How a parent or young person can make a request for an EHC Plan

The first step to getting an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is to make a request for an Education, Health and Care needs assessment. This is an assessment of a child or young person’s education, health and care needs. 

A request for an EHC (Education, Health and Care) needs assessment can be made by:

  • a child’s parent/carer

  • a young person over the age 16 but under the age of 25.   

  • a person acting on behalf of a school or post 16 institution (SENCO and Inclusion Manager)

  • Anyone else who thinks that an EHC needs assessment may be necessary. For example, foster carers; health and social care professionals; early years practitioners; youth offending teams etc.

You may wish to request an EHC needs assessment if:

  1. A child or young person has, or may have, a special educational need or disability (SEND).

  2. The child or young person requires more support than a mainstream education setting can provide from their own resources.

Parents, carers and young people aged 16 and over are able to submit requests for assessments. This should be sent to Southwark's SEN (Special Educational Needs) team in writing and set out:

  1. Why you believe the child or young person has, or may have, special educational needs.
  2. Why an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is needed to deliver the special educational provision required.

You can download this template letter (docx, 593kb) to help you make a request. 

When submitting your letter you can attach any reports you have in support of your request. For example, school reports, tracking information and any other documents produced by professionals working with your child.  For further advice or assistance, please contact the SIAS team.

Your request and supporting information should be submitted to the Local Authority's Special Educational Needs (SEN) team and emailed to

The SEN team will contact the setting that your child or young person attends. They will request the completion of a settings request form (doc, 105kb). Reports will also be obtained from other professionals involved in assessing or supporting your child. Responses will be considered to decide if this evidences the need to carry out an assessment.

You should receive a decision within six weeks of submitting your request.

  • Evidence of the child or young person's academic progress

  • Information about the nature, extent and context of the child or young person's special educational needs or disabilities

  • Evidence of the action already being taken by the setting to meet their needs

  • Evidence of the child’s or young persons physical, social and emotional development and health needs

  • ​​​If the young person is over 18 years, whether remaining in education or training would help them to progress and help them make a successful transition into adult life

The Local Authority's SEN team will write to you with their decision. This will be within six weeks of receiving your assessment request. The decision will either be to carry out an EHC needs assessment or not at this stage.

If the Local Authority agreed to carry out an EHC needs assessment:

Professionals including an Educational Psychologist will assess the child or young person. Their reports will detail any special educational needs identified. Provision required to meet any identified needs must be specified.

The Local Authority must notify you of its decision to either issue an EHCP or not no later than 16 weeks from your initial request. 

If the Local Authority:

a) decide not to carry out an EHC needs assessment, or

b) following the EHC needs assessment refuse to issue an EHCP

You will have a right of appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. In this situation, it will be necessary to consider mediation before making an appeal.

You will receive information about the appeals process when you receive your decision letter. You can also request advice and support from SIAS .

Click here for more information about the appeals process.

Yes, you can contact the Southwark Information, Advice and Support (SIAS) Team. 

SIAS can support families and young people directly with queries relating to the EHC Plan. 

Telephone: 020 7525 3104


To find out more information about the SIAS Team, click here