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Information & advice
An Education Health and Care Needs Assessment is a process that has to happen before a child or young person can get an EHC Plan. In this guide we explain how to get an EHC Needs Assessment and what the process involves.
An Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment is used by a local authority to assess if a child needs an EHC plan.
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 that a mainstream education setting can normally provide.
We have a sample request letter and guide for parents and young people at the bottom of this page.
Once the local authority have 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:
If the local authority decides to issue an EHC plan you will receive a draft plan. Find out more about draft EHC plans here.
The local authority may refuse to issue an EHC plan. This is usually because there is either not enough evidence that an EHC plan is needed or that they feel the child or young person’s needs can be met in other ways, for example through additional support provided by the school. Parents, carers and young people over the age of 16 have the right to appeal this decision and you can find out more about how to do this here.
We have a range of further resources for you to download that may be useful.