An Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment is an assessment of a child or young person’s education, health and care needs. It’s the first step to getting an Education, Health and Care plan.
Most children and young people with SEND go to a mainstream nursery, school or college and are supported by their staff, resources and funds. Outside specialists sometimes help too. This is called SEN support and for most this support works and they make progress.
But for some children, even though support is in place, it doesn’t seem to be enough or be the right kind of support. Your child may not make progress and start to fall behind other children their age. Or their difficulties in school may get worse not better and behaviour at school or home becomes more challenging.
If that happens, then you or the professionals involved with your child may decide to ask for an EHC needs assessment. This can help to make their special educational needs and the support they need clearer.
The information on this page tells you what happens during a needs assessment and the part parents and carers play. You can also learn about what happens when the local authority decides to issue a plan, or what you can do if they decide your child doesn’t need and assessment or a plan.
If you’re thinking about applying for an assessment, but you’re not sure whether your child needs one, have a look at our webpage Thinking about an EHC needs assessment.
You can download a short guide to EHC needs assessment (PDF) which give you all the main information without the extra detail.