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Assessment and Education, Health and Care plans (Local Offer)

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.  

Information on COVID-19 support can be found on the Local Offer COVID-19 - Information page and the SEN and Inclusion Services COVID-19 Support page. Local support groups can be found by using the search term 'COVID-19' in the search box at the top of the page.

Early Support

Early Support in Peterborough is a pathway for children in their pre-school years with complex health, education, or care needs.  These children will require considerable ongoing support from across education, health and care. This includes:

  • children who have great difficulty with communication
  • children who have sensory or physical difficulties
  • children who have complex health needs

Here is a leaflet about Early Support

What is an Education, Health and Care Plan?

Usful videos explaining what an Education, Health and Care Plan is

  • This VIDEO helps to explain what an Education, Health and Care Plan is.

  • This VIDEO helps you understand the Educational, Health and Care Plan process (EHCP) when you are 16

Who can request an EHC Needs Assessment?

Education Health and Care Plan graphic

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.

How do I request an EHC Needs Assessment?

EHC Plan illustration

To request an assessment, please complete the Request for an EHC Needs Assessment form.

You can download a word document of the Request for an EHC Needs Assessment form by clicking on this link.  

Please return this form to: 

Statutory Assessment and Monitoring Team

Sand Martin House,

Bittern Way,

Fletton Quays,

Peterborough, PE2 8TY

Alternatively, you can request a paper copy by contacting the Statutory Assessment and Monitoring Service (SAMS) by calling 01733 863996 /863934 or email:

What happens at the EHC Needs Assessment?

During the assessment, information is collected from:

  • the child or young person 
  • the parent
  • the child’s school or early education setting
  • social care

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)
  • education welfare officers and other people that may be appropriate

What happens next?

Education Health and Care Plan graphic

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.

Quality Assurance of Education, Health and Care Plans

Quality Assurance of Education Health and Care Plans

As part of the Written Statement of Action (WSoA) following the CQC and Ofsted inspection of SEND in Peterborough in 2019, a Quality Assurance (QA) framework for SEND was developed and adopted by the Peterborough SEND partnership. The QA framework is a key element in driving improvement in outcomes for children and young adults with SEND in Peterborough.

The Quality Assurance framework includes processes for auditing Education Health and Care Plans at a variety of stages, including auditing of recently issued EHCPs by a multi-agency panel. Auditing will also take place on Information and advice offered by all services as part of Needs Assessment, on draft EHCPs and Annual reviews.

Audit findings will be collated and reported to the Peterborough SEND Partnership and will inform improvement plans and training activity. More information about audit tools can be found on the SEND Resources page.

Complaints and Mediation

Two ladies looking at a booklet

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

For more information please click on this link to take you to the Local Offer Appeals, Mediation and complaints page.

Click this link to view a pdf of the Appeals, Mediation and Complaints factsheet

Changes to appeals

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. The Trial was due to end on 31 August 2020. However, given the pressures local areas and families are under as a result of coronavirus, Vicky Ford, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families, has announced that the Department for Education are extending the Trial until 31 August 2021.

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 by:

Or through:

  • The SEND Partnership Service (our impartial Information, Advice and Support service) - or 01733 863979

SEND Single Route of Redress National Trial Newsletter.

If you would like subscribe to the national trial newsletter mailing list to receive updates on the progress of the trial, please email

You can read archived newsletters and further information on the trial on the Department for Education and Department for Health's Send delivery Support Webpage here

Request for involvement of specialist teachers and portage service

Education Settings (nurseries, schools and academies) can request the support of the Specialist Teaching Services (including the advisory teachers for ADHD and Autism and teachers of the deaf, blind, and physical disabilities) and the Portage Service (for Early Years children), through the Request for Involvement form.

You can download a word document of the Request for an EHC Needs Assessment form by clicking on this link.  

The form must be signed by the Headteacher / Lead practitioner in the setting and submitted to

The request will be reviewed by the SEN and Inclusion Services Management Team in order to ensure the most appropriate service responds in a timely manner.

If the matter is urgent, please contact SEN and Inclusion Services directly or 01733 863702

Amy's Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP) resource

Amy, a member of Council for Disabled Children’s youth advisory group FLARE, has created an incredible resource to support children and young people who have an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP).

An EHCP has to be reviewed at least every 12 months and you should be given two weeks’ notice of the review date. The meeting is usually held at the school or college you attend. However, as a child or young person, you might not know exactly what this meeting is for, who is going to be there or what it even means for you.

Amy has made a leaflet that will help you understand this meeting, what you should do, how you could prepare and where you can find free independent advice and support about it.

It’s really important that young people understand what these meetings are and how to prepare for them so they can get their thoughts and experiences across. Amy has shared some suggestions on how young people can prepare to share their views for their annual review meeting.

This resource will support you to prepare for the meeting and what to bear in mind during it. It’s vital that your views and ambitions are shared in the way you want them to be, so use this resource if you need some help organising all of your thoughts or if you don’t really understand what the meeting is for.

Feedback on the Education, Health and Care Planning Process (Local Offer)

To help us provide a better service to children and young adults with SEND in Peterborough and their families, we are keen to get feedback on your experience of the EHCP process.

Please would you complete our online survey. Click this link to go directly to our online survey

Alternatively, you can request a paper copy by contacting the Statutory Assessment and Monitoring Service (SAMS) by calling 01733 863996 /863934 or:


Council for Disabled Children - useful advice

The Council for Disabled Children have produced guidance on good quality EHC Plans.

You can also look at an Easy Read guide to Sharing Your Views at Your Annual Review

Assessment and Education, Health and Care plans (EHC) - Assessments and Resources

Supporting pupils with medical conditions at school

Children with health needs may need a Healthcare Plan.  This would be appropriate where health alone is the need, rather than health with educational and social care needs.  The Department for Education’s Statutory Guidance Supporting pupils with medical conditions at school (2014 and 2017) 

  sets out that:  

  • Pupils at school with medical conditions should be properly supported so that they have full access to education, including school trips and physical education.  

  • Governing bodies must ensure that arrangements are in place in schools to support pupils at school with medical conditions.  

  • Governing bodies should ensure that school leaders consult health and social care professionals, pupils and parents to ensure that the needs of children with medical conditions are properly understood and effectively supported. 

For those children with complex needs that cannot be met by the support put in place by their school or college, an EHC needs assessment may be required.  You can find out more here.