Education, Health and Care needs assessment – decision making
We decide whether to give your child an education, health and care (EHC) plan after a formal assessment of their needs.
The statutory timescale for completing a new EHC needs assessment is 20 weeks.
For free and impartial advice or support for you or your child during the EHC needs assessment, please contact Insights Information Advice and Support Service (IASS).
If we decide not to issue an education, health and care plan
We'll tell you within 16 weeks of starting the EHC Assessment if we decide not to issue a plan for your child. We'll invite you to a meeting to discuss the decision and possible ways forward. This is called a Next Steps meeting. Even if your child doesn't need an EHC plan there will still be support available through the Local Offer.
If you disagree with our decision, you have two months to appeal to a tribunal. We will explain how you can appeal and as part of this process you will be given information about mediation.
If we agree to issue an education, health and care plan
If the Education Health and Care Needs Assessment shows that the special educational needs provision required is over and above what is available in the Local Offer, then the Local Authority will issue an EHC Plan.
The plan will set out the long term outcomes and the help that will be provided. We will explain the help that is available and involve you in decisions about how funding is used where possible. In some cases you may be able to receive a personal budget to arrange the provision yourself. We'll talk to you about your options.
You and your child should be central to developing the plan and involved at every stage. We'll meet with you to discuss the plan. We may also invite your child and any professionals who were involved in the assessment.
You'll be able to comment on the draft plan before we issue the final one.
If you disagree with the final plan you can appeal.
Reviewing the EHC plan
We review your child's plan every year (every 3 to 6 months if your child is under 5 years old) in a meeting which you and your child can come to. In the meeting we:
- review how the support your child has received has helped them to improve their learning outcomes and make progress in other areas
- see if your child's needs have changed in any way
- review the outcomes and see if they need to be changed
- plan for the next period up to the next review
Your child's headteacher will send us the information from the meeting. We will use this to update the EHC Plan. Once the plan has been updated, we will send you the revised draft plan for your comments.
Changes to the EHC plan
We will always ask for your views before changing your child's plan. You can appeal to the tribunal if you disagree with our changes.