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Requesting a Statutory Assessment for an EHCP (SEND Information for parents and young people)

The needs of the majority of children and young people who have special educational needs or disabilities will be met within mainstream education settings (pre-school, school, college etc.) through SEN Support. For more information please see SEN Support in Mainstream Schools. You may also find it useful to look at what each school says it provides to meet SEN. You can look at different types of schools on our Education, Learning and Skills | Torbay FIS Directory ( and you can see most schools SEN Information by clicking on the green Local Offer flag on each schools individual record or scrolling down each schools individual record.

Who can request an assessment?

If, following a period of time at SEN Support stage, your child or young person is still not making the expected progress:

  • you (parent of a child)
  • you (young person over the age of 16); or
  • the school,

 can ask for an Education, Health and Care needs assessment.

It is always better if the education provider (pre-school, school, college etc.) makes the request as they are more able to ensure all the required information and evidence is contained within the request. However, parents and young people (over 16’s) are also able to make requests themselves directly to the Local Authority.

Preparing to make a request for assessment

If you are considering making the request yourself, it is important to provide the Local Authority with as much possible Information, and evidence, for them to be able to properly consider your request.

Here is the checklist of information required in order for the local authority to properly consider a request for statutory assessment as per section 9.14 of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years [2015]. The SEND Code of Practice is legal guidance for schools and local education authorities about the help to be given to children with special educational needs. Schools and local authorities must have regard to the Code when working with a child with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

You do not have to be able to provide all of this information yourself.

This checklist has been included to show you the information that the Local Authority will have to collect from your child’s school or other education setting (Appendix B) before they will be able to make an informed decision.

  • Evidence of the child or young person’s academic attainment (or developmental milestones in younger children) and rate of progress
  • Information about the nature, extent and context of the child or young person’s SEN
  • Evidence of the action already being taken by the early years provider, school or post-16 institution to meet the child or young person’s SEN
  • Evidence that where progress has been made, it has only been as the result of much additional intervention and support over and above that which is usually provided
  • Evidence of the child or young person’s physical, emotional and social development and health needs, drawing on relevant evidence from clinicians and other health professionals and what has been done to meet these by other agencies, and
  • Where a young person is aged over 18, the local authority must consider whether the young person requires additional time, in comparison to the majority of others of the same age who do not have special educational needs, to complete their education or training. Remaining in formal education or training should help young people to achieve education and training outcomes, building on what they have learned before and preparing them for adult life.

Regardless of who makes the request, both:

  • educational providers (pre-school, school, college etc.), and
  • parents/carers/young people,

will need to have submitted their views and evidence before the Local Authority makes a decision.

Therefore, it may be useful for you to consider collecting evidence prior to submitting a request yourself or asking the education provider to submit a request.

How to make a request for assessment

The following forms:

  • parents Request for Assessment (RSA) form - "Parents RSA / App A"
  • young person’s Request for Assessment (RSA) form - Young People RSA / App A and F"

are both available to download from Statutory assessments - Torbay Council

Please remember that although you can simply submit a letter of request without supporting evidence, both you and the education provider (pre-school, school, college etc.) will be asked to submit the required information and evidence in advance of the Local Authority being able to make a considered decision.

You may also find it useful to look at both ofthe following documents:

What process are schools expected to follow before requesting an assessment?

Children/young people eligible for an EHC needs assessment will usually have been supported from within the provisions Local Offer and with resources already available to them over a period of time, 2 – 3 assess/plan/review cycles, graduated approach.

Actions taken by college/school/pre-school setting to differentiate the curriculum, provide quality teaching and additional targeted intervention to meet the child/young person’s need will be evident in provision maps, individual targets and evidence of having implemented advice from specialists. There must be clear demonstration of identification of SEN, school based intervention and progress made. Please click on the images below to see them in more detail.

Please visit the Statutory Assessment webpage for more information. Guidance criteria, Request for Statutory Assessment (RSA) application forms and guidance notes, including the checklist of evidence required, is all available on the Statutory assessments - Torbay Council

How does the Local Authority decide whether or not carry out an assessment?

The SEND / EHCP Panel will generally only recommend that a full EHC needs assessment should be undertaken if they are satisfied the child/young person’s difficulties are severe, complex and long standing and have not been resolved despite a range of well planned interventions.

What happens next if the Local Authority agree to carry out an assessment?

If as a result the Local Authority (LA) agrees to carry out an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment and the aseessment leads to an EHC plan being issued, the LA will keep in contact with parents throughout the process as shown in the diagram below. Please click on the image below to see it in more detail.

Working Together - Torbay SEND - 20 week process

Within the first 6 weeks of receiving a request for assessment (RSA) each child/young person is discussed in a multi agency meeting (SEND Panel) and a decision to assess is made.

By week 6 or 7 after receiving a request for assessment (RSA) the allocated SEN Casework officer phones the parent/carer with the offer of a office visit or home visit for the purpose of gaining the parent/carer and child/young people's views and aspirations.

Between weeks 6 and 11 the Torbay SEND are collecting all of the information necessary to make an assessment of need. Health will need to provide us with information about your child/young person's level of need. You may be offered an appointment from a health colleague, this is very important for our assessment so we need you to attend. Children's Services will also need to provide us with information about your child/young person's level of need. If you are not known to a social worker or social work team then you will be offered an assessment via a phone call. If appendacies are more than 2 weeks late the SEN team will phone you to let you know which professionals have responded to SEN by sending Appendicies (thier assessment of your child/young person's needs).

SEN aim to be drafting your child's EHC plan from week 11 onwards after having received all of the relevant information from other professionals.

By week 16 after receiving the request for assessment (RSA) patrents/carers and young people get sent the draft Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP) and get the chance to read it and respond with any changes they wish to be made. Parents/carers or the young person also get the opportunity to the nursery/school or college of thier preference alongside making any comments in relation to the draft EHCP.

Between weeks 17 and 19 the SEN team are in consultation with the nursery/school or college.

By week 20 after receiving the request for assessment (RSA) the EHCP is finalised naming the agreed provision (nursery/school or college).