When might an Education Health and Care Plan be needed?

The majority of children and young people  with SEND will be supported within their mainstream early year setting, school or college through the Graduated Response and Quality First teaching with  targeted and personalised support. All schools have notional funding to allow them to do this. The Local Area has provided additional funding to help schools meet their more predictable needs and to further strengthen mainstream provision in the local area. 

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 information about the child's/young person's progress. 
  • give the child/young person the support they need through a graduated response.  This could include getting advice and support from specialists outside the school (such as an Educational Psychologist or a Speech and Language Therapist) so that more effective support and interventions can be put into place
  • they should discuss the needs of the child in their cluster to see if there are alternative strategies that could be provided as part of the graduated response. Read more about clusters. 

Similarly, if a parent or carer thinks that their child/young person has SEND, parents / carers should:

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

However, where a child or young person is not making the expected progress despite the graduated response and all reasonable endeavours undertaken by the setting in partnership with relevant professionals using the resources available, the parent/carer or setting can request an Education Health and Care Plan Assessment (EHCNA).  Visit the Local Offer for more information about EHC Needs Assessments. 

Requesting an EHC Needs Assessment 

Before considering making a request for an EHC Needs Assessment, schools should discuss their approaches and concerns with SENCO colleagues and / or attend SEND Cluster meetings to discuss any further support or interventions that should be put into action.  When making a request, settings will need to evidence the targeted interventions used and their impact with regard to the graduated approach document and EHC guidelines.

Learn more about SEND Cluster meetings.  

If it is agreed by parents, the school and where appropriate, the young person, to request an assessment, the form below can be used. It is not a requirement but will help to ensure that the most useful information is provided to inform the request:

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

Again, these are not requirements but will help provide the most useful information.

Should parents, carers, young people or settings 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 and young people up to and including Year 8 and guidance for young people Year 9 and above. Find the templates and guidance (external link). 

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.

When is an EHC Plan issued?

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.

Using the Assessment Advice to Create a New SEND Support Plan

If it is agreed that an EHC Plan is not in fact required, the information gathered during an EHC Needs Assessment will provide information about how the setting can meet the child or young person's needs without an EHC Plan. The Local Authority will share the information gathered during the assessment with parents, carers, the young person and the setting so that they can jointly develop an SEND Support Plan that sets out how the needs can be met and the outcomes achieved.

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.

Visit the Local Offer for more information on The Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan.

29/04/2021, 09:53:44

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