The Needs Assessment completes a review of identified support needs and who would be best to support these needs. The Needs Assessment will ask for specialised assessments to be completed by professionals such as EP, Schools, Specialised Outreach teachers, SALT and OT - professionals that the education setting, and parents, feel need to be involved.
Once the Needs Assessment is completed then a copy of all the assessments is gathered and presented to a panel who then can conclude if there is a need for an EHC Plan to be in place to meet needs.
A request for a Needs Assessment is when the child or young person is still behind their peers once the current education setting has implemented all the suggestions from the professionals and exhausted its best endeavours in terms of SEN support.
There is a legal test under the Code of Practice that is implemented when considering if a Needs Assessment is required:
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.
The argument is not about having an EHCP but the need for the assessment to identify the support needs and who is best to deliver these.
Below are our RIASS Refusal to Assess Appeal Pack documents that will help you start your appeal.