If your child has special educational needs (SEN) that can't be met by the help available at their school or educational setting through quality first teaching and SEND support as outlined in the graduated response, you can request a needs assessment for an EHC plan.
A needs assessment looks in detail at a child or young persons special educational needs and any support that may be needed for them to learn. It includes information from:
- the child or young person
- the child’s parents/carers
- the early years setting, school or college
- other health and care professionals who support and work with the child or young person
We can be asked to carry out an EHC needs assessment if the child or young person:
- is in education (including early years education)
- is under 25
- has been receiving extra support for their special educational needs, but isn’t making progress
- the child’s parent or carer or an advocate on their behalf
- the young person themselves if they are aged between 16 and 25 (or an advocate on their behalf)
- anyone acting on behalf of the child or young person’s early years setting, school or college with the agreement of the parent/carer or young person
The following people can also alert the local authority if they feel a child or young person may need an assessment:
- a health professional supporting the child or young person, such as a doctor or a health visitor
- any other professional working to support the child or young person, including foster carers, social care professionals, youth offending teams, probation services or those responsible for education in custody, or a family friend.
If a parent or carer is making a request they can help by submitting all the reports and letters from the child or young persons early years setting, school or college, their doctor and any other assessments that have been written about the child or young person.
They can also write about the child or young persons needs and how long they have had them.
The My Child, My Story form in the downloads section can be used by parents and carers to provide information.
SENDiass 4 BCP also have a template letter that parents/carers and young people can use to request an EHC Needs Assessment. Visit their website for more information including quick guides to EHC Needs Assessment.
Education settings should use the Education Health and Care Needs Assessment Request form in the downloads section to submit requests for assessment.
When we receive a request for assessment we have six weeks to consider if an assessment is necessary.
In order to help with decision making, wherever possible, the case will be discussed with the SEND Panel (a panel of relevant professionals across agencies).
When a decision is made we will notify:
- the child or young persons parent/carers
- the young person
- the health service (relevant Clinical Commissioning Group or NHS England)
- local authority social care services
- the education setting that the child or young person attends
If we decide to go ahead with an assessment, we'll make sure the child or young persons parent/carer is included from the start and given opportunities to share views and information.
If we haven’t already been provided with information, we’ll ask the parent or carer to write to us about the child or young person's needs including any early years setting, school or college reports and an assessment from the medical professionals involved in the child or young person's care.
Find out more about the EHC needs assessment process.
If we decide not to carry out an assessment, we'll help the child or young persons parent/ carer find other ways the child or young person can be supported in their early years setting, school or college.
The parent/carer and child or young person will be given the opportunity to meet with us to discuss our decision. There is a right to appeal the decision and to seek independent advice and we will advise on how to do this.
If you have questions about the EHC Needs Assessment process you can contact the BCP SEND Statutory Service team.
SENDiass 4 BCP can also provide information, support and advice.