Securing an EHC needs assessment

An Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment is conducted by a local authority. It identifies a child or young person’s special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). It should also work out the support that a child or young person needs.

The local authority has to be asked to conduct an EHC needs assessment. The following people can make this request:

  • Parents
  • A young person over the age of 16
  • A person on behalf of a school or college

After you make a request for an EHC needs assessment, the local authority has six weeks to decide whether or not to conduct an EHC needs assessment. The decision will be based on whether the legal test has been met.

How we can help

The local authority will only conduct an EHC needs assessment if it believes that the legal test is met. The key to this is evidence.

We have extensive experience of putting together successful requests for an EHC needs assessment. We will consider the evidence that you currently have and advise whether it seems sufficient. If it is, we will help draft the request. If it is not, we can help you to seek additional evidence to support your request for an EHC needs assessment.

It is important to bear in mind that there will be some cases where an EHC needs assessment is not required. If that is the case, we will tell you.

If the local authority refuses to conduct an EHC needs assessment, you will have a right of appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST).

Before starting an appeal with the SENDIST, mediation must be considered. In cases of a refusal to conduct an EHC needs assessment, mediation can be very helpful.

We can advise whether mediation is likely to be successful. If you decide to proceed with mediation, we can help to make sure that you are properly prepared.

If the local authority does not agree to assess following mediation, or if you decide not to try mediation, we can help you to prepare an appeal to the SENDIST. This will include gathering evidence and making written representations. We can also represent you at the final hearing.

It is important to be able to present the case that shows the legal test is met. We will provide clear and detailed advice, from the outset, about prospects of success and any further evidence that may be required.


I am so happy at the outcome, I don't think we would have had such a comprehensive service from any other law firm, and you took the worry away...I do not regret a single second of the whole process, apart from the bit before you got involved. 

James' mother, Boyes Turner client

Contact our expert specialist education solicitors today for support with your claim

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