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.
Updated Statutory documents - Peterborough Statutory Assessment and Monitoring Service
Statutory EHCP Process
You may be aware that the documents relating to the statutory EHCP process have been updated. This is in response to feedback from parent/carers, education providers and other key stakeholders as well as the LA quality assurance framework. In partnership with Family Voice, Health and Social Care the LA has reviewed and co-produced new documentation relating to the EHC processes. Please discard any documentation you have received previously and replace it with the documents listed below.
What is 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
What is an Education, Health and Care Plan?
Who can request an EHC Needs Assessment?
Requesting an EHC Needs Assessment
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?
How to request an assessment
To request an assessment, please complete the Request for an EHC Needs Assessment form.
Download a word document of the Request for an EHC Needs Assessment form
Please return this form to:
Statutory Assessment and Monitoring Team
Sand Martin House,
Peterborough, PE2 8TY
Or email it to the SAMS Team SENTeam@peterborough.gov.uk
Alternatively, you can request a paper copy by contacting the Statutory Assessment and Monitoring Service (SAMS) by calling 01733 863996 /863934 or:
What happens at the EHC Needs Assessment?
What is involved
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?
The next stage
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.
How long does it take?
The whole process can take up to 20 weeks. You can look at the process on the attached flow chart.
Quality Assurance of Education, Health and Care Plans
Improving outcomes for children and young adults with SEND
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
What to do if you're unhappy
If parents or young people are unhappy about certain decisions made by the Local Authority, they have a right to appeal.
- For more information please click on this link to take you to the Local Offer Appeals, Mediation and complaints page.
Feedback on the Education, Health and Care Planning Process (Local Offer)
Have your say
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:
Assessment and Education, Health and Care plans (EHC) - Assessments and Resources
Links to resources
Here are some resources about Assessment and Education, Health and Care Plans.
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.
How funding works for an EHCP
Arrangements for funding educational provision for pupils and students with high needs were introduced in 2013 for maintained schools and academies. Funding for all high needs pupils in mainstream schools and academies is broken down into 3 main elements.
Element 1 - the basic entitlement
This is the basic amount funded to the school for each pupil and varies between primary and secondary schools.
Element 2 - additional need funding
Part of the overall school budget is classified as the notional Special Educational Needs budget. It is from this budget that mainstream schools and academies are required to put in place support for all children with SEN and to contribute the first £6,000 (equivalent to approximately 11.8 hours teaching assistant time per week).
Element 3 - top up funding
Where the cost of additional support is more than £6,000, the council will provide funding from their high needs block. The level of need is agreed by the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities panel and funding is provided to the school for that pupil.
Although academies receive their main funding directly from the Education Funding Agency, the top-up funding (element 3) is still the responsibility of the council.
Defining high needs
Children and young people with high needs are those who need educational provision that costs more in total, including the provision given to all pupils, than about £10,000 per year. This threshold defines the level of need that would be expected to be met through mainstream funding and those for whom additional funding is required.
Post-16 students with special educational needs
Like academies, all post-16 providers receive their main funding directly from the Education Funding Agency. However, the funding for students with special educational needs follows the same principles as for mainstream schools and academies.
They will receive:
Element 1 – core funding for each student calculated by a national 16 to 19 funding system
Element 2 – an allocation of up to £6,000 to support identified students with special educational needs based on agreed numbers
Element 3 – top-up funding from the council to meet the agreed needs of individual pupils placed with them who require additional support.
This funding applies to:
- Mainstream school sixth forms
- Sixth form colleges
- Post-16 in special schools
- Colleges of further education
- Specialist colleges
- Other providers such as training providers
- Out of area post-16 providers
Celebrate next steps and moving on from an Education, Health and Care Plan
EHCPs (Education, Health and Care Plans)
In Peterborough we have worked with our families and young people and decided that when we are talking about and planning for an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) to end, we will refer to it as ‘moving on and next steps.’ This celebrates your journey as you move onto the next stage of your life.
The relevant legislation about EHCPs ending, which is: Section 45 of the Children and Families Act 2014 and chapter 9 of the SEND Code of Practice 2015, refers to this as ‘ceasing to maintain’ an EHCP. This is a legal term and why we may have to still use it sometimes.
