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Requesting an EHC Assessment

This is a quote from the Department for Education:

 “The majority of children and young people with SEN or disabilities will have their needs met within local mainstream early years settings, schools or colleges […]. Some children and young people may require an EHC needs assessment in order for the local authority to decide whether it is necessary for it to make provision in accordance with an EHC plan."

DfE and DH (2015) SEN and disability code of practice: 0-25 years, paragraph 9.1

When should I request an Education Health Care (EHC) needs assessment?   

  • A request for an EHC needs assessment should be made to the Tri-Borough SEN panel (Local Authority), providing that your child/young person an assessment has not been agreed and carried out in the past 12 months:

  • When a child has been receiving support but still is not making improvement.

  • If a child has severe or complex needs and is likely to require specialist support and provision/placement, then an assessment should be requested to identify her/him special educational needs.

  • The parents or young person believe that the help provided by their setting is not enough

  • Whenever a child or young person has a learning difficulty or a disability which is holding them back at school or college; and

  • The parents of the child or the young person (or the young person themselves) believe that the school or college is not able to provide the help and support which is needed.

Who can request an EHC Assessment?

  • The child's (or in some instances the young person's) parent

  • The young person (if over 16 years of age but under 25)

  • The educational setting (ideally the school should have the agreement of the young person or parent where possible)

  • Any one else such as doctors, health visitors, social care professionals or a family friend can bring the child to the attention of the local authority if they think an assessment might be necessary where there are specific concerns

  • Children and Young people under the age of 19 in youth custody also have the right to request for an assessment for an EHC Plan. Their parents or professionals working with them can also make request to their home local authority for an assessment whilst they are detained

When a young person is 16 or over and has good level of understanding to make their own choices and decisions; this is commonly referred as having the mental capacity. They should be encouraged and supported to make the EHC assessment request themselves.

If the parent or young person wishes to send the request for an EHC assessment themselves, it is advisable to work closely with the educational setting to gather information and evidence to support their request where possible.

Sometimes the education setting may request for an EHC needs assessment on your behalf if they believe your child or the young person needs one.

What do I need to include in the EHC Assessment Request? 

To submit an EHC Assessment Request, you will need to include information and description about the child or young person's broad areas of learning.

The 3 broad areas of  

  • cognition and learning:

  • communication and interaction:

  • social and emotional:

 The following information/documentation should be included with your request: (you can find this in the SEND Code of Practice 2015 on page 143)

  • Your request for EHC needs assessment (letter/form as seen below)

  • Any relevant medical or educational report (such as medical/diagnosis letter, letter from any doctors or specialists, such educational psychologist, speech therapist, occupational therapist reports, etc. link to who’s who/glossary?

  • Any letter or report from the child-minder or from the nursery, school or educational setting highlighting the child’s educational needs and how the setting is currently meeting those needs

Where can I find the EHC Needs Assessment request form?

You can find the form for a parent/carer request for EHC needs assessment here:

EHCNA parental request form


Who should I write to?

Requests for an EHC Assessment should be sent to:

Tri-Borough SEN Services, 2nd Floor, Green Zone, The Town Hall, Hornton Street, London W8 7NX  

Telephone: 020 7361 3311               


What considerations will the local authority take into account when deciding whether or not to provide an EHC needs assessment?


This information comes from the SEND Code of Practice chapter 9.14:

'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. To inform their decision the local authority will need to take into account a wide range of evidence, and should pay particular attention to:

  • evidence of the child or young person’s academic attainment (or developmental milestones in younger children) and rate of progress 

  • information about the nature, extent and context of the child or young person’s SEN

  • evidence of the action already being taken by the early years provider, school or post-16 institution to meet the child or young person’s SEN

  • evidence that where progress has been made, it has only been as the result of much additional intervention and support over and above that which is usually provided 

  • evidence of the child or young person’s physical, emotional and social development and health needs, drawing on relevant evidence from clinicians and other health professionals and what has been done to meet these by other agencies, and 

  • where a young person is aged over 18, the local authority must consider whether the young person requires additional time, in comparison to the majority of others of the same age who do not have special educational needs, to complete their education or training. Remaining in formal education or training should help young people to achieve education and training outcomes, building on what they have learned before and preparing them for adult life.'


When should I hear from the SEN Panel?

The Local authority has up to 6 weeks to make a decision whether or not to carry out an EHC Needs assessment.

The LA will write to you to let you know that they received your request and they will require you to sign a consent form and proof of address.  Please respond to them as quickly as possible to avoid delays.

Westminster Information Advice and Support Service

Please click on this link to send us an email if you need information, advice or support:  contact us  or you can phone us on 020 7641 5355.