Request an Education, Health and Care Plan needs assessment

The SEND service, like many services across the UK is currently experiencing higher than normal staff sickness. This is having an impact on our service delivery. We are reviewing systems to mitigate this issue. We recognise the importance of timely communication. However, we respectfully thank parents and carers for their patience and support at this time.

What is a Education Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment?

An EHC needs assessment is sometimes called a statutory SEN assessment. It is a detailed assessment to assess what a child or young person’s special educational needs are. It will explain the support they may need to learn, progress and achieve. 

It is an opportunity for multiple agencies to define an individual's needs and, if required, draw up an Education Health and Care plan (EHC plan). When it does not, the information gathered can be used to inform SEN support provided by the educational setting. 

We would expect to carry out a statutory Education, Health and Care (EHC) assessment for children and young people who: 

  • have special educational needs (SEN) that are long term, severe and complex
  • have not responded to sustained measures from their setting
  • need SEN provision outside of a setting's capacity

Education Health and Care (EHC) plans

An EHC plan is a legal document for children and young people in education, training or an apprenticeship. These children need more support than is available through SEN Support.

The aspirations, needs and outcomes for a child/young person are central to an EHC plan. 

Cornwall Local Authority consults with the child or young person and their parents. You are at the heart of these processes and inform the decision making (see SEND Code of Practice, p.147).

The purpose of an EHC plan is to: 

  • record the views, interests and aspirations of the child or young person. And their parents.
  • specify the child's or young person's special educational needs. 
  • outline the child's or young person’s health and social care needs. These relate to their SEN and necessary provision to meet their needs 

Who can make an EHC needs assessment request

Requests for assessments are usually made by the educational setting. This happens when the family and all professionals involved agree that extra support is necessary.

Professionals or parents can make a request. The young person in their own right can also make a request once they are 16 years old.

What to expect when making a request

The 20 week process starts when the Statutory SEN service receive a request.

The decision to start an EHC needs assessment is made by the Statutory SEN panel. This is a professional panel.

The Statutory SEN Casework officer informs the young person and/or their parents/carers of the panel’s decision. This is within 6 weeks. If the decision is not to go ahead with an EHC needs assessment, the Statutory SEN Casework officer will explain why. You will also receive a letter. This information is also sent to the child or young person’s main educational setting.

Request a statutory EHC needs assessment

Educational settings

Educational settings can request an EHC statutory assessment using the form below. We also need relevant up to date evidence.

Request an Education Health and Care Needs Assessment

The young person, their parent/carers and other people who know the child or young person

When a young person and/or their parent/carers want to request an assessment, they do so in partnership with an educational setting.  For example through discussion with the setting's Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO).

You can do it without a setting, in some cases. You don't have to complete the form. To make a request, email the Statutory SEN Service. This is You will need to give reasons why they think an EHC Needs Assessment is necessary.

Guidance for requesting a statutory assessment

Visit our Assess, Plan, Do, Review cycle page for information about how to evidence individual's progress at SEN Support.  

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