EHCPs should be reviewed every year (at Annual Review meetings) and therefore changes in circumstances can be considered and amendments made to the description of needs, the provision to be made or the placement attended.
In some situations, it may be decided by yourself, your parents/carers, school/college or local authority that your EHCP is no longer needed.
If that is the case a letter is sent to your parent/carer or you as the young person saying that the local authority's intention is to end (‘cease to maintain’) the EHCP from a particular date. This letter is called a decision letter.
There are a few reasons why you will be moving on from an EHCP and your next steps will be planned with you
The reasons for you moving on from an EHCP will be explained to you in the letter. They will be one of the following;
- The child or young person no longer requires the special educational provision specified in the EHC Plan (i.e. needs can be met under SEN support.
- You have taken up paid employment (excluding apprenticeships);
- You have started higher education (university);
- You are aged 18 or over and have left education and you no longer wish to engage in further learning;
- You have turned 25 and your course has finished.
Help to understand the topics to cover in your final Annual Review
If you would like some further guidance of topics to cover in your final annual review, the Council for Disabled Children has recently provided this support.
If you do not agree with your EHCP coming to an end you have the right to appeal this decision. View the document Frequently asked questions Busting the myths about your Education, Health and Care Plan ‘next steps.
and moving on’
If you appeal the decision to end (Cease to Maintain) your EHCP, the provision and placement in your EHCP will continue until the appeal is resolved. (until a written decision is received from the Tribunal).
We congratulate and celebrate all our young adults who have needed the support of their EHCP and wish them well as they move forward.
Frequently asked questions
Will an EHCP continue up to the age of 25?
An EHC plan (Education, Health and Care Plan) will be reviewed every year to look at progress and to decide if additional support is needed. If all the intended outcomes in the EHCP happen, it ceases. When an EHCP is no longer needed we will always plan with the young person what happens next. If a young person is still at school or college, there will still be support for continued progress.
An EHC Plan may also be ceased if the amount of support is less than it used to be. Sometimes the support needed to achieve certain outcomes for a young person does not need an EHC Plan. Schools and colleges receive money to support children and young people with additional needs when they need extra help but not enough help to have an EHC Plan. In schools this help is known as ‘SEN Support’, in colleges this support is known as ‘Additional Learner Support (ALS)’
What if a young person is 18 or over and leaves college midway through their course?
An EHCP cannot be ended unless it has been decided at an EHCP review. If a young person aged 18 or over leaves education or training before the end of their course, the school or college will organise an EHCP review. A local authority cannot cease to maintain a plan unless a review has taken place to decide whether the young person wishes to return to education or training, either at the educational institution specified in the EHC Plan or somewhere else.
We will work together to support a young person to decide what they want to do.
If a young person does wish to return to education or training, and the local authority thinks it is appropriate, then the local authority must change the EHC Plan as necessary, and it must keep the plan and try to ensure that education or training is re engaged as soon as possible. If the young person decides not to return to education or training the EHCP will end.
What are the responsibilities local authority’s educational for young people aged 19-25?
There is not an entitlement to continued support or an expectation that those with an EHC Plan at be allowed to remain in education or training from age 19 to 25
When would a decision to cease an EHCP take effect?
When an EHCP is going to end we normally plan for it to happen at the end of the academic year, to allow young people to complete their programme of study.
If a young person reaches their 25th birthday before their course has ended, the EHC Plan can continue until the end of the academic year in which they turn 25 (or the day the apprenticeship or course ends), The EHCP must end before their 26th birthday even if the young person is part way through a course.
Where a young person aged 18 or over has support from other adult services, such as health and/or social care, the local authority should ensure that they are involved in and made aware of the decision to end the young person’s EHC Plan. Where the care part of an EHC Plan is provided by adult services under the Care Act 2014, their support plan can continue without the EHC Plan.
Does the EHC Plan automatically end if a young person leaves education?
No. Where a young person of compulsory participation age leaves education or training but does not start paid employment, the local authority must keep their EHC Plan and take steps to re-engage them in education or training as soon as possible.
