Do I have let the LA assesses my child during the EHCNA?
We had a private speech and language and educational psychologist assessment in March this year. The LA have agreed to issue a draft EHC plan. We would like a specialist school named. The LA would want to reassess my son on both SALT and EP. (they already had a council EP assess him by skype in lockdown about one month ago).
If I refuse to let them reassess will it be detrimental? I just feel the reports are under six months old and new assessments are entirely unnecessary.
During an EHC needs assessment, the LA does not have to seek new advice where that type of advice has previously been provided for any purpose – for example, if there already was a recent educational psychologist’s report. This exception will only apply if the person providing that advice, the LA and the child’s parent or the young person are all satisfied that the existing advice is sufficient.
However, from your question we assume that the LA has already carried out an EHC needs assessment following which it agreed to issue an EHC plan. Really, it should have obtained all of the reports it wanted as part of that assessment.
Seeking new reports now is likely to delay the process, which should take no more than 20 weeks in total.
You may wish to ask the professionals who prepared your independent reports whether there is any issue with carrying out two assessments so close together. You could also ask the LA why it chose not to carry out these reports as part of the EHC needs assessment.
If you believe the LA is likely to refuse to name your choice of school, it may be worth thinking ahead to a possible appeal to the SEND Tribunal. Whilst you are within your rights to refuse the proposed assessments, there is a risk that the Tribunal may see this as uncooperative.