Can I request an EHC needs assessment request when my daughter does not attend a school?

Parent Asks:

I had to deregister my 13-year-old daughter last September as she wasn't managing in school. My daughter is autistic and struggles with anxiety. Am I able to request an EHC needs assessment even though she isn't on roll?

IPSEA Answers:

The legal test for an EHC needs assessment is set out in s36(8) of the Children and Families Act 2014. The LA must carry out an EHC needs assessment if the child:

  1. Has or may have special educational needs; and
  2. May require special educational provision to be made via an EHC plan

This is the only legal test that the LA can use to make a decision and, as you can see, it sets a relatively low bar. There is no requirement for a child to be in a school placement at all and an assessment can certainly be carried out outside of a placement.

There is a model letter on the IPSEA website which you can use as a template to apply to your LA: Making a request for an EHC needs assessment: Model letter 1 | (IPSEA) Independent Provider of Special Education Advice

There is also information about the process of an assessment which you may find helpful: EHC needs assessments | (IPSEA) Independent Provider of Special Education Advice