However, if a young person over 16 years leaves education and takes up paid employment (including employment with training but excluding apprenticeships) then the Local Authority will end (cease) their EHC Plan.
Does an EHC Plan end if a young person is placed into custody?
No. A local authority will not be able to end an EHC Plan because a child or young person has been given a custodial sentence. The local authority will have to keep the plan.
For those who are detained, the plan will have to be reviewed on release. (Look at chapter 10 of the Code of Practice)
What happens if a young person leaves their college or training placement?
The LA (Local Authorities) will not end (cease) a plan if the young person is still of compulsory participation age and still requires the special education needs provision set out in the plan. The Local Authority will focus efforts on helping the young person get back into an education or training placement.
If the young person is over 18, the Local Authority will only consider ending (ceasing) a plan if the young person makes it clear that he/she does not want to return to education or training.
What happens if a young person changes their plans and wants to return to education or training once a plan has been ceased?
If a young person decides that he/she would like to return to college or take up a training course after their original EHC plan has ended, they should talk to the education or training provider about support that is ordinarily available to students (this is known in schools as SEN support and in colleges is referred to as Additional Learning Support).
Then he/or she will decide if there is still a need to make a new request for an education needs assessment. This will ensure that any assessments of his/her special needs are up to date and are fully understood. The assessment will also clarify the nature of provision that will be needed to meet these needs. This is likely to include advice and from other professional services.
What happens if a young person disagrees with the decision to cease the plan?
A) If a young person does not agree with the decision to end (cease) a plan, the young person should talk to or meet the EHCP coordinator allocated to the case. He /she will be able to explain this decision, discuss any concerns and find a way to address these.
B) Alternatively, it may be useful to contact the SENDIASS team for impartial information, advice and support. The contact telephone number for the service is 01733 863979, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The service will help or give direction to independent sources of information and advice. This information is also available on Peterborough’s Local Offer.
There is a right to appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal if there is disagreement with this decision. In this case it is necessary to contact:
i) Independent Mediation Service first. Details of this service can be found at Kids Mediation are the third-party provider for Peterborough City Council. The Independent Mediation Service will set up a formal mediation between the young person and the Local Authority. This should take place within 30 days of you contacting the Mediation Service.
ii) Alternatively, if a decision is made to go ahead and appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal Service, without entering formal mediation, a Certificate may be obtained to enable this to go ahead. The tribunal service must receive an appeal within two months of the date on the local authority’s decision letter or a month from the date of the mediation certificate - whichever is later.
Both processes will all be explained on contact the Mediation Service. The telephone number for the Tribunal Service is 01325 289350 and contact details and further information can be found at www.tribunals.gov.uk. This information will also be explained in letters from the local authority.
Does an EHCP cease when a young person goes to university?
Yes, an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) ends before entry to university. It can, however, be a good idea to share a plan with an intended university. This will help them understand a young person’s needs and make sure the right reasonable adjustments are put into place.
Is there still support at university?
There is support for students with disabilities and/or special educational needs at university and there is more information on this on the UCAS website. This video link is also very useful to find out about DSA (Disabled Students Allowance).
What if the provision in an EHC Plan is no longer necessary while a young person is still at school or college? Will a young person still get help?
Yes. If the outcomes in the EHCP have been met and the young person can be supported by ordinarily available provision, an education setting will put in place support, this is known in schools as SEN (special educational needs) support and in colleges as ALS (additional learning support)
What happens when a young person is close to finishing education or training?
When close to finishing your education and training, a local authority should use the final annual review to agree the support needed for a young person to help him or her to engage with services after leaving education. An educational setting should provide support during the last year to plan this transition.
Case studies of real life experiences
Case study – Adam age 23 His successful journey to employment and celebration of his journey.
Adam and his parents engaged early with college through planned meetings. At his first parents evening, everyone discussed his potential and Adam explained his aspirations. Two journey maps were created to support his aspirations to allow for any changes along the way. Adam and his family recognised he would potentially be at college for three years before coming to the end of his educational journey and his next steps needed planning. Adam’s first plan was to study the Animal and Horticulture programme for two years and then move to a Supported Internship. By the time Adam left college, he had an added year on a Pathways course as he wanted to explore other areas he would potentially like to work. Adam then joined the Supported Internship course in his fourth year. He successfully gained employment following his course.
