Assessment and Education Health and Care Plans
The SEND Code of Practice 2015 is very clear in its advice that the majority of children and young people with SEN or disabilities will have their needs met within local early years settings, schools or post 16 provision.
However, if your child is not making sufficient progress despite assessment and provision in place within their educational setting, the Local Authority should consider what further provision may be appropriate, and may require an EHC Needs Assessment to be carried out. The Council for Disabled Children have produced guidance on good quality EHC Plans.
An Education, Health and Care needs assessment can be requested by parents, carers, teachers or any other professional involved with a child or young person; they can also be requested by a young person over the age of 16.
During the assessment, information is collected from:
- the child or young person
- the parent
- the child’s school or early education setting
Information may be collected from:
- an educational psychologist
- relevant health professionals (for example the child’s doctor, occupational therapist, speech and language therapist, physiotherapist, health visitor)
- children’s social care, education welfare officers and other people that may be appropriate
Following the assessment we may issue a draft Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), which is a detailed description of your child’s needs and how these will be met.
If you have recently been through the Education, Health and Care Planning process we would like to hear from you. Please go to the Feedback page to give your views.
In line with the guidance from Government, there will be a phased approach to move
Children and Young People from Statements and Learning Difficulty Assessments to
Education, Health and Care plans. This is to ensure that good quality Education, Health and Care plans are produced, and that no child or young person is left without the support they need. The transfer process must be completed by April 2018.
We have produced a guide with additional information regarding the transfer process
see the “At a Glance Transfer Review” document.
At the end of February 2015, a letter was sent to the parents of all children and young people with Statements providing information and the detailed timetable for transfer to Education, Health and Care plans. A copy of this letter and all the enclosures are available to download below. We have also produced a guide to transferring children and young people with statements to Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs).
If parents or young people are unhappy about certain decisions made by the Local
Authority, they have a right to appeal. This would include the following areas:
- not carrying out an EHC needs assessment
- not issuing an EHC plan
- content of a final or amended EHC plan
- decision not to amend an EHC plan
- cease an EHC plan
- placement named in a Plan
Single route of redress trial
In April 2018, the Government launched a two year trial extending the powers of the First-tier tribunal (SEND), sometimes known as the ‘SEND Tribunal’, to make non-binding recommendations about the health and social care aspects of Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans.
Before April 2018, appeals could only be made against local authority decisions not to issue, re-assess, amend or cease EHC plans and on sections B (special educational needs), F (provision) and I (placement). However, from April 2018 onwards, young people and parents can appeal the health and/or social care content described in the plan, through one process.
Some other aspects of disagreements young people or parents might have about EHC Plans are handled through other procedures. Please contact the Statutory Assessment and Monitoring Service or the SEND Partnership Service for more information.
If the SEND Tribunal makes a recommendation about health or social care elements of an EHC Plan, the local authority / health commissioner is generally expected to follow these, but they are not legally binding. Where the recommendations are not followed, the reasons must be explained in writing to the parents/young person and the government Department for Education.
The process of appealing has not changed and so you must contact our local Mediation Service - Kids - to discuss your case. Mediation provides an opportunity for us to resolve disagreements and can be completed more quickly than an appeal. Once a mediation adviser has been contacted, or once you have taken part in mediation, you will be issued with a certificate. This will be necessary if you are still unhappy and wish to progress to an appeal with the Tribunal. An appeal to the Tribunal must usually be made within two months of the decision about which the appeal is being made or one month following the issuing of the mediation certificate.
There will be an independent evaluation of the trial to help the government decide whether or not to keep the extend powers of the SEND Tribunal. The evaluation will involve contacting some young people and parents to share their views of the appeals process with these new powers. They will normally be contacted just after the appeal hearing (or when the appeal process has been completed) and 6 months later for phone or online interviews.
You can find more information about the appeals process through:
The SEND Resources and Training page hosts a collection of resources, newsletters and training opportunities.