This is an investigation into a child or young person’s educational, health care and social care needs by a local authority (LA).

As parents, you can ask your LA to carry out an education, health and care (EHC) needs assessment for your child at any time. Your child’s school can also make this request. Your LA must agree to this request if:

If your LA agrees to carry out the EHC needs assessment, it must follow a legal process and:

  1. find out from a range of people what: 
  • educational, health and social care needs your child has,
  • help is required to meet those needs, and
  • outcomes are expected to be achieved by your child as a result of receiving that help. 
  1. decide whether it will issue an EHC plan for your child based on the EHC needs assessment evidence. Your LA must tell you whether or not it will issue an EHC plan for your child within a maximum of 16 weeks from the request for assessment. 
  1. issue an EHC plan if it is necessary for special educational provision for your child to be made via an EHC plan. Your LA must issue a final EHC plan no later than 20 weeks from the request for assessment. 

Young people, you are also able to make these requests for yourself, although college can ask on your behalf. Your parents can help you with your request if you would like them to as well.

The process your LA would need to follow is exactly the same as above, except your LA would be finding out your needs and what support you might need. Your LA would also send any decisions, draft EHC plans and a final EHC plan to you, not your parents (although your LA can, if you ask it to). You can find out more about EHC needs assessments on our website.