1. This young person and his family engaged early with college. They attended all the annual reviews and were kept up to date with termly reviews from curriculum teams.
2. Adam and his family also attended workshops run by the college to discuss support and finances, so they were able to apply for what was needed.
3. In Adam’s final year, he and his family were supported in college by a meeting with a ‘Transitions Out Officer’ in September of his final year.
This was a tremendous success because of a well mapped curriculum plan, excellent collaboration with the family, young person, college team, employers, and community groups. There also has been a three month and six month follow up to check in with the young person and family to ensure everything is ok. The young person is still employed and doing well.
Case study - Esta aged 22
Esta started college with no clear aspirations about her next steps after finishing education and she assumed could stay in college until she was 25 years old. Her family found it difficult to engage with college about her next steps and her journey into adulthood. Her family were fearful of social care involvement and refused help from services proposed and offered to them. The college worked with Esta to explore her aspirations and next steps but without input from her family or support group it was difficult to make her aspirations a reality. Esta achieved all the outcomes of her EHCP and tried to move to another college to do a similar course. There was no progression identified with this choice her EHCP came to an end. At this point there was no transitions officer to support her and her family to help with making choices for her next steps.
What could have been better?
1. Esta could have been supported better through her EHCP annual reviews to ensure her aspirations were realistic
2. Esta’s family could have been signposted to support available to them through the SENDIASS service or through our family voice support group so that they felt more confident in discussing Esta’s next steps.
3. Esta might have been offered support through the advocacy service to support her if her family were not able.
4. Transitions support at college needed to have been in place
5. The outcomes in her EHCP could have included planning for her next steps and started at a much earlier age.
Complex case study 3 John aged 24/5- celebrate next steps and moving on at 25
John’s EHCP ended when he turned 25. Due to his complex medical conditions the education in his last couple of years had to be via a tutoring service. He had clear aspirations about where he wanted to live and the support he wanted and needed in the future to achieve his aspirations.
He had been previously supported in volunteering roles and avenues into employment. He had an identified circle of support to continue to support his plans. John had lots of social and health services supporting him and had a Mental and Physical Health care plan in place with a clear timetable for reviews and an identified coordinator.
He lived in an adapted home with the support of carers and was pursuing further home adaptions. John was signposted to how he could continue with his learning should he wish to via online courses at our colleges in Peterborough or through the Open University.
John attended his annual health check and knew the date of his next appointment and how he could get there in a wheelchair. John had a communication passport so that all professionals were able to recognise his difficulty with managing change and the complexities of his mental and physical health.
He had the support of an advocate if he needed. John went out with friends when he could and could engage safely with online friendships and groups. He attended an arts and crafts group weekly. He had plans to go to other groups once his health allowed him.
John and his family celebrated the support he had received over the years through his EHCP and were clear about the next steps. This was clearly summarised in section L of his last annual review meeting.
- Resolving disagreements about an Education Health and Care Plan (Local Offer)
- Education (Local Offer)
- SEND Fact Sheets (Local Offer)
- Early Years and Childcare (Local Offer)
- SEND Resources (Local Offer)
- Targeted Support (Local Offer)
- Getting Help (Local Offer)
- Preparing for Adulthood (Local Offer)
- Preparing for Adulthood - Independent Living (Local Offer)
- Preparing for Adulthood - Friends, Relationships & Community (Local Offer)
- Preparing for Adulthood - Good Health (Local Offer)
- Preparing for Adulthood - Employment (Local Offer)
- Peterborough guidance criteria on EHCP assessments
- SEND QA Framework
- New request for Education, Health and Care Needs Assessments - INCLUDING TIMEFRAME FOR ACTIONS
- EHC Plan Template Final v2 August 2021
- EHCNA guidance for request form Final v1 October 2021
- EHCNA request template Final v2 September 2021
- SECTION L Final v1 August 2021
- SECTION M modified provision proforma Final v4 October 2021
- Easy Read Request for an Education, Health and Care Plan Needs Assessment (EHCNA)
- ECHNA Process Timeline
- FAQ - Busting the myths.