Education, Health and Care Plans

The school, college or other setting can provide quite a lot of resource from the funding they already have in their budget to help support the individual needs of your child or young person. Should your child not be making progress despite purposeful intervention, then you should discuss whether an assessment of their educational, health and care needs may be required. 

The assessment process

Requests for statutory assessment are most effective when parents or carers and the school or early years setting work together on the request.  

Once the request is received the process starts with the parents/carers and the school or setting completing a family conversation.  You can also write directly to us to request the assessment. We'll still need to complete the family conversation with a professional who knows you and the child well to make sure we have all the information available to make the right decision.

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.

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.

We always aim to provide the best support and advice that we can. If you have any concerns please email or call 01432 260178. If you feel that you need further advice that is independent of the local authority, please contact:

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).