Refusal to assess for an EHCP
In a number of cases, a refusal to conduct EHC needs assessment may be due to the following reasons:
- The LA deems the assessment unnecessary (i.e. they believe the child does not have SEN severe enough to merit assessment or the school/college already provides sufficient SEN support).
- The LA has not received or is unable to acquire sufficient information/evidence supporting the need for an assessment to be conducted.
Appealing a refusal to assess for an Education, Health and Care Plan
In any case of assessment refusal, no matter the grounds, parents and families can make an appeal via means of mediation and then, if the dispute is not resolved, through SENDIST. Both processes are explained briefly below:
The first step to appealing a decision is through a process of mediation. This can be done by contacting the mediation company as specified in the decision letter provided by the LA.
Once the mediation process is completed, no matter what the outcome, you will receive a mediation certificate proving that the mediation process has been completed.
This certificate allows you to start an appeal with the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST) in cases where mediation did not resolve the original dispute.
There are strict timescales in relation to appeals to SENDIST. Please make sure you are aware of these timescales and ensure that any appeal to SENDIST for a refusal to undertake an EHC Needs Assessment is undertaken within these timescales. More information on appealing EHCP decisions to SENDIST can be found on the official Gov.uk website.