Statutory Assessment process Education Health and Care Plan

Watch the media clip for information on the Education Health and Care Plan.

The needs of most children and young people can be met within a local mainstream early years setting, school or college. Funding for SEN Support comes from delegated funding (notional budget).

An EHC needs assessment should not normally be the first step in the process, rather that it should follow on from planning already undertaken with parents and young people in conjunction with the relevant education provider. In a very small minority of cases children and young people may demonstrate such significant difficulties that a school or other provider may consider it impossible or inappropriate to carry out its full chosen assessment procedure.

The following people have a specific right to ask the local authority to conduct an education, health and care needs assessment for a child or young person aged 0 to 25:

  • the child's parent
  • a young person over the age of 16 but under the age of 25
  • a person acting on behalf of a school or post - 16 institution (this should ideally be with the knowledge and agreement of the parent or young person where possible)
  • anyone can bring a child or young person who has (or may have) SEN to the attention of the local authority , particularly where they think an EHC needs assessment may be necessary.

Throughout this process parents and young people can request the services of an independent supporter.

The Local Authority have to decide if there is enough evidence to undertake an EHC Needs assessment. The legal threshold for an assessment is based on the following:

  • The Child or Young Person has SEN (or may have SEN) and it may be necessary for SEN Provision to be made in accordance with an EHC Plan.

Once the Local Authority receives a request for an EHCP assessment they need to respond within the following time scales.

1. Within 6 weeks of a request for statutory assessment the Local Authority must respond to say if they are going to carry out an assessment. If they are not going to carry out an assessment they must give you reasons why they are not going to assess and they must also inform you that you have a right to appeal.

2. If the Local authority decide to assess, they must make a decision if they are going to issue an EHC Plan or not within the 16 week period from when the initial request is submitted.

3. If a plan is agreed the Local Authority will send a draft plan to parents, this is for parents / young people to check that the plan is accurate and that they agree with the contents. At this stage you will be able to request a school. The draft Plan should be returned within 15 calendar days.

4. By week 20 the plan must be finalised.

In a very small minority of cases, children or young people may demonstrate such significant difficulties that a school or other provider may consider it impossible or inappropriate to carry out its full chosen assessment (SEN Support) procedure. This is because without immediate specialist intervention beyond the capacity of the school or other provider, would lead to increased learning difficulties.

Frequently Asked Questions

Children and young people with SEN all have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than most children and young people of the same age. These children and young people may need extra or different help from that given to others this is known as SEN Provision.