Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans and assessments

An Education, Health and Care plan (EHC) plan is a legal document that replaces Statement of SEN and Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDAs).

The EHC sets out:

  • A young person's needs
  • What should happen to meet those needs
  • Suitable educational placements
  • The needs and hopes of the child or young person. EHC plans will continue into further education and training, and for some young people, up to the age of 25.

We have produced templates and guidance around EHC plans which you can download.

Differences between the EHC plan and the Statement of Special Educational Needs

  • The child or young person is at the centre of the assessment of their needs and of the EHC plan;
  • Professionals working with the family involve them in the planning process;
  • Parent carers participate in developing and evaluating the EHC plan;
  • Increased choice and control through personal budgets;
  • Transparency and openness in all parts of the process;
  • Plans focus on the desired outcomes or results with a clear view of how resources will be allocated
  • The EHC plan takes up to 20 weeks, instead of 26 weeks for a statement

Who can request an assessment?

An EHC assessment would be considered if a child or young person has a significant learning difficulty. In most cases, the head teacher or SENCO (SEN Coordinator) from your child’s  childcare setting, school or college will request an EHC assessment. This can be made at any time from birth to the age of 25. 

 You can talk to any professional who supports your child about the assessment and, if they agree that an assessment is needed, they should help you make a request for an assessment.

A parent, or a young person over the age of 16, can also make a request for an assessment by writing to the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Statutory Casework Team.

The letter should include your child’s name, date of birth, which childcare setting, school or college they attend, and why you feel that an EHC assessment is needed.

How long is the EHC assessment process?

The assessment should take a maximum of 20 weeks.

When does the council decide to conduct an EHC assessment?

We will conduct an EHC assessment when we consider that it may be necessary for special education to be made for a child or young person through an EHC plan. This is likely to be when the special education required cannot be reasonably provided within the resources normally available to mainstream early years providers, schools and post 16 institutions.

The assessment is sometimes called a 'single assessment' The assessment brings together all existing relevant information about a child. If further assessments are required, the SEN Caseworker assigned to the family will arrange for this to happen.

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