an EHCP".
Refusal to carry out an EHCP needs assessment
Refusal by a Local Authority to carry out EHCP needs assessments is the most common type of appeal that parents of children with SEND need to carry out.
The Law in the Children and Families Act 2014 is very clear. Section 36(8) sets out that, if your child/young person has or may have special educational needs and it may be necessary for special educational provision to be made for him/her, the Local Authority must secure an EHC Needs Assessment.
Nonetheless, this does not prevent some local authorities from sometimes seeking to interpret the rules differently in ways that may be open to challenge and from applying their own policy instead of the legal test.
Appeal for a refusal to assess is considered ‘on the papers’, so parents do not need to attend a hearing or tribunal. You just need to send in all of your evidence and explain your arguments in writing.
The test for carrying out an EHCP needs assessment is “provisional and predictive” – it simply needs to be shown that the child or young person may need support at a level which the school is unable to provide without an EHC Plan.
An appeal to the SENDIST can normally take up to 20 weeks to be completed. During this time you will need to send evidence to the SENDIST about the special educational needs and disabilities your child has and the support they require. The SENDIST will want to explore that evidence and will need to make a decision about whether the legal test for an EHCP needs assessment has been met.
Jonathan will talk about the process of appealing a refusal to assess and how mediation works.
This training session will be vital to parents who have recently received a refusal to assess letter and may also be useful to those who are just applying for an EHCP needs assessment.
As with all our courses, this covers parents/carers of children with any additional need or disability; anyone from any borough is welcome; and the training is free of charge although donations are welcome.
We regret that there is no creche/childcare available at our Tuesday sessions. This event is timed to finish before parents generally need to leave for school pick-up, but we understand that some parents may need to leave earlier.