Get help with your child's progress


If the school or college thinks your child needs more help they may ask us to do an assessment for an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan. This is called an Education, Health and care Needs assessment.

Ask for an assessment

Ask the special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) at your child’s nursery, school or college if you think your child needs an assessment. (The SENCO is a teacher who is trained to identify children with special educational needs and make sure the children get all the help they need.) 

You can also ask the Special Educational Needs Assessment Service (SENA) directly to assess your child. We will ask the nursery, school or college for information to help us decide if your child needs an assessment. We will also ask any other professionals who work with your child to provide information to help us make a decision.

After an assessment has been carried out the SENA service will consider the information gathered about the child’s needs and progress and decide if a plan should be written. If a plan is written we will commission extra help and resources to meet the child's identified needs. SENA can also provide advice and guidance to families and educational settings about statutory duties.

Special Educational Needs Assessment Service (SENA)
Telephone: 0116 305 6600

How we decide if your child needs an assessment

SENA will:

  1. Contact your child’s nursery, school or college to find out more about your child
  2. Look at your child’s Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Support Plan, if they have one
  3. Consider information provided by the Child, Parents or Carer and other professionals
  4. Decide whether to carry out an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment
  5. Write to you within 6 weeks to tell you whether or not we’re going to do an assessment

If we don’t do an assessment

We will write to you to explain our decision.

Depending on the reasons we will either:

  • offer to meet you to discuss our decision and what your child needs
  • discuss with you what other help your child needs and put it in place
  • discuss your child’s SEND Support Plan with their school, nursery or college if we think you haven’t been listened to. We may also arrange a meeting in the nursery, school or college

The assessment

One of our SENA service officers will consider all the advice received from:

  • you 
  • your child’s school, college or nursery
  • health professionals
  • social care professionals

They’ll also look at your child’s SEND Support Plan.

After the assessment we will decide whether your child needs an EHC Plan.

Decisions are made based on the guidance in the Special Needs Code of Practice

SEND assessment pathway infographic    Opens new window

One-page profile

You’ll be asked to create a one-page profile as part of the assessment.

Someone to help you

You can get someone to help you during the assessment. They are called an ‘independent supporter’.

If your child doesn’t need an EHC Plan

We will write to you to tell you our decision and how you can appeal.

Disagreeing with our decision

You can appeal if you disagree with our decision not to:

  • do an assessment
  • create an EHC plan

You can also appeal against the name of the school identified in the EHC Plan or against the amount of support.

Under the SEND ‘Single Route of redress’ National Trial you can also appeal regarding recommendations made about health and social care support.

Providing for the needs of children and young people with SEND - Guidance for schools

The guidance documents available on our resources website can help a school identify what they can do to meet a child’s needs and when it may be appropriate to ask for an assessment.