What happens when we've carried out your child's needs assessment.

When deciding if your child needs special educational provision through issuing an EHC plan, the 'Decision and Moderation' Group looks at all the information gathered in the EHC needs assessment alongside the information available before the assessment. 

The group looks at your child's special educational need, the provision made for them and:

  • the information from the needs assessment confirms the information available on the nature and extent of your child's SEND before the assessment
  • the provision made before the assessment was well matched to your child's SEND
  • whether the special educational provision required to meet your child's needs can reasonably be provided from within the resources normally available to mainstream early years providers, schools and post-16 institutions

What happens after an EHC Needs Assessment 

We'll let you know if we think your child needs an EHC plan within a maximum 16 weeks of you asking for an assessment.

If we decide not to issue a plan

We'll write to you and the professionals involved in the assessment with our reason why we've decided not to create an EHC plan. We'll include a copy of all the reports we had from anybody who contributed to the needs assessment process. 

We'll also tell you about:

  • how to get further advice and support
  • independent disagreement resolution and mediation
  • your right to appeal 

The assessment should help your child's education setting and professionals working with your child by identifying the support required and how they'll provide that. 

Talk to the SENCO at your child's education setting about how their needs will continue to be met through SEND Support. 

Where it's needed, your child's setting and people involved should draw up a SEND Support Plan. This will use all the information gathered from the needs assessment. It should be reviewed with you and your child regularly. 

Find information on SEN Support Plans.

If we decide your child needs an EHC plan

We'll write a draft EHC plan using the information provided in the written reports. We'll send you it to you for comments. You have 15 days to get it back to us.

You need to let us know if you're happy with it, or if you'd like any changes made. This includes asking for a particular school or other institution that you'd like your child to go to. You can:

  • ask for a draft EHC plan meeting to discuss any changes
  • talk to us over the phone or by email

How to check your child's draft EHC plan

At this stage there should normally be information in:

  • section A, describing your child's views, interests and aspirations
  • section B, explaining what your child's special educational needs are
  • section C, describing your child's health needs which relate to SEND
  • section D, explaining your child's care needs which relate to SEND
  • section E, describing the intended outcomes for your child
  • section F, describing what special educational provision is needed for your child
  • section G, H1, H2, describing what provision is needed from health or social care services

Attached to the draft plan will be copies of all the reports that you and the professionals wrote about your child.

It's very important you make sure that the draft EHC plan:

  • is accurate
  • describes all your child's needs 
  • describes special educational provision for your child's needs
  • has measurable outcomes for your child that you agree with 

The plan should describe the provision in detail, be specific and quantified. For example, in terms of the type of staffing arrangements, hours, how often they'll provide support and their level of expertise.

Provision must be specified for each and every need in section B and it should be clear how what is provided will support your child in achieving the outcomes in the plan.

The Council for Disabled Children has a guide to EHC plans with good examples in it, including examples of needs, outcomes and provision that are clear and specific. 

Independent Parental Special Educational Advice (IPSEA) has a draft EHC plan check list Go to https://www.ipsea.org.uk/Handlers/Download.ashx?IDMF=afd8d11f-5f75-44e0-8f90-e2e7385e55f0 (opens new window), which you may find helpful when you're checking the draft.

If you want to consider a personal budget

You may ask us for a personal budget including a request for direct payments at anytime when the draft plan is being prepared.

We'll identify the amount of money to deliver the special educational provision as set out in your child's Education, Health and Care Plan and the provision which a personal budget maybe available.

We cannot make direct payments for the purpose of funding a place at a school or post-16 institution.

If you request a direct payment and we decide not to make this available we will write to you with our decision, the reason for this decision, and how you can request a review of our decision if you do not agree.

Why there isn't an education setting named on the draft EHC plan

The first draft doesn't include any references to preferred schools. The 15 days we give you to comment is when you get to tell us which early years setting, school or other education institution, or college you'd prefer your child to go to for us to consider. 

We will formally consult with:

  • local appropriate mainstream or specialist provision in line with the ‘Decision and Moderation' groups recommendations
  • your preferred school, which you have told us you would like your child to attend

Most children who have an EHC Plan go to their nearest mainstream school, which is often the one they're already at.

We'll try to send your child to your preferred school wherever possible.

If you request a draft EHC plan meeting

We'll have a meeting with you, your child and their school.

The meeting could also include:

  • health professionals who work with your child
  • social care staff who work with your child
  • any other professionals that you, we or your child's school invite, such as specialist teachers

You can also invite a member of support services, such as SEND And You (SAY).

In this meeting, we:

  • review comments from professionals who aren't able to be at the meeting
  • agree long term outcomes (section E) across education, health and social care if we've not already done this
  • discuss the provision that's needed for your child to achieve these outcomes and check that this is specified and quantified, so we know who will deliver the provision

The final EHC Plan

If we agree to issue an EHC plan for your child we must issue the final EHC plan within 20 weeks of you asking for an assessment.

