What is an EHC needs assessment

What is an EHC needs assessment

What an EHC needs assessments is and how it helps us decide if we need to provide support using an EHC plan

Most children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities  will have their needs met by the usual resources available in mainstream  early years settings , schools, college s, or health services.

If your child’s progress isn’t similar to peers with similar needs, we may carry out an EHC needs assessment. This helps us:

  • fully understand their needs 
  • find out if their needs can be met by mainstream providers and services

This is why an EHC assessment will not always lead to an EHC plan. 

The purpose of an assessment is to:

  • consider if there’s evidence that a child or young person has special needs
  • focus on the outcomes we expect a child or young person to achieve across education, health and social care
  • involve all of the services involved with the child or young person, to gather their advice and guidance about how they can best meet identified needs 

Read our Easy Read guide on what is an EHC needs assessment (pdf, 1.2MB) (opens new window) .

When is an education, health and care needs assessment necessary

We carry out EHC assessments for your child when we think that it may be necessary for special provision to be made:

  • in their education setting
  • from health services
  • from social care services

This is likely to be where the special provision for your child needs can’t be provided from within the resources normally available to mainstream:

  • early years providers, such as nurseries
  • schools
  • post 16 institutions, such as colleges
  • healthcare services
  • social care services

If your child’s educational setting, health practitioner or social worker has concerns and thinks an assessment is needed, they’ll give you their reasons. 

The needs assessment shouldn’t be first step in assessing a child or young person’s needs. It’ll normally follow on from planning already done with parents and the child, with help from an education provider, as well as health and social care services.

Who can make a request for an Education, health and care needs assessment.

What happens during an EHC needs assessment.