Education, Health and Care Needs Assessments and Plans

Information for families

What is an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment?

An Education, Health and Care needs assessment (EHCNA) is an assessment of a child or young person’s education, health and care needs. It is the first step to getting an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC plan). An EHC plan can result in additional support and funding for a child or young person with special educational needs (SEN).

You can only ask for an EHCNA if a child or young person has, or may have, SEN – it does not apply where there are only health or social care needs.

An Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment (EHCNA) takes a detailed look at any educational, health and care needs, to help find any support a child or young person might need to help them learn.

The assessment looks at the things the child or young person can do, the things they struggle with or can’t do, and any special help they need.

An EHCNA will usually include a Getting to know you meeting and brings the views of many different people together: 

  • From the child or young person
  • Parents
  • Nursery, school or college
  • Any professionals who are working with the family

The assessment is used to find out whether the child or young person needs an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

Why would someone need to have an EHCNA?

Early years settings, schools and colleges offer special educational needs (SEN) support to children and young people who need some support but sometimes, a child or young person might need more help than the school alone can provide. 

So when a child or young person doesn’t make progress after their school has offered all the SEN support it can, an EHCNA might be the next step.

How do you decide whether to carry out an EHCNA?

Rutland County Council will look at:

  • The child or young person's skills, abilities and rate of progress
  • Any special educational need
  • The kinds of support the school or college has provided
  • What difference any of the support has made 
  • The child or young person's physical, emotional, social development and health needs

Can parents and carers ask for an EHCNA?

Yes – An EHCNA can be requested by a child or young person’s school or their parents at any time. In the case of a young person (over 16 and up to 25), they can also make the request themselves. If the young person doesn’t feel able to do it themselves then their parent or carer can make the request on their behalf.

Advice for parents and carers

It is always key to talk to your child’s early years setting, school or college before asking for an EHCNA.

Please always speak to your child's school or setting in the first instance, however if you need further information, please contact the SEND service at Rutland County Council via:send@rutland.gov.uk or 01572 758280.

You can also contact SENDIASS Rutland for independent support and advice.

'I would just like to write and convey the great service I have received on my child’s EHCP process.  Conducted through COVID, the LA were prompt and efficient, and when things could not be done face to face we completed the process in other ways.  I wanted to thank the SEND Department for their assistance.  My child is now getting the help that she so needed and we can see some changes already.'

Feedback from a parent.


Parental Request for EHCNA Form

Information sharing and consent permission form

Annual Review guidance

EHCP explained for young people - this YouTube clip was chosen by Rutland Disabled Youth Forum 

RIS - Local Offer - EHCP video

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