What is an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessment?

The majority of children and young people with special education needs (SEN) or disabilities will have the support they need within local mainstream early years settings, schools or colleges. This is called SEN Support.

For some children and young people, although they are receiving support in their current education setting, there may be concerns about the progress they are making.

Some of these children and young people may require an EHC needs assessment so it is clear what their special educational needs are and then the Local Authority can decide whether it is necessary for the child or young person to receive support that is not normally available to them.

If an EHC Needs Assessment is requested, what can happen?

The Local Authority will ask for some information from children, young people and their families and the current or most recent education settings or providers so they can make a decision as to whether an EHC Needs Assessment is required.

This decision will be made within six weeks of the request for assessment being made.

A decision not to assess may be given, and the reasons why will be explained, including recommendations about what the education setting could also do to support the child or young person.

If an EHC Needs Assessment is agreed, what happens next?

If the Local Authority decides that an assessment is required, they will ask for assessments, information and reports which will identify the child's or young person's special education needs and any additional support they may require.

From the assessment information received, the Local Authority will consider whether the support the child’s or young person's special educational needs is additional or different to the support normally available through SEN Support in mainstream education settings.

A decision will be made as to whether to issue an EHC Plan.

What is an Education, Health & Care Plan (EHC Plan)?

An Education, Health & Care Plan or EHC Plan is a document which sets out the education, health and social care needs of a child or young person, for some this may be up to age 25, and the support that is necessary to help them to progress and achieve their outcomes.

Request an EHC needs assessment