Some children may need extra support to make progress in their learning if their school or setting's normal range of teaching doesn't meet their particular needs.
If your child's struggling with their learning, their setting will arrange early additional support to help them achieve. We call this special educational needs (SEN) support. Your child will be offered a level of support that suits their needs.
If your child continues to struggle the setting will ask us to assess your child to determine what more can be done to help them. This assessment is called an education, health and care assessment.
The setting has a SEN budget which it can use to provide extra support, up to £6,000, for your child.
Does your child need an education, health and care (EHC) needs assessment?
If you believe your child has special educational needs that aren’t being met by SEN support, or you feel their needs are so substantial that a mainstream setting can’t meet them, you can ask for an assessment. Your child’s setting can also ask us to assess your child.
If your child is under five and has complex needs you can still ask for an assessment, even if your child isn't in a school.
How to apply for assessment
The following people can ask for an education, health and care needs assessment of a child/young person, using the following forms:
- parents, carers, young person (aged 18 and over) – EHCNA 1 Parent, Carer and Young Person Application
- educational settings – EHCNA 2 Education Application
- professionals who are already involved in supporting the child/young person – EHCNA 3 Health and Professionals Application
If you need any help to complete the appropriate form, you can contact an independent supporter.
Alternatively you can contact the SEN EHC team on (01226) 773966 or email us.
What happens during an assessment
The education, health and care needs assessment gives us a chance to build up a complete picture of the child/young person’s special educational needs so that we can decide how best to support them.
When we receive a request to carry out an EHC needs assessment we'll write to you and to others involved with the child/young person to let you and them know and to ask for any relevant advice to be shared with us. We'll consider this advice when deciding whether or not the child/young person needs an EHC needs assessment.
If an EHC needs assessment is required, we'll again write to any professionals involved with the child/young person to ask for any new advice which they have to share with us. An educational psychologist will also be asked to provide specific advice about the child/young person’s special educational needs. The advice which they provide may be based on their earlier work with the child/young person. If the child/young person has not previously had a psychological assessment we may ask the educational psychologist to see them.
For all EHC assessments we’ll invite a health professional to provide medical advice and we may offer you an appointment with a paediatrician or doctor. We’ll also ask social care services for advice.
A parent/carer can accompany the child/young person to any interview or examination that forms part of the education health and care needs assessment.
When we've collected all relevant advice, we will decide whether or not an EHC plan is required. We will then invite you to a meeting to either help put a draft plan together or to provide information about the recommendations for support which the local authority’s panel have made.
If you need more information about the EHC needs assessment process you can contact an independent supporter using this information.
Alternatively, you can contact the SEN EHC team.