How to request an EHC needs assessment

Find out who can request an assessment and what forms to fill in

What is an EHC needs assessment

An education, health and care (EHC) needs assessment is how the local authority decides whether a child needs an EHC plan and, if so, what support is in it.

An EHC needs assessment is a legal process. It may result in an your child or young person receiving an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

Who can request an assessment

You can ask your local authority to carry out an assessment for your child. A young person can request an assessment themselves if they’re aged 16 to 25.

If you are not sure who your local authority is, find your local council on the GOV.UK website.

An application can also be made to your local authority by:

  • your child's nursery, school or college
  • from other professionals like your doctor or health visitor

Any request must be with your knowledge and agreement.

How to request an assessment

It can help to speak to the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) at your child’s school and work on the application together.

The local authority will want to see evidence that your child needs more support for their special educational needs than a mainstream education setting can normally provide.

You should explain your child’s difficulties, describe any extra support your child has already received and say why you feel your child needs more help.

It can help to gather:

  • reports and letters from your child’s school or other setting
  • doctor’s reports 
  • their One Plan if you have one
  • any other assessments your child has completed

You will need to fill in an EHC Needs Assessment form:


Alongside this form, you must also complete a Permissions form:

Essex Permissions EHCNA form 2023 (DOCX, 60.81KB)

The form for professionals is on the Essex Infolink website.

Support with the assessment process

There are people who can guide you through the Education, Health and Care Needs assessment process. Speak to: