Special educational needs assessment

Some children and young people may need extra support to make progress in their learning. This is usually if their school or setting's normal range of teaching doesn't meet their certain needs.

If your child is struggling with their learning, their setting will arrange early extra support to help them make progress. We call this special education needs (SEN) support. Your child will be offered a level of support that suits their needs and this is called a graduated response. The setting will track their progress towards outcomes set by either external professionals and/or themselves.

If your child or young person continues to struggle, the setting will ask us to assess your child to determine what extra help is needed. This is called a needs assessment and assessments are carried out across education, health and care as needed. 

The setting has a SEN budget which it can use to provide extra support, up to £6,000, for your child or young person.

Does your child need an education, health and care (EHC) needs assessment?

Do you feel that your child needs extra help in school, or in an early years setting?

Its a good idea to talk to your child’s teacher or the school's special educational needs coordinator (SENCO). Every early years setting and school will have a SENCO, and if you use a childminder they would be the SENCO.

The school or setting will start with some informal support to see if it helps. In Barnsley, we call this SEN support. This could mean different teaching methods or extra help within the classroom. Find out more about SEN Support. If this support doesn't seem enough, and you feel that your child isn't making progress, you or the professional can request an assessment for an EHC Plan.

How to apply for assessment

The following people can ask for an education, health and care needs assessment of a child/young person:

  • parents, carers, young person (aged 18 and over)
  • education settings
  • professionals who are already involved in supporting the child/young person

Apply for an assessment on the online EHC hub.

If you do not have log on details, click on ‘request a needs assessment’ under the ‘log on’ button.  This will allow you to fill in the online form.  Please ensure that you have the following information ready before commencing:

  • Young person's details including date of birth and NHS number
  • Detail of special education need
  • Address of any education setting registered at

If you need any help to complete form(s), you can contact an independent supporter.

You can also contact the EHC team on (01226) 773966 or email us at ehcteam@barnsley.gov.uk.

What happens during an assessment

The EHC needs assessment gives us a chance to build up a complete picture of the child/young person’s special education needs.  It helps use so we can decide how best to support them.

When we receive a request to carry out an EHC needs assessment we will manage this on the EHC online Hub.  The young person, legal guardian, education setting and professionals will receive updates.  These will let them know that they can add details needed or to allow them access to the case as appropriate. 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, the hub will notify the young person, legal guardian, education setting and professionals.  This is so that they can add details to the case.  An educational psychologist will also be asked to provide specific advice about the child/young person’s special education 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 had a psychological assessment before we may ask the educational psychologist to see them.

For all EHC assessments we’ll invite a health professional to provide medical advice. 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 assessment.

When we've collected all relevant advice, we will decide whether or not an EHC plan is required. 

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 EHC Team on (01226) 773966 or email ehcteam@barnsley.gov.uk