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Last month 566 parent/carers and young people accessed our service which led to a total of 2,981 emails, contact forms, telephone calls and face to face meetings. Contact us if you need our advice and support.  

The SEND Code of Practice 2015 says:

“In considering whether an EHC needs assessment is necessary, the local authority should consider whether there is evidence that despite the early years provider, school or post-16 institution having taken relevant and purposeful action to identify, assess and meet the special educational needs of the child or young person, the child or young person has not made expected progress.”


Most children and young people with special educational needs will have these met through extra support provided by the education setting. This is known as SEN Support and can include a wide range of provision and interventions.  

However, if the educational setting has exhausted all the possible support options and your child or young person is still not making expected progress, or where the setting is not sure how to support your child, it might be appropriate to request an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment (the first stage in getting an EHC plan).

Talk to the SENCO in school (or to student/learning support for a college or the keyworker in a nursery) about the support in place, your child/young person’s rate of progress and what their plan for next steps might be.

When considering a request, the local authority will expect to see evidence of any progress that has been made, and that the setting has done everything they can to help your child or young person.

If your child is not yet attending or finding it difficult to attend nursery, school or college due to their special educational needs, requesting an EHC needs assessment may be an appropriate option.

Also in this section:

What is an EHC Plan?

Read or listen to our video on what is an EHCP and who is it for

When a Local Authority should carry out an EHC Needs Assessment

Guidance on what a LA must consider for an assessment request

Requesting an EHC Needs Assessment

Guidance on making a parental request and important factors to consider before a request is made

Gathering Evidence & Completing an EHC Needs Request form

Advice on gathering information for a parental EHC Needs Assessment and hints and tips on completing the request form.

How long does the process take?

Information on the timeframe of the 20 week assessment and what to do if the local authority have not carried out the assessment correctly or kept to the legal timeframe

EHCNA Frequently Asked Questions

Parent/carer questions on making a request, timeframe of assessment and what happens next

Local Authority decisions around EHC Needs Assessments

Information on LA decisions around EHC Needs Assessment.

Health and Social Care Elements of an EHC Needs Assessment

Support on providing the LA with information about your child or young person's physical, emotional and social development and health needs.