Accessibility Statement

How to apply for an EHC Needs Assessment (EHCNA)

Educational settings are responsible for providing support for children with SEND, if the educational setting has gradually increased the amount of support being put in place and carrying out regular reviews to see if progress is being made and can demonstrate that further support is needed – this is called the graduated approach (See page about Support in Schools) then they, the parent/carer or the young person if over 16 can apply for an EHCP. 

To speak with someone about EHCP's please call SENDACT on 01484 456888 or email 

The Local Offer has a service called the Inclusion Support Offer (ISO) which provides support for all educational settings from 0-25 to help to make sure they are doing everything they can to support children with SEND, without necessarily looking at additional funding or making referrals to assessed services. 

You can find more information about this service on our ISO information page.   This service is for schools use only, they do not take calls from parents or carers, but you can mention it to your child's educational setting and ask them to get in touch.

The parent/carer or young person’s application form can be found at the bottom of this page. 

A request for an EHC (Education, Health and Care) assessment needs to show that the educational setting has identified your child’s needs and then provided support which is relevant to their needs and which has a clear outcome, they also need to demonstrate that despite this support the young person has not made expected progress

The request needs to include things like a reviewed I-APDR, My Support Planlearning levels, what progress has been, other professionals reports and any other information which is about your child’s additional or special needs.  The following flow chart may help explain the process in an easier way. 

The request for assessment needs to be sent to the special needs department in the council which is called SENDACT (Special needs & disabilities assessment & commissioning team). As soon as the application is received, a letter will be sent to you to say they have received the request.

The request will then be looked at by a Decision to Assess group (see below) who will make a decision to carry out an EHC assessment or not, this decision will be made and we will inform whomever applied for the assessment within 6 weeks of SENDACT first receiving your request for assessment.

The parent/carer & young persons EHCNA (Education, Health & Care Needs Assessment) request form v2a is avaialable here (downloads Word document)

Once you have completed the form it can be sent via post to:

Kirklees Council
Education, Safeguarding and Inclusion SEND Assessment & Commissioning Team
PO Box 1720

Tel: 01484 456888

Or via email to 

The Decision to Assess group is made up of a range of professionals from schools, educational psychology, health, social care and SENDACT.  They look at the information that has been submitted for a child or young person and decide whether an EHC assessment needs to be carried out or whether the school should continue to provide support through the graduated approach. 

When deciding whether or not to carry out an EHC assessment, the Decision to Assess group will consider two things (this is called the Legal Test): 

  1. Whether the information provided shows that the child or young person has or may have special educational needs 
  2. Whether the information provided shows that it may be necessary for additional support to be provided for the child or young person above what would be normally available in school.   

They will also consider the following: 

  • Has the educational setting identified the young person’s needs and then provided support which is relevant to these needs and which has a clear outcome? 
  • Have learning levels and rates of progress been provided? 
  • Have they included relevant reports from other professionals? 

If they agree that carry out an EHC assessment they will say which professionals need to carry out an assessment of the child or young person, this is usually an Educational Psychologist but can also include Speech and Language Therapists (SALT) or other health colleagues.  They can also ask Social Care to carry out an assessment if it is thought that they need to. 

This assessment will look at all of the young persons additional needs and what support they need in order to make progress, these assessments can sometimes identify specific learning needs if these have not been identified yet. 

If it is agreed to carry out an EHC needs assessment, this does not guarantee that an EHCP will be issued.  In some cases, an EHC assessment is agreed but the assessment shows that the child or young person does not need the additional support (and funding) that an EHCP brings.  It may be that the assessment shows that the child or young person can be supported by a school or setting without additional funding.

This is an agreement to assess the child or young person and if this reveals that they do need additional support from and EHCP, then a plan will be issued.

If they feel that an assessment is not to be carried out at this time then they will clearly state the reasons why in a letter they will send to you. 

SENDACT will let you know what their decision is within 6 weeks of the application being sent in. 

