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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.

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 the child/young person’s special educational needs require provision that needs to be secured via an EHC Plan or whether the child’s/young person’s assessed needs can continue to be met via SEN Support, e.g. the education settings own resources. 

When completing an EHC needs assessment the local authority will gather professional advice as well as views from parent carers, children and young people to determine what needs the child or young person has. This information is used to decide whether an EHCP is needed.

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 and 25 years
  • who live in the borough
  • who meet the criteria for a statutory assessment of SEN as defined in the Children and Families Act 2014 and the SEND Code of Practice.  
  • whose identified special educational needs cannot be met by the child/young person's educational settings own resources under SEN Support or their SEND local offer.

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

Parent/ carer's, young people and family/ friends are encouraged to make a request via their child/ young person's educational setting, however requests can be made to the local authority directly by writing to Lewisham Special Education Needs (SEN) Team.

Once the request has been received the SEN Team will contact the child / young person’s educational setting to request the information detailed above.  

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.

Outcome of EHC needs assessment

If the assessment demonstrates that the child / young person has significant, complex and long-term Special Educational Needs that require provision which is additional and different to that available to the majority of their peers then it is likely that the local authority will issue an EHC plan for the child / young person. The EHC plan will then be reviewed on annually through the Annual Review process.


Special Educational Needs

Kaleidoscope Child Development Centre, 32 Rushey Green, London, SE6 4JF

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

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