Educational, Health and Care Needs Assessment and Plans

An Education, Health and Care (“EHC”) needs assessment is an assessment of a child or young person's education, health and care needs completed by the council. It is the first step to getting an Education, Health and Care plan (“EHC plan”).

Who can ask for an EHC needs assessment to be done?

Most requests for assessments are made by the school or college. This is because they are likely to have the best evidence to show what the needs are and how they are already trying to support. However, if the young person is over 16 years they can make the request themselves and the parents or carers can also make the request (if you child is over 16 years you must have their permission to make a request on their behalf). In fact any professional supporting your child, such as a social worker, can make the request too.

How can I make an EHC needs assessment request?

We have attached two template letters that the young person or parent and carer can use to make a request. If the school is making the request – the council have asked that they complete a specific form.

What evidence should I send with the EHC needs assessment request?

Any documents which show what progress your child has been making over the last 12 months, what difficulties they are having in school and what the school have already been doing. The school should be able to provide evidence of an assess, plan, do , review cycle of support that forms part of SEND support in the UK.
Documents you or the school may have include: progress tracker, SEND support or education plan, provision maps, timetable which shows where extra support is provided, behaviour or incident logs, school reports, letters from health or social care professionals.

What happens in an EHC needs assessment?

The council must seek information and advice on a child or young person’s needs, the provision required to meet those needs, and the outcomes expected to be achieved by the child or young person.
You and your child’s views are an important part- if the council do not feel these views are clear in the paperwork they have already received they may contact you for extra information.
The advice must also come from a range of different people, including education, health and social care professionals. Some of these professionals might already be involved with your child. The council might ask for extra information from your child’s school or college. An Educational psychologist might make an appointment to come and meet your child and your child might also be asked to attend an appointment with a paediatrician. You can also ask the council to contact a specific professional if you feel their advice might be important.
The Council will then make a decision as to whether to produce an EHC plan to support your child in school. If they do not feel your child’s needs are to the level of an EHC plan they must tell you this in writing within 16 weeks of you making the request.

When will we know what the decision is?

The whole process should take a maximum of 20 weeks. 6 weeks after a request is made, the Council must tell you if they are going to complete the assessment or not.
If a request goes ahead the council must tell you at week 16 if it is not going to issue an EHC plan.
If an EHC plan will be issued the final plan must be in place by week 20

What do I do if my child is issued with an EHC plan?

When a new plan is issued, you will be given 15 days to look at the plan. If possible it is a good idea to look at the plan with your child’s school or college. If you have any concerns about what is written in the plan you should tell the Council SEND team or the SEND officer who sent you the plan as soon as possible. At this time you should also tell the SEND officer which school you would like our child to attend if you haven’t already done so. The SEND Officer will work with you to try to resolve your concerns. If this is not possible, the SEND officer may make the EHC plan final, this will open up your right to appeal to the SEND tribunal.

View Your Right To Appeal Here
Ipsea EHCP Checklist


What is a personal budget?

A personal budget allows the young person or parent or carer some control over the way the provision, written in section F of the EHC Plan, is delivered. For example, it may be that the school or college is unable to provide a particular provision written in the EHC Plan, so it needs to be sought elsewhere. The Young person or parent and carer must make a request for a person budget, in writing, to the SEND team when the EHC plan is in a draft form. In the request you must be as specific as possible about what you are asking for and why you feel it is important. It is a good idea to link it back to section E and F of the EHC Plan.

For more information on personal budgets and to view a video, click here


What happens after the EHC plan is made final?

View Video

The school or college will start to put in place the strategies written in section F of the EHCP. If there is provision to be provided by health or social care services, this should also start.
The EHC plan must be reviewed at least once every 12 months (every 6 months for children under the age of 5 years). The review is usually lead by the school who will invite you, your child and other professionals to a meeting to discuss changes that might need to be made to the EHC plan. The school should send out new information they have gathered to you at least 2 weeks before the meeting. Tyr to have a look through this information before the meeting if possible as it will help the meeting run smoothly. After the meeting the school will send the review paperwork to the Council SEND team who will decide whether to:-
- Make changes to the EHC plan
- Keep the EHC plan the same
- Cease the EHCP
In each case you will have 15 days to consider their decision and respond. If you are do not agree with the decision you will have the right to appeal to the send tribunal.

View Your Right To Appeal

View Annual Review

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