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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.  

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

VIDEOS TO LOOK AT FULL OF USEFUL INFORMATION 

  • 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

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

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.

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 this form  You can also find it in the 'Useful Documents' section on this web page. Please return the completed form to the
address provided on the form.

Alternatively, you can request a paper copy by contacting the Statutory Assessment and Monitoring Service (SAMS) by calling 01733 863996 /863934 or email SENTeam@peterborough.gov.uk.

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

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

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.

Give feedback on the EHCP process

Education Health and Care Plan graphic

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.

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

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 through:

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 SENDdeliverysupport@mottmac.com

You can read archived newsletters and further information on the trial on the Department for Education and Department for Health's Send dilivery 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.

The form must be signed by the Headteacher / Lead practitioner in the setting and submitted to inclusion-referrals@peterborough.gov.uk

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 (the contact details available on Peterborough Local Offer).

For further information please contact laura.ferrario@peterborough.gov.uk or 01733 863702

Time Frame for the EHC Needs assessment

Full details of the process are described in the leaflet - New request for Education, Health and Care Needs Assessments

Summary details are provided below.

Submit a request for EHC Needs Assessment form

within 24 hours of receiving the request the Statutory Assessment and Monitoring Service (SAMS) team will:

  • Receive request and check consent for assessment has been given by parents/carers (if child) or the young person
  • If consent for assessment is not given, return the form to the sender with a letter explaining why.
  • If consent for assessment has been given, allocate to an SEN Officer.
  • Create the account on the SAMS system.
  • Send an acknowledgement letter to the requestor and letters to statutory agencies notifying them of the request for an EHC Needs Assessment.
  • Receive responses from parents/carers
  • Allocate the case to a SEN Panel meeting, preparing relevant Panel front sheets and updating SAMS system.

6 weeks after request received:

  • SEN Panel Meeting

If declined an EHC Needs Assessment by SEN Panel:

Within 48 hours of SEN Panel meeting:

  • SEN Officer phones the requestor to inform and explain the decision of SEN Panel.
  • SAMS sends a formal letter to the requestor of the needs assessment and all involved professionals informing / explaining the decision of the SEN Panel, including a paragraph written by the SEN Officer and information on the right of appeal.
  • Case is closed on SAMS system.
  • Master copies of paperwork stored in reference box.

If approved for an EHC Needs Assessment at SEN Panel:

Within 48 hours of SEN Panel meeting:

  • SEN Officer phones the requestor to inform them of the decision of the SEN Panel and arrange a date/time/venue for a planning meeting.
  • SAMS send a formal letter including the date/time/venue of the planning meeting to the requestor, education setting and other professional agencies.

By two weeks before the Planning Meeting:

  • Receive new advice /information (making sure to pass to SEN Officer)

PLANNING MEETING

  • SEN Officer to facilitate Planning Meeting

Within 2 weeks after Planning Meeting:

  • SEN Officer writes a draft EHC Plan or feedback notes.
  • SAMS send the draft EHC Plan or written feedback (and appendices) to parents/carers or young person.

Within 15 calendar days of the date of the letter:

  • Receive response from parent/carers / young person.
  • SAMS sends a consultation letter including the Draft EHC Plan and appendices, to the governing body of the current educational placement.

If the parent/carers/young person has not requested a change in education placement:

  • SAMS sends a consultation letter including the Draft EHC Plan and appendices, to the governing body of the current educational placement.

Within 15 calendar days of the date of the letter:

  • Receive response from education placement

If approved by current education placement:

Within 1 week:

  • Finalise the EHC Plan
  • Send finalised EHC plan and all appendices to parents/carers/young person and all involved professionals.
  • Close the case on SAMS system

If not approved by current education placement:

Within 48 hours

  • Inform parents/carers/young person
  • Send consultation letter including the Draft EHC Plan and appendices, to second choice of education placement.
  • SAMS sends a consultation letter including the Draft EHC Plan and appendices, to the governing body of the current and requested educational placements

Within 15 calendar days of the date of the letter:

  • Receive response from education placement

If one or both education placements approve the request:

  • Finalise the EHC Plan with parental / young person’s preference.
  • Send finalised EHC plan and all appendices to parents/carers/young person and all involved professionals.
  • Close the case on SAMS system

If both education placements decline the request, the SEN Officer and colleagues will work to secure the most appropriate education placement possible.

If the parent/carers/young person has requested a specialist education placement:

Within 48 hours

  • Allocate case to SEN Panel.

SEN Panel (With SEN Officer attending)

If specialist education placement is approved at SEN Panel:

Within 48 hours:

  • SEN Officer phones requestor to inform them of the decision
  • Send consultation letter including the Draft EHC Plan and appendices, to requested education placement

Within 15 calendar days of the date of the letter:

  • Receive response from education placement

If requested placement is approved:

  • Finalise the EHC Plan and send to the parent/carers/young person and other professionals involved.
  • Close the case on SAMS system.
  • SEN Officer phones requestor to inform them of the decision
  • Send consultation letter to current or alternative education placement

Within 15 calendar days of the date of the letter:

  • Receive response from education placement

If requested placement is approved:

  • Finalise the EHC Plan and send to the parent/carers/young person and other professionals involved.
  • Close the case on SAMS system

If the requested education placement declines the request, the SEN Officer and colleagues will work to secure the most appropriate education placement possible.

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