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Education, Health and Care Assessment

The assessment of a child’s Education, Health and Care needs is a coordinated assessment that brings together all existing relevant information about a child. A ‘Keyworker’ from the SEN Team will be assigned to the family to support them through the assessment.

The assessment process takes a maximum of 20 weeks, but could be less if no further information or consultations are required and all the necessary evidence is available and has been agreed with the parent. The SEND Code of Practice also recognises that the assessment may take longer than 20 weeks in certain circumstances, e.g. appointments with people from whom the LA has requested information are missed by the child or young person, but it will always be explained to the parent where this is the case.

View the Education, Health and Care Assessment Pathway.

Who can request an EHC assessment?

Requests for an assessment of education, health and care needs can be made by:

  • The child's parents (or somebody on their behalf)
  • The young person if over the age of 16 (or somebody on their behalf)
  • A person acting on behalf of an early years setting, school or post 16 institution (this should always be with the knowledge and agreement of the parent or young person).

Also, anyone can inform the LA about a child or young person who has (or may have) SEND. This could include, for example, foster carers, health and social care professionals, youth offending teams or probation services, those responsible for education in custody, college staff or a family friend. Again, this must be done with the agreement of parents or the young person.

Stage 1: Is an Education, Health and Care assessment needed?

There are three possible outcomes of a request for an EHC needs assessment:

  • It does not meet the criteria for assessment
  • There is need for coordinated support (i.e. from more than one service) but at a ‘targeted’ rather than a ‘specialist’ level
  • The application meets the criteria for an EHC needs assessment.

Stage 2: Preparation and consideration of existing information

If an assessment is agreed:

  • A Keyworker from the SEN Team will explain to the parent the assessment process and discuss:
    • Suitability of existing assessment reports
    • Who else the parent would like involved in the assessment process
  • The Keyworker will timetable the assessment
  • The Keyworker will arrange to complete the Pupil Profile (Part A) of the plan with the parent / young person

Stage 3: Information gathering and analysis

Stage 3 runs in parallel with Stage 2.

  • The Keyworker will liaise with the professionals who make up the child's Assessment Team to share information and discuss how the assessment will move forward
  • Information is gathered, following professional frameworks, and taking into account the profile completed by the parent / young person
  • Professionals will submit reports of the information they have gathered in the following form:
    • A clear description of the child’s needs
    • Impact these needs could have on current and future provision requirements
    • Outcomes sought for the child/young person
  • Once collated, the Education, Health and Care Needs Management Board will consider the advice, and recommend whether an EHC Plan should be issued
  • Where this is agreed, the Keyworker will then facilitate a person-centred meeting with the parent and any others they wish to involve where the outcomes to be set out in the plan and the interventions necessary to meet those outcomes will be planned
  • The Local Authority will then consider whether any resources allocation is needed according to an agreed Top-Up Funding matrix.

Stage 4: Consult and agree

  • The completed EHC Plan, including the agreed school placement, is then reviewed and formally signed off following further consultation with providers.

Stage 5: Monitor and review

  • The EHC Plan will be reviewed at least annually (more frequently for very complex cases or younger children). The review will take place via a meeting convened by the education placement for this purpose

What happens is the LA decides that a EHC Plan is not necessary?

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