Education, Health and Care needs assessment

What is an EHC needs assessment

This information is about Education, Health and Care needs assessment, which is sometimes called statutory assessment. It covers:

  • children in early years settings
  • children and young people of school age

You might also like to look at information on the Rotherham SEND Local Offer

What is an EHC needs assessment?

An EHC needs assessment is a detailed look at the special educational needs (SEN) of a child or young person and the support he or she may need in order to learn.

Local authorities are responsible for carrying out EHC needs assessments under the Children and Families Act 2014.

The needs assessment brings together information about:

  • what your child can and cannot do
  • the special help they need

It includes information from:

  • you
  • your child
  • the early years’ setting or school
  • other professionals who work with or support your child

The assessment is to see if your child needs an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC plan).

When is an EHC needs assessment necessary?

The school or early years setting can often give your child help through SEN support. This means that the school makes additional or different provision from that provided to most other pupils to meet their needs. Sometimes other professionals will give advice or support to help your child learn.

Some children need more help than the school can provide. If your child does not make progress despite everything the school has tried, an EHC needs assessment might be the next step.

The SEND Code of Practice says:

In considering whether an EHC needs assessment is necessary, the local authority should consider whether there is evidence that despite the early years provider, school or post-16 institution having taken relevant and purposeful action to identify, assess and meet the special educational needs of the child or young person, the child or young person has not made expected progress. (9.14)

The local authority will look at:

  • your child’s attainments and rate of progress
  • their special educational needs
  • what has already been done
  • the difference that support has made
  • your child’s physical, emotional and social development and health needs.

The law states that if your child has or may have special needs and may need provision to be made via an EHC plan, the local authority must conduct an EHC needs assessment. If you think your child needs more help than the school can provide, you can ask for an assessment.

The SEND Code of Practice says:

A local authority must conduct an assessment of education, health and care needs when it considers that it may be necessary for special educational provision to be made for the child or young person in accordance with an EHC plan. (9.3)

Some children and young people will have needs that clearly require an EHC needs assessment and EHC plan. Immediately the local authority is aware that this is the case it must start the process without delay.

You can find out more about the criteria that local authorities should follow in the SEND Code of Practice sections 9.3 and 9.14 to 9.16.

Who can ask for an EHC needs assessment?

  • Parents – by writing to the local authority
  • a young person over the age of 16 but under the age of 25
  • the early years setting or school, but only after talking with you first.

It is always a good idea to talk to the school or early years setting before asking for an EHC needs assessment.

Rotherham SENDIASS can help you make your request.

Other people, such as your doctor or a health visitor, can tell the local authority that they think your child needs an assessment.