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What does "The Legal Test" mean?

When applying for an EHC assessment the term "The Legal Test" is sometimes used.

This refers to what the SEND code of practice  says about who should be considered for an EHC assessment.

Simply put, when an EHC assessment is submitted, the information will be discussed by a group of professionals from education, health and social care to see if the following is true:

  1. Whether the information provided shows that the child or young person may have special educational needs 
  2. Whether the information provided shows that it may be necessary for additional support to be provided for the child or young person above what would be normally available in school.   

If they agrees that:

1. The information show that the child or young person may have special educational needs

AND

2. The information shows that the child or young person may need more support that what is available in school.

Then they will agree to carrying out an EHC needs assessment, this does not guarantee that an EHCP will be issued.  In some cases, an EHC assessment is agreed but the assessment shows that the child or young person does not need the additional support (and funding) that an EHCP brings.  It may be that the assessment shows that the child or young person can be supported by a school or setting without additional funding.

This is an agreement to assess the child or young person and if this reveals that they do need additional support from and EHCP, then a plan will be issued.

SENDACT will consider the following to help them reach their decision:

  • Has the educational setting identified the young person’s needs and then provided support which is relevant to these needs and which has a clear outcome? 
  • Have learning levels and rates of progress been provided? 
  • Have they included relevant reports from other professionals? 
Last updated: 21/01/2021