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Get an EHC needs assessment

What is an education, health and care (EHC) needs assessment?

If your child has complex special educational needs that can't be met by a mainstream school or nursery, you can ask for an education, health and care (EHC) assessment.

An EHC assessment is a detailed investigation to find out exactly what your child's special educational needs are. This is only necessary if a school or setting can't provide this help.

EHC plans bring together your child’s education, health and social care needs into a single, legal document. The document sets out what extra support they will get to meet those needs.

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The assessment process


  • Children, young people and their families at the centre of the process
  • Use of Person Centred and Key working approaches
  • Plans focused on outcomes (short and long term) with detailed and specific provision requirements
  • More streamlined but time invested in joint agreement on key outcomes


Caption: EHC needs assessment process
Stage Events Timeline
  1. Request received by Local Authority
  2. Additional Educational Needs Panel consider request
  3. Assessment agreed OR non-statutory support recommended
6 weeks
  1. Assessment planning meeting held with family and all professionals
  2. New/further assessment work completed
6 weeks


  1. Support planning meeting held: identification of outcomes
  2. Proposed EHC plan written
  3. Proposed plan delivered to parents
  4. Plan finalised, shared & implemented
8 weeks

If no plan is issued, you will be informed within 16 weeks of your request, and advised how the local offer can meet your needs.

Request an assessment

To request an assessment call us on (0191) 643 8684.

Information, advice and support (SENDIASS)

To get impartial and confidential advice, contact SENDIASS.

Telephone: (0191) 643 8313 | (0191) 643 8317

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