How to request an EHCP


The first step towards obtaining an EHCP (Education, Health and Care plan) is requesting an EHC needs assessment.  Assessment requests can be made by:


  •   a child’s parent

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

  • a person acting on behalf of a school or post-16 institution  

  • 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


Requests made by parents, carers or young people over the age of 16 are made by writing a letter to the local authority's SEN team.  The letter should set out details of a child's (or young person's) special educational needs and why an EHCP is required to meet those needs.


The Information Advice and Support team (SIAS) are able to help you complete the letter if you wish. The letter is sent to Southwark's SEN team: Special Educational Needs, Southwark Children’s and Adults’ Services, 4th Floor, PO Box 64529, London, SE1P 5LX or you can email the letter to


Including a signed parental consent form (docx, 17kb) with your request will enable the SEN team to start gathering information and reports related to your child's needs.


Once a request is received, the local authority must decide within 6 weeks whether or not to carry out an assessment and inform the parent or young person.  The local authority must take into consideration the following when making their decision:


  • 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 your child’s physical, social and emotional development and health needs


  • If your child 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


If the local authority declines the request for an EHC needs assessment the parent or young person has the right to appeal.  


Details of the process once an assessment has been agreed can be found here.