EHC plan - Requesting an education, health and care plan for your child with SEND

Your child's school, college or other setting can do quite a lot to support the individual needs of your child or young person. They already have funding in their budget for this purpose. If your child is not making the expected progress after this input, then you should discuss whether a statutory assessment of their educational, health and care (EHC) needs may be required. 

Requesting a statutory assessment

Requests for statutory assessment are most effective when parents or carers and the school or early years setting work together on the request. You can also write directly to us to request the assessment, using the contact details below.

The family conversation - is a statutory assessment needed?

Once the request is received the process starts with the parents/carers and the school or setting completing a family conversation. This is completed by the family/carers with a professional, such as your child's teacher who knows you and the child well to make sure we have all the information available to make the right decision about whether a statutory education, health and care (EHC) assessment is needed.

The statutory education, health and care (EHC) assessment process

We, the council, then make a decision as to whether a statutory assessment is necessary. If we agree that it is required, we will use the statutory assessment to collect information on the child's needs, the SEN provision required to meet those needs and the type of placement where that provision can be made.

We will collect evidence from relevant people across the education, health and care systems. At the end of the statutory assessment we must decide whether to issue an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan), or if we decide this is not necessary we must issue an SEN support plan.

The education, health and care plan (EHCP)

An EHC Plan sets out the provision for all educational needs and for the child or young person's health and social care needs where these have an impact on their education. EHC Plans are legally binding and set out the desired outcomes for your child and the provision required to deliver those outcomes.

We must issue a completed EHC Plan in 20 weeks from the request for assessment. The 2014 SEND Code of Practice describes what should be included in an EHC Plan. You can find more information on the EHC assessment process on the government website.

Challenge a decision we have made

Most disagreements can be resolved by discussing the issue and reaching a suitable solution or compromise. If we get to a point where we cannot reach an agreement, families have the right to formally appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST).

Independent advice

If you feel that you need further advice that is independent of the local authority, please contact: