Sometimes a child or young person needs a more intensive level of specialist help that cannot be met from the resources available and this is the time to consider an EHC needs assessment. Some children may require an EHCP assessment very early on and in these cases the local authority should liaise with the appropriate professionals and start the process without delay. An EHCP brings the child or young person’s Education, Health and Social Care needs into a single, legal document. The child or young person must have special educational needs to be eligible for a plan.
Anyone can contact the SEND Team to ask for advice on the best route to requesting an EHC needs assessment; this will most often be through a multi-agency meeting with those involved, at the educational setting (e.g. school). Following this meeting, either the educational setting or the parents may submit a request.
Professionals are required to use the forms and process set out below and in the Golden Binder for all EHC needs assessment requests. These help professionals to ensure that they are requesting EHC needs assessment at the right time and in partnership with families, enabling Achieving for Children to make timely and evidence-based decisions. If parents or young people choose not to use these forms, they may request EHC needs assessment at any time in writing to the address given lower down this page. Achieving for Children does not accept requests for EHC needs assessment by telephone.
If the young person is over 16, they can ask for an assessment themselves.
Information and guidance about the processes and timelines involved in requesting Needs Assessments is contained in Chapter 4 of The Golden Binder:
Needs Assessment Request Forms
Forms numbered NA1 - 4 below are for requesting an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessment for the first time.
The separate Provision Map - Form PM should be used to support a needs assessment request.
EHC and Consent: Important changes for Settings/Schools/Educational Establishments to note and action
Achieving for Children has updated the wording related to consent and data protection on its EHC needs assessment forms. You are now required to gain signed consent from the parent/carer and/or young person on the stand-alone consent form available with other EHC needs assessment related forms on AfC's website, and submit that along with any request for EHC needs assessment. From 8 January 2021, any request submitted without signed consent cannot be considered as compliant and will not therefore be registered as having been received.
EHC Needs Assessment Request Forms for use by settings/schools/education establishments if they are making the request for an assessment
- NA1 - Needs assessment request form (school or early years) (word)
- NA2 - Needs assessment request form (Further Education or Training provider) (word)
- PM - Provision Map - to be used to support needs assessment requests and/or to support the request for additional provisional during an annual review. (word)
EHC Needs Assessment Request Forms for use by young people (over 16 years) or parent/carers if they are making the request for an assessment
- NA3 - Needs assessment request form (young person) (word)
- NA4 - Needs assessment request form (parent) (word)
Where to submit a EHC Needs Assessment Request
You should send requests with attachments to the following address:
Address: SEND Team, c/o Achieving for Children, Guildhall 2, Kingston, KT1 1EU
We strongly recommend that any referrals sent to the SEND Team are sent via secure email due to the sensitive nature of the information. If you require guidance or support on sending referrals please contact our team directly.
Phone: 020 8547 5872
How we send information to you securely
When we send information to families we use a secure system. We will email unsecurely to let you know we have sent something, and provide an attachment with guidance on how to open the secure messages. If families don't want to use the secure system, then we will send it unsecurely, but only if a family gives us permission to do so.