Often known as an EHC or EHC plan, this document replaces the Statements of SEN and Learning Difficulties Assessments for children and young people with special educational needs.

EHC needs assessments

It begins with an assessment of the child or young person’s needs. A local authority (LA) has a responsibility to assess for education, health and care requirements where special needs are indicated. (SEN or special educational needs). The individual may need extra provision, under the Children and Families Act 2014, replacing the defunct statutory assessment under the Education Act 1996.

Request for an EHC assessment

The LA is required to respond to a request for an EHC assessment from a parent, young person, school or college within 6 weeks, stating their intention.

In the case of declining the request, there is a right to appeal against the refusal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.

Granting of an EHC agreement

However, if an agreement to conduct an assessment is granted, the LA is bound by law to first obtain a minimum level of advice and information from various professionals. An agreement to process further with the issue of an EHC plan is then based upon the evidence they gather about the individual concerned.

An EHC needs assessment is the only route available in order to be granted an EHC plan by the LA. Once the issue of a plan has been agreed by the LA, a draft is sent to the parents or young person to consider.

Choice of educational institution

At this stage of the process, the individual or parents will have the chance to name their choice of a particular school or college, which can include a mainstream or special school.

The local authority will communicate with the desired school or college, informing them of the request.

Draft EHC plan inclusions

In addition to the special educational needs and provision for the recipient the draft plan should also inform on the following:

• The provision of healthcare that has been assessed as required.
• Provision of social care made for the individual under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970, together with any other agreed assessment of social care provision.

Final EHC plan

The final EHC plan will then be drawn up by the LA who will be legally obliged to ensure that the provision requested in the plan is delivered. Furthermore the local health care provider will have a legal obligation to ensure that the health care provision in the plan is delivered.

For more detailed information on EHC please consult your local authority.

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