How do I get to know the outcome of Decision to Assess group? 

Everything that is discussed at the Decision to Assess group is written down (called minutes) and the individual decisions are sent out around a week after the group has taken place stating whether the Decision to Assess group has agreed to the request for an EHC assessment or not.  The decision will always be sent out in writing to you however we are always happy to discuss the decision with you over the phone. 

The process for getting an EHCP takes 20 weeks, the process is as follows:

Week 0-1 New Request

  • Request received from educational setting, parent/carer or young person
  • SENDACT allocate a Case Officer
  • SENDACT check the information & complete a GDPR check
  • SENDACT Schedule the request for a decision making meeting

Week 2-3 Decision

  • Request for Assessment agenda created
  • Decision to Assess group meeting
  • Decisions made shared with all in SENDACT
  • Decision & Advice letters and parent/carer/young person phone calls (from allocated Case Officer)
  • Decision Not to Assess Mediation (if parent/carer/young person does not agree)

Week 3-4 Initial Co-production & Advice

  • Co-production Booklet (Known Information) (Case Officer)
  • Co-production call with parent (Known information, contact check and additional advice)
    (Case Officer)
  • Request any additional advice (Case Officer / Business Support Officer)
  • Book Co-production Meeting and Decision to Issue meeting. (Case Officer)

Week 4-11 Ongoing Co-production & Advice

  • Ongoing Co-production (Information gathering) (Case Officer)
  • Co-production Meeting (Case Officer, Parent & Young Person)
  • Request any additional advice (no later than week 10) (Case Officer / Business Support Officer)
  • Co-production Booklet finalised (Case Officer)

Week 10-13 Decision to Issue and Resource Allocation

  • Decision to Issue meeting (Case Officer, Parent, Young Person & setting plus professionals)
  • Resource and Placement Decision Making (Manager)
  • Decision Not to Issue sent if appropriate (Business Support Officer)

Week 11—14 Drafting 

  • Case Officer drafts EHCP

Week 12—16 Draft EHCP

  • Draft EHCP Quality Assurance
  • Quality Assurance amendments (as required) (Case Officer)
  • Draft EHCP Issued Including consultation with educational setting

Week 16-18 Consultation Period

  • 15 day statutory consultation period (time for educational setting and parent/carer/yp to respond to draft plan)
  • Consideration and action consultation responses (Case Officer)

Week 19-20 Final EHCP

  • Final Quality Assurance and Sign Off (Manager)
  • Final EHCP issued

The process and all the steps involved in a request for assessment are highlighted in the image below - you can click on the image to open a clearer PDF version in a new window.

When a decision not to carry out an EHC assessment has been made, we will always write to you with the reasons why.  This may include some feedback around the information in the request and what to include if another application for an EHC assessment is made.   

If you or the educational setting send in further information that SENDACT require within eight weeks of the letter being sent, then they will reconsider the original request alongside the new information. 

Another option is that we can go through a process called Mediation which is a conversation with parents, the council and other professionals to discuss the disagreement and try to solve it.  This is run by another professional called a mediator who helps to keep the conversation on track.    The council will not agree to carry out an assessment during mediation, but if following mediation they feel that an EHC assessment should be carried out, the request will go back to the Decision to Assess group, along with a recommendation to carry assessment from the council representative as well as any new information that has been gathered.  The Decision to Assess group will consider this and make a decision. 

If mediation does not help, then an appeal can be made to the tribunal.  This is more formal process where the case is presented to a tribunal judge to make a decision, however the council will work hard to reach an agreement before it gets to the point of needing the judge to make a decision. 

Details of how to appeal a decision will be in the letter that the Local Authority send to you informing you of the Decision to Assess groups decision.

You can find out more about disagreements, tribunals and appeals on this Local Offer Page(opens link in same window).

SENDACT, the team that manage EHCP's in Kirklees, have a new email address for concerns or complaints.  This email address is checked regularly and you will receive a response within one week. 


Last updated: 29/09/2020