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Making a request for an assessment

Some children and young people with special educational needs may need more support than a mainstream education setting (schools, colleges, nurseries) can offer from their special educational needs (SEN) support.

If your child receives SEN support and has not made made the progress expected in the four broad areas of need set out in the SEND Inclusion Guidance then they may require an Educational, Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessment to work out how much help they need. These broad areas of need ensure consideration is given to all aspects of a child or young person’s learning, including their social and emotional development.

Paragraph 9.14 of the SEND Code of Practice states that

the local authority should consider whether there is evidence that despite the early years provider, school or post-16 institution having taken relevant and purposeful action to identify, assess and meet the special educational needs of the child or young person, the child or young person has not made expected progress

The following people can make a formal request to the local authority for an EHC needs assessment:

  • A parent or carer
  • A young person if they are over 16
  • An educational setting
  • A health or care professional

This process is set out in detail in Chapter 9 of the SEND Code of Practice.

A summary can be found in Special educational needs and disability: a guide for parents and carers (PDF, 567 KB). 

If your child’s school or setting feels that an EHC Needs Assessment is required, they will discuss this with you and request your permission to complete the application. This will be shared with you.

If you feel that your child would benefit from an EHC Needs Assessment, we suggest that you talk to your child’s educational setting and if they agree they can make a request for EHC needs assessment.

The educational setting will make sure all the relevant information is provided to the local authority to consider their request for EHC needs assessment.

If the educational setting is making the request, they will ask you to complete a family conversation record (.docx, 185 KB). You can get support from your child’s setting or another professional if needed.

The family conversation record (.docx, 185 KB) helps to make sure you include:

  • Your child’s needs
  • Your child’s strengths
  • The impact on your family
  • Any support your child already has

Alternatively, you can make the request yourself. Consider the evidence you will need to include.

You should explain your child’s needs and describe any extra support your child already receives. If they receive other support than that provided by their educational setting, make sure you let them know. Include any other professional reports and assessments you have. If you are making the request for assessment yourself, you can complete the family conversation as part of your request.

The local authority will ask your child or young person’s educational setting to provide details of the support they provide as part of the process to decide if an EHC needs assessment is required. This may include:

Warwickshire’s guidance for EHC needs assessment criteria and referral process (SEN03) (PDF, 578 KB).

EHC needs assessment and EHC plan process (PDF, 519 KB).

The completed request should be sent to the SENDAR team at Warwickshire County Council.

Warwickshire SEND Information, Advice and Support (SENDIAS) Service offers free confidential, independent, impartial advice and support to parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). This service is also offered directly to young people who are aged 16 or over.

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