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Education, Health and Care needs assessment

Education, Health and Care Plan

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Children and young people aged up to 25 who have special educational needs which affect their ability to learn might be able to get an Educational, Health and Care Plan. This is often referred to as an EHC plan or EHCP.

The plan will identify educational, health and social needs and set out the additional support to meet those needs.

Special educational needs that affect a child or young person's ability to learn are:

  • Behaviour or ability to socialise, eg not being able to make friends
  • Reading and writing, eg they have dyslexia
  • Ability to understand things
  • Concentration levels, eg they have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Physical needs or impairments

Before a child can get an Educational, Health and Care Plan, we will need to carry out an assessment.

The assessment will be person centered which means it will focus on the young person.

You can ask us for an assessment if you think your child needs an Education, Health and Care Needs plan.

If you're a young person you can make a request to have an assessment.

To start the process off we'd ask you to complete: 

If a child is under 5 we would ask that our early years request form is completed:


To help us make a decision about whether to carry out an assessment we need information from the nursery or school and up to date reports from any professionals who have worked with the child or young person.

To help you complete the form see the guide to when to request Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment (PDF document).

You can contact our special educational needs service by:


A request can also be made by:

  • Anyone at your child’s school or college
  • A young person can make the request themselves if they're 16- 25
  • A nursery worker

We then have 6 weeks to decide whether or not to carry out an assessment. We'll collect information from the child or young person, the parents or carers and the education setting.

If we decide not to go ahead with an assessment we'll tell you the reasons.

For an overview of the timescales involved for an assessment see the Education, Health and Care needs assessment flowchart (PDF document).

What the assessment involves

The assessment will take around 20 weeks. During the assessment we'll collect information from:

  • The child or young person
  • The parent or carer
  • The education setting they attend
  • An educational psychologist
  • Other health and care professionals that are appropriate

The young person and their parent's views are very important and they will be asked about how they think they could be helped. 

If you're a young person, we speak to you throughout the assessment to make sure we get your views and listen to you.

We use all this information to find out what your needs are and make a decision about what kind of support is needed.

Outcome of the assessment

If we feel that the child's needs can be met within their school, we may issue a Special Educational Needs Support Plan instead.

If the assessment shows your child needs an Education, Health and Care Plan we will create a draft and send you a copy.

You have 15 days to comment or ask for additional time to discuss it with us.

Support during the assessment

You can find out about available support on the special educational needs and disability information advice and support service (SENDIASS) web page.

Come along to the special educational needs drop in service for help and advice for all things related to the assessment and special educational needs.

The below websites also provide support during the assessment:

If you disagree with:

  • Our decision not to carry out an assessment
  • Our decision not to issue an education, health and care needs plan
  • Some parts of the plan - you'll receive a letter explaining which parts of the plan you can appeal against

Go to the if you disagree with our decision page to find out what to do next.

We work with parents to choose a suitable education setting. Parents and the child or young person can request a particular school. 

We'll agree with the request unless:

  • It would be unsuitable for the age, ability, aptitude or SEN of the child or young person
  • The attendance of the child or young person there would be incompatible with the efficient education of others or the efficient use of resources

You can view education settings below: 

Read the Special Educational Needs and Disability Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) guide to what to look for in a school.

You can also read our Naming a school, college or learning placement in an Education, Health and Care Plan (PDF document) to find out more.

A personal budget is the total amount of money allocated to help achieve the targets set out in the Education Health and Care (EHC) plan.

Visit our personal budgets for children and young people with additional needs web page to find out more.

Every child who has an Education, Health and Care Plan will have a review at least every 12 months.

Visit our reviewing, Education, Health and Care Plans web page to find out more.

The Council for Disabled Children have created short animation films which help explain the Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) process and the person centred connection.

To find out more visit the Council for Disabled Children website

For further information:

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