Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP / EHC Plan)
An Education, Health & Care Plan or EHC Plan (often referred to as EHCP) is a document which sets out the education, health and social care needs of a child or young person, for some this may be up to age 25, and the support that is necessary to help them to progress and achieve their outcomes.
I'm thinking about requesting an EHC needs assessment, who should I speak to?
Speak to everyone who is currently supporting the child or young person to make sure that everything that could be available is in place. At Pakefield, this will be the SEND team and the child’s Year Lead.
We always encourage families to work with us to discuss the provision in place for a child and decide if/when statutory assessment is appropriate. However, if you are a parent carer and would like to make a request for statutory assessment, you can do this by emailing, writing to or calling your local Family Services Team.
Who can request an EHC Needs Assessment?
The following people can request an EHC needs assessment for a child or young person aged between 0 and 25:
- The child's parent or carer
- A young person over the age of 16 but under the age of 25 themselves if they understand it sufficiently well – otherwise the parent or representative can make the request on a young person's behalf
- A person acting on behalf of a school or post-16 institution
In addition, anyone else can bring a child or young person who has (or may have) SEN to the attention of the local authority, particularly where they think an EHC needs assessment may be necessary. This could include, for example, foster carers, health and social care professionals, early years practitioners, youth offending teams or probation services.
If you are a parent carer and would like to make a request for statutory assessment, you can do this by emailing, writing to or calling the local Family Services Team.
When should I request an EHC Needs Assessment?
When your child or young person has a learning difficulty or a disability and is not making the progress expected with the support that is being put in place. This includes where you (or the young person themselves) believe that we, the education setting, is not able to provide the help and support which is needed. We will work with you to ascertain if and when an EHC Needs Assessment is appropriate. Before we apply on your child’s behalf, we would need to ensure that we had exhausted all other avenues of support, including two complete cycles of the SEND graduated approach – Assess, Plan, Do, Review.
A request for an EHC Needs Assessment will be considered if the child or young person has or may have special educational needs – it does not apply where there are only health and/or care needs.
When should I hear back?
The Local Authority must reply to you, the parent, within six weeks – even where the request was made by us, the school.
If an EHC Needs Assessment is requested, what can happen?
The Local Authority will ask for some information from the child or young person, you, their family, and us, the current education setting so they can make a decision as to whether an EHC Needs Assessment is required.
This decision will be made within six weeks of the request for assessment being made.
A decision not to assess may be given, and the reasons why will be explained, including recommendations about what we, the education setting could do to further support your child or young person.
If an EHC Needs Assessment is agreed, what happens next?
If the Local Authority decides that an assessment is required, they will ask for assessments, information and reports which will identify your child's or young person's special education needs and any additional support they may require.
From the assessment information received, the Local Authority will consider whether the support your child’s special educational needs is additional or different to the support normally available through SEN Support in school.
A decision will be made as to whether to issue an EHC Plan.
Family Services – the Teams
SEND Family Services (within SCC Inclusion Service) lead on the support of children, young people and their families so that with the necessary skills, young people progress into adulthood to further achieve their hopes, dreams and ambitions.
For you, the family, and us, the school, our primary contacts are the Family Services Coordinators and Assistant Coordinators. The Lead Coordinators manage the teams and work with independent specialist providers, supporting the children, young people and their families accessing these settings.
Our local team is:
Lowestoft & Waveney - Suffolk Coastal