The Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan

Who needs an EHC plan 

A Local Authority will issue an EHC Plan if it considers that the special educational provision required to meet a child or young person's needs cannot reasonably be provided from within the resources normally available to mainstream early years providers, schools and post-16 institutions.  Children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) up to the age of 25 are eligible. EHC Plan Template

The majority of children and young people with SEND will be supported within their mainstream school through the graduated approach, quality first teaching, targeted and personalised support. 

If a parent or carer thinks that their child/young person has SEND, the SEN Team recommend that parents/carers 

  • Talk to the class teacher/tutor. 
  • Arrange a meeting with the school/settings SENDCo (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator) to discuss concerns and support.

If the education setting/school thinks that the child/young person has SEND they should 

  • Talk to parents/carers about their concerns and start to gather evidence such as reviews of outcomes and reports about the child's/young person's progress. 
  • The setting/school should give the child/young person the support they need.  This could include getting advice and support from specialists outside the school (such as the SEN Team and Speech and Language Therapist). 

The SEN team will be responsible for the coordination of the EHC Needs Assessment.  To support settings in making requests for EHC Needs Assessment they should first complete the Preparing to request an EHC Needs Assessment paperwork and attend the SEND Inclusion Forum.  Settings will be able to evidence the targeted interventions they have provided with regard to the graduated approach document and EHC guidelines.

Requesting an EHC Needs Assessment 

Parents/carers, or young people themselves when they are over 16, can ask us for an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment as well as teachers at an education setting.

In order to request an assessment:

  • parents/carers should complete the Parental EHC Needs Assessment Request Form 
  • young people should complete a Young Person EHC Needs Assessment Request Form  
  • education professionals should complete a  Professionals EHC Needs Assessment Request Form

    Should you require assistance with completing the All about Me as part of the request, please see the separate All about Me template and the guidance for children up to and including Year 8 and guidance for young people Year 9 and above.

    For all enquiries regarding requests for EHC Needs Assessment or about EHC Plans, please contact a member of the Special Educational Needs Service on: 020 8323 0453 / 020 8323 0454 or email sen.team@cognus.org.uk

    Assessments that lead to an EHC Plan

    Information gathered during an EHC Needs Assessment may indicate ways in which the school, college or other provider can meet the child or young person's needs without an EHC Plan.  In these cases the Local Authority will issue an EHC Needs Assessment report, setting out the key information obtained from the assessment and how the needs of the child can be met from resources within mainstream provision and other support set out in the Local Offer.

    EHC Needs Assessment process diagram

    Education, Health, Care Needs Assessment process
The EHC Needs Assessment process takes place over 20 weeks.

Weeks 1 – 6

LA/Cognus receives a request for an EHC Needs Assessment (EHCNA)
Parents/carers or a young person completes the All About Me
LA and Multi-Agency SEN panel reviews evidence to decide whether an EHCNA is required
If EHCNA is not required, a Next Steps meeting will be offered
Weeks 7 – 12

If an EHCNA is required, the SEND Team requests advice from Professionals
The SEND Team will receive the completed advice from Professionals
Weeks 13 – 16

The SEND Team will prepare a Working Document (WD)
The WD is sent to families and professionals
A planning meeting will take place to develop the WD
LA and Multi-Agency SEN panel decide whether an EHC Plan is required
If a Plan is not required, a Next Steps meeting will be offered
Weeks 17 – 18

If a Plan is required, a draft Plan will be issued for consultation with parents/carers and/or the young person
Weeks 19 – 20

Consultations with educational settings will take place to determine placement
Confirmation of education placement, and the final EHC Plan will be issued