If you think your child has SEND that can't be met by the help available through a graduated response at their school or educational setting, then you can request a needs assessment for an EHC plan. 

The EHC plan could provide extra support that will allow their needs to be met in their current school or educational setting. 

1. Get help from your school or setting SENCO

Have a discussion with the SENCO at your child or young person's school or educational setting about the different options available to support them. If possible a request for a needs assessment for an EHC plan should be made by the school or setting. It's no quicker to request the assessment yourself as we will still have to get advice from the school or educational setting. 

Or discuss your options with us

Call us if:

  • you'd rather start this process yourself or you're still not sure about your options
  • your child or young person doesn't attend school or an educational setting

You can get impartial support from:

2. School or setting completes the request for a needs assessment form

We'll need information from you and your child's school or educational setting if you're asking for a needs assessment. The school or educational setting will complete the request for a needs assessment for an EHC plan form with your help. They will also ask you to complete the summary of parent or carer views form. You'll be asked information about:

  • you and your child's views, wishes and goals
  • your child's strengths and needs
  • any existing support your child has both at school and at home

You can also speak to your child's school or educational setting or contact the Education and Early Help (SEND) Team to:

  • provide additional information to support the request
  • comment on something that's written in the request

Sign the form once it's complete. If your child is over 16 they'll need to sign it too. 

3. Wait for a decision from us

We'll let you know what happens next once we've received your request for a needs assessment. We will tell you if a needs assessment has been agreed within 6 weeks. 

If a needs assessment is agreed it doesn't always lead to an EHC plan, but it could tell us how the school or setting can meet your child's needs without a plan. The whole EHC process shouldn't take more than 20 weeks. 

Find more information about the needs assessment process for an EHC plan.

Contact the Education and Early Help (SEND) Team in your area

Speak to your local Education and Early Help (SEND) Team.