Deciding whether to proceed with assessment


Once the local authority has received information from  the setting and your and your child's views, a panel of representatives from Education, Health and Social Care will consider the request.

They will use the Children and Families Act 2014, SEND Regulations 2014 and the SEND Code of Practice 2015 to help them reach a decision about whether to proceed with an EHC needs assessment.

Within 6 weeks of the initial request, the local authority must let you know their decision. Read more about the assessment phase.

Where they have decided an EHC needs assessment is not necessary, they must tell you why and include the following information :

  • your right of appeal
  • independent disagreement resolution and mediation
  • how to get further information, advice or support

As this can be a difficult time for you as a parent concerned about the progress and support for your child, it's important to fully understand why the local authority reached this decision.

Read our information leaflet 'Refusal to assess', which has some useful tips and advice to guide you.

The Children & Families Act 2014 says:

"The local authority must secure an EHC needs assessment for the child or young person if, after having regard to any views expressed and evidence submitted under subsection (7), the authority is of the opinion that:

(a)the child or young person has or may have special educational needs, and

(b)it may be necessary for special educational provision to be made for the child or young person in accordance with an EHC plan." (36.8)



The SEND Code of Practice says:

"The local authority must give its reasons for this decision where it decides not to proceed." (9.17)

Key information:

  • You must consider mediation before lodging an appeal about a refusal to assess.
  • You have 2 months from the date of the letter in which to lodge an appeal against a decision.