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EHCP assessment of needs

What is an EHC needs assessment?

An Education, Health, and Care (EHC) needs assessment is used by a local authority to assess if a child needs an EHC plan.


When is an EHC needs assessment necessary?

Most children and young people with SEND can be provided with the right level of support without the need for an EHC plan. This is called SEND Support.

A local authority must carry out an EHC needs assessment if a child’s special educational needs may require more support than a mainstream education setting can normally provide.


Who can ask for an EHC needs assessment?

  • The early years setting, school, or post 16 settings, once this has been discussed with parents or carers

  • Parents by writing to the local authority

  • A young person over the age of 16 but under the age of 25

We have a sample request letter and guide for parents and young people at the bottom of this page.


What happens during an EHC needs assessment?

Once the local authority has received an EHC needs assessment request they will review the information provided and request additional evidence if needed.

The local authority gathers information on a child or young person’s needs from:

  • The child and young person

  • The child or young person’s parent or career

  • The nursery, school, college that your child attends

  • Educational psychology

  • Other professionals as appropriate including Speech and Language or occupational therapy

  • Health professionals involved with the child or young person

  • Social care services

Advice and information requested by the local authority should be provided within six weeks. 

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