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Requesting a Statutory Assessment for an EHCP (SEND Information for parents)

The needs of the majority of children and young people who have special educational needs or disabilities will be met within mainstream education settings (pre-school, school, college etc.) through SEN Support. For more information about SEN Support see the information sheet on SEN Support at

Who can request an assessment?

If, following a period of time at SEN Support stage, your child or young person is still not making the expected progress:

  • you;
  • the young person (if over the age of 16); or
  • the school,

 can ask for an Education, Health and Care needs assessment.

It is always better if the education provider (pre-school, school, college etc.) makes the request as they are more able to ensure all the required information and evidence is contained within the request. However, parents and young people (over 16’s) are also able to make requests themselves directly to the Local Authority.

Preparing to make a request for assessment

If you are considering making the request yourself, it is important to provide the Local Authority with as much possible Information, and evidence, for them to be able to properly consider your request.

Here is the checklist of information required in order for the local authority to properly consider a request for statutory assessment as per section 9.14 of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years [2015].

You do not have to be able to provide all of this information yourself.

This checklist has been included to show you the information that the Local Authority will have to collect from your child’s school or other education setting (Appendix B) before they will be able to make an informed decision.

  • Evidence of the child or young person’s academic attainment (or developmental milestones in younger children) and rate of progress
  • Information about the nature, extent and context of the child or young person’s SEN
  • Evidence of the action already being taken by the early years provider, school or post-16 institution to meet the child or young person’s SEN
  • Evidence that where progress has been made, it has only been as the result of much additional intervention and support over and above that which is usually provided
  • Evidence of the child or young person’s physical, emotional and social development and health needs, drawing on relevant evidence from clinicians and other health professionals and what has been done to meet these by other agencies, and
  • Where a young person is aged over 18, the local authority must consider whether the young person requires additional time, in comparison to the majority of others of the same age who do not have special educational needs, to complete their education or training. Remaining in formal education or training should help young people to achieve education and training outcomes, building on what they have learned before and preparing them for adult life.

Regardless of who makes the request, both:

  • educational providers (pre-school, school, college etc.), and
  • parents/carers/young people,

will need to have submitted their views and evidence before the Local Authority makes a decision.

Therefore, it may be useful for you to consider writing your written contribution and collecting evidence prior to submitting a request yourself or asking the education provider to submit a request.

How to make a request for assessment

There is a parents Request for Assessment (RSA) form and a young person’s Request for Assessment (RSA) form available to download from

Please remember that although you can simply submit a letter of request without supporting evidence, both you and the education provider (pre-school, school, college etc.) will be asked to submit the required information and evidence in advance of the Local Authority being able to make a considered decision.

You may also find it useful to look at both ofthe following documents:

What process are schools expected to follow before requesting an assessment?

Children/young people eligible for an EHC needs assessment will usually have been supported from within the provisions Local Offer and with resources already available to them over a period of time, 2 – 3 assess/plan/review cycles, graduated approach.

Actions taken by college/school/pre-school setting to differentiate the curriculum, provide quality teaching and additional targeted intervention to meet the child/young person’s need will be evident in provision maps, individual targets and evidence of having implemented advice from specialists. There must be clear demonstration of identification of SEN, school based intervention and progress made. Please click on the images below to see them in more detail.

Please visit the Statutory Assessment webpage for more information. Guidance criteria, Request for Statutory Assessment (RSA) application forms and guidance notes, including the checklist of evidence required, is all available on the Statutory Assessment webpage.  

How does the Local Authority decide whether or not carry out an assessment?

The SEND / EHCP Panel will generally only recommend that a full EHC needs assessment should be undertaken if they are satisfied the child/young person’s difficulties are severe, complex and long standing and have not been resolved despite a range of well planned interventions.

What happens next if the Local Authority agree to carry out an assessment?

If as a result the Local Authority (LA) agrees to carry out an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment and the aseessment leads to an EHC plan being issued, the LA will keep in contact with parents throughout the process as shown in the diagram below. Please click on the image below to see it in more detail.