What is the difference between a review of an EHC plan and a re-assessment?
In most cases, for children and young persons with an EHC plan, the Review process will be the usual mechanism by which an EHC plan is updated. Under the Children and Families Act (2014) the review process imposes clear time limits imposed on the school holding the review meeting and the Local Authority making a decision about whether, as a result of the review process, including the review paperwork, there is a need to amend the EHC plan. If the Local Authority decides not to amend the EHC plan, or you, as the parent (or young person if over 16), disagree with the amendments made to Sections B, F or I, the Local Authority must, in the decision letter, provide a right of appeal. For more information about this type of appeal, see here.
However, in some cases, where your child or young person's needs have changed significantly it may be helpful to request the Local Authority to undertake an EHC re-assessment so that a full re-assessment can be undertaken. For further information about what an EHC re-assessment involves (the same as an EHC assessment) see here.
Alternatively, for young persons approaching 18 who have social care provision in their EHC plans, it will be important to have an assessment by Adult Social Care.
When can I request the Local Authority to undertake an EHC re-assessment?
Unless there has been an EHC (statutory) assessment carried out within the last six months, a request for the child or young person to have a re-assessment can be made by either the parent, the young person (if over 16) or the school or college. The Local Authority must notify the parent or young person whether or not it will undertake a re-assessment within 15 calendar days of receiving the request to re-asses. If the Local Authority decides not to re-assess, it must notify the child’s parent or the young person of their right to appeal that decision.
It is worth checking to see if you (or young person if over 16) qualifies for Legal Aid as this can be a route to obtaining updated professional reports.
Section 44, Children and Families Act 2014 and SEND Regulations 2014, 23, 24, 25, 26 and 27
SEN Code of Practice (2015)
Chapter 9, Paragraphs 9:186 - 9.192.