Education, health and care (EHC) needs assessment requests

New requests for EHC needs assessments

An EHC plan is for under 25s with complex special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Most children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) will have their needs met with SEN Support in a mainstream place of learning.

Impact of Covid-19

We will try ensure that the current situation with Covid-19 does not delay our decision-making or reduce quality. We continue to request reports from professionals but the necessary social distancing precautions may delay and/or change how advice and information is produced. We have introduced video/telephone consultations where possible and will use existing information about children and their special educational needs. If the Covid-19 situation impacts the progression of your case, we will let you know what is happening.

Who can request an EHC needs assessment?

  • A person acting on behalf of a place of learning. For example, a teacher, or college staff. A request should have the knowledge and agreement of the parent or young person (where possible)
  • A professional or organisation. For example, a health and social care professional, a foster carer, early years practitioner, the youth offending team or probation service. Again, a request should be done with the knowledge and agreement of the parent or the young person (where possible)
  • Parent carers or a family member, for a child aged 0-16 and for a young person with SEND (aged 16-25) who cannot make the referral independently or with support
  • Young people with SEND (aged 16-25) who can make the request independently or with support

Checklist of actions to take before making an EHC needs assessment request 

  1. Read the SEN information report for the child's place of learning. This should be published on their website. It will give information about what they offer and the process to follow if you have concerns
  2. Check that the child is receiving SEN Support
  3. Read about the special educational provision we expect places of learning to provide for children with SEND. Speak to the place of learning if you do not think this is happening
  4. Check that the child’s place of learning is using the graduated approach to SEN Support. This is commonly known as ‘assess, plan, do, review’. The place of learning should have been through at least two cycles of the process. Are you aware what the outcomes are, and have been successful? The place of learning should also be trying new strategies to support the child, with clear targets and outcomes
  5. Check that the child’s place of learning has evidence of their use of the graduated approach to SEN Support. For example, a SEN Support plan is in place and it is being reviewed and recorded, or if the child has seen an educational psychologist, there is a report with ideas how the child can be supported
  6. Make sure you have had regular meetings with the child’s keyworker or teacher
  7. Speak to Norfolk SEND Partnership if you need more information, advice and support
  8. If you do not agree with the existing SEN Support that has been put in place at the child’s place of learning, ask the SENCO or keyworker if you could meet with them. You can speak to them and discuss whether everything possible is being done to support the child
  9. If you are still unhappy with the SEN Support the child is receiving, try disagreement resolution
  10. Speak to the place of learning about your concerns and let them know you want to request a needs assessment 

Parent carers please note

Although a parent carer or young person with SEND can request an EHC needs assessment, where possible it is better that the place of learning makes the request. This is because:
  • They will have evidence of the SEN Support that has been put in place 
  • We need to check they have used the graduated approach to SEN Support

The place of learning can supply this evidence, which will help us make an informed decision on whether we should carry out a needs assessment. 

Making a request 

Places of learning or professionals

Schools or professionals involved with the child should complete:

INDES/IPSEF EHC needs assessment form professionals

Early Years providers

Early years providers should complete:

EHC needs assessment form Early Years

All places of learning and other professionals should also gather evidence that shows the graduated SEN Support that has already been put in place.

Parent carers 

Please ensure you have read our checklist and our information on SEN Support first. Parent carers should complete: 

EHC needs assessment form parent carers

Young people with SEND aged 16-25

Please ensure you have read our checklist and our information on SEN Support first. Young people with SEND should complete:

EHC needs assessment form young people

Parent carers and young people will also need to prepare supporting information to use as evidence.

How to submit

Upload the request online

You need to upload:

Reviewing the evidence

We will review the evidence within six weeks. We will:

  • Consider the information submitted
  • Request advice and information from the place of learning on the use of the graduated approach to SEN Support 
  • Look at interventions from health services, social care services and other professionals supporting the child

Decision making

If we are of the opinion that:

  • The child or young person has or may have special educational needs, that cannot be met with SEN Support and resources that are ordinarily available to mainstream schools
  • The child or young person may need additional specialist help to meet their needs 

we will do an EHC needs assessment. 

The EHC needs assessment and plan timeline.

Some of the documents available from this web page may not be accessible for some users. To request any of them in an alternative format, please email