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EHC for Parent Carers - Needs Assessment

Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)

If you are concerned about your child’s progress, arrange a meeting with the teacher or SEN Coordinator (SENCO) at your school or setting.

The special educational needs of most children and young people can, and should be, met through SEN Support or High Level SEN Support.

Find out more:  What is SEN Support and What should educational settings do?


Applying for an EHC Needs Assessment

A very small number of children and young people may not make progress despite the interventions put in place at SEN Support.

An Education, Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessment may be needed to find out more about a child or young person's special educational needs and the support they need in order to learn, progress and achieve.

The EHC Needs Assessment will find out if an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan is needed.

The Children and Families Act 2014 states that local authorities are responsible for carrying out an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessment for children and young people aged between 0 to 25 to achieve the best possible outcomes.

At every stage, the views and wishes of the child or young person and their parent and carer will be listened to.


Who can request an EHC Needs Assessment?

Usually your child’s teacher or tutor and a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) will request an EHC Needs Assessment.

They will work with you to gather additional information about your child.

As a parent or young person over 16 years, you can request an EHC Needs Assessment if you feel your child’s needs are not being met through the measures being taken by the school.

It is a good idea to discuss this with the school first.

The EHC Needs Assessment form is available to download with a prompt sheet to help you. 

Self referral - Request form (with prompts included)

Self referral - Request form (same form but blank)

Your views and the views of your child are very important during this process.

All requests for an EHC Needs Assessment are considered by the Trafford Assessment Panel (TAP).

If you need more help to complete the form or for independent advice and support about needs assessments and EHC plans you can contact  Trafford SENDIASS. Tel: 0161 912 3150 email: 

If your request for a Needs Assessment is not successful your child will continue to receive support through the Graduated Approach. 


What happens when an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessment is requested?

When a request for an EHC needs assessment has been submitted a 20 week process starts.

This 20 week process includes three phases:

  • The Request phase (0-6 weeks)
  • The Assessment phase (5-16 weeks)
  • The EHC plan phase (16-20 weeks)

The Trafford Assessment Panel (TAP) and the Moderation and Resource Panel (MAR) considers information and evidence gathered about the child or young person's special educational needs and makes decisions about the request (page 18).

If we decide to start an EHC Needs Assessment, you will be allocated an EHC Coordinator. This is a named person who will support and guide you through the process.

The assessment is not one single test. It is a series of discussions, observations and assessments by you and the professionals involved. It takes about 12 weeks.

All the information is then submitted to the Moderation and Resource (MAR) group. This group looks at all the information submitted and consider if your child has needs that should be met by an EHC Plan.

We must let you know by week 16 if an EHC Plan will be issued or not.

If a plan is issued, the MAR group also considers what support the plan should provide and any funding allocated to provide it.

Read more:

Guide to EHC Needs Assessment Process 

As you go through the EHC process, it is important you know what to expect and when.

Guide to What to Expect and When.



What is an EHC Plan?

If a decision has been made to issue an EHC plan your EHC Coordinator will send you a draft EHC Plan by the end of week 16.  Read more in Education and Health Care Plan



When problems occur

The statutory assessment process can be a confusing time for parents and carers. It can be full of complicated jargon and capital initials. The EHC team in Trafford understands this and we try to support parents in any way we can. You can contact us to ask questions or for a clearer explanation. We will always try to work with you.

Occasionally, problems can occur that may give you cause for concern. If you are unhappy about any aspect of our service, please contact your EHC Coordinator and explain the problem. Most misunderstandings can be easily resolved.

If you have tried this approach and are still unhappy, you can speak to the EHC Manager or the Trafford SEND Information and Support Service (SENDIASS). They will see if there is anything else which can be done to help resolve the situation. You can also find more information on the disagreement resolution, mediation and SEND tribunal page.

Go to Graduated Approach contents page

Find out more about EHC plans