Education, health and care needs assessments
If you have got to the point of considering an EHCNA this could mean that your child requires additional support that is beyond what a typical mainstream school can provide. Any school, parent/carer or young person (aged over 16-25 years) can make a request to the local authority to ask that they conduct an EHCNA (Children and Families Act, 2014). The request is often completed jointly by the school and family.
Following review of the request, which is discussed at a multi-agency Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) panel, the local authority can agree that a child or young person requires an EHCNA. At this stage an Educational Psychologist (EP) will be formally asked to conduct a psychological assessment.
What will a psychological assessment look like?
These are some general principles of good EP practice. All EPs will:
- Act in the best interests of children and young people. The child or young person’s views and needs are at the centre of the process;
- Practise in a non-discriminatory manner;
- Apply current thinking and knowledge of educational psychology;
- Work in partnership, where appropriate, with children and young people, parents/carers and other practitioners. Where possible the aim should be for co-production of psychological advice with children and their families’ views fairly represented;
- The EP will agree outcomes for the child with their family and school and make recommendations for supporting the child based on their assessment.
- Ensure effective communication with families and other practitioners. Reports should use clear, concise language, sharing psychological perspectives in ways that can be understood by all;
- Exercise a duty of care to all those with whom they work.
During the assessment, the EP will engage with the child and the parent/carer(s) ensuring that they are able to participate in decisions. We believe that every child is unique and that means that every assessment will be unique. The EP will decide what assessment tools they are going to use based on what they feel is going to help them to best understand the young person, their needs and their strengths.
The psychological assessment will explore key areas of the child’s development. In Lewisham, EPs explore a young person’s development in:
- Learning and cognition
- Social, emotional and mental health.
At the end of the assessment, the EP will share their written psychological advice with parent/carers before submitting their assessment to Lewisham Local Authority.
Find out more about the EHCNA process on our website.