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Education, health and care (EHC) needs assessment requests

We are continuing to accept new requests for EHC needs assessments  

Wherever possible we will try ensure that the current situation with Covid-19 does not unduly delay our decision making or reduce quality. We will continue to request reports from professionals but we recognise that with school closures and the necessary safety precautions about social distancing there may be some delay and/or changes to how this advice and information is produced. We have introduced a range of alternative approaches through video/telephone consultations where possible and will use existing information about children and their special educational needs. Where the Covid-19 situation is impacting on our ability to progress your particular case, we will keep in touch with you to let you know what is happening.

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 education setting.

Who can request an EHC needs assessment?

  • A person acting on behalf of a school or educational setting. For example, a teacher, or college staff. A request should be done with 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 16-24) who is unable to make the referral independently or with support.
  • Young people with SEND (aged 16-24) who are able to 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 school. 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 educational settings to provide for children with SEND. Speak to the school if you do not think this is happening
  4. Check that the child’s educational setting is using the graduated approach to SEN Support. This is commonly known as ‘assess, plan, do, review’. The setting should have been through at least two cycles of the process. Are you aware what the outcomes are, and have been successful? They school should also be trying new strategies to support the child, with clear targets and outcomes
  5. Check that the child’s setting has evidence of their use of the graduated approach to SEN Support. For example, a SEN Support plan is in place, 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 key worker 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 educational setting, ask the SENCo or key worker if you could meet with the link EHCP coordinator. 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 with KIDS
  10. Speak to the educational setting 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 an education setting 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 school can supply this evidence, which will help us make an informed decision on whether we should carry out a needs assessment. 

Making a request 

Educational setting or professionals

Parent carers or young people with SEND age 16-25

Post the request to:

Norfolk County Council - SEN Operational Support Team

Professional Development Centre - Room 16

144 Woodside Road, Norwich, NR7 9QL

or upload the request online. You need to upload the completed EHC needs assessment request form, Views and Wishes form and information sharing consent form.

Reviewing the evidence

We will review evidence within six weeks. We will:

  • Consider the information submitted
  • Request advice and information from the educational setting on the use of the graduated approach 
  • Look at interventions from health, social care 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.

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