Lewisham Council Homepage Skip navigation

Education, health and care needs assessment

If your child has special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), they may require an education, health and care (EHC) needs assessment.
Lewisham is in National lockdown: Stay at home restrictions

Find out about the COVID-19 restrictions.

What is an EHC needs assessment?

An EHC needs assessment may be necessary in order for special educational provision to be made for a child or young person in accordance with their EHC plan. This is likely to be where the special educational provision required to meet the child or young person's needs cannot reasonably be provided from the early years providers, schools or post 16 institutions local offer.

If the decision is to conduct an EHC needs assessment, an allocated EHC coordinator will undertake the assessment in line with the special educational needs and disabilities code of practice.

An EHC needs assessment will determine whether an EHC plan should be issued. The information gathered through this assessment process may indicate ways in which the early years provider, school or post 16 institutions can meet your child needs without an EHC plan.

Who can request an EHC needs assessment?

The following people can request an EHC needs assessment for a child/young person aged between 0–25 years of age:

  • the parent/carer
  • a young person aged over the age of 16 but under the age of 25 years
  • a child/young person aged 10–18 years in a youth custodial institution
  • a person acting on behalf of a school or post 16 institution (this should ideally be with the knowledge and agreement of the parent or young person where possible)
  • professionals or family/friends (this should be done with the knowledge and agreement of the child's parent or the young person).

Who will we consider for an EHC needs assessment?

Children and young people:

  • who are aged between 0–25 years
  • who live in the borough
  • who meet the criteria for a statutory assessment of SEN as defined by the 1996 Education Act, and
  • whose identified needs cannot be met by educational settings local offer.

How can a request be made for an EHC needs assessment?

Prior to a professional submitting a request they must hold a 'team around the child/ young person' meeting with the parent, child/ young person and other relevant professionals to:

  • gather information on the needs of the child/ young person
  • get the views of the family and the child/ young person
  • complete the 'my world' profile of the child/ young person
  • discuss how the education setting is meeting the child's needs from their local offer and establish why the child's needs cannot be met
  • complete a formal EHC needs assessment referral request form
  • obtain signed consent from the parent/ young person.

Parent/ young people and family/ friends are encouraged to make a request via their child/ young person's educational setting in order to support the request. However, they can make requests directly in writing to the our Children with Complex Needs Service, Special Education Needs Team.

All EHC needs assessment request must be sent to our Children with Complex Needs Service, Special Education Needs Team, contact details are below.

Decision on whether to conduct an EHC needs  assessment

The decision on whether to conduct an EHC needs assessment will be made at our special educational needs multi agency panel. The panel decision will be based on the information and evidence gathered from the request information. The decision will be made in line with the special educational needs and disabilities code of practice. The decision will be communicated to the parent/ young person and the referrer within 6 weeks of receiving the request.

EHC needs assessment process

If the decision is to conduct an EHC needs assessment, an allocated EHC co-ordinator will undertake the assessment in line with the special educational needs and disabilities code of practice.


Special Educational Needs

Kaleidoscope Child Development Centre, 32 Rushey Green, London, SE6 4JF
Telephone: 020 3049 1475
Email: sen@lewisham.gov.uk

Services for children and young people with SEND

This page is part of the 'local offer' for children and young people with special educational needs

Explore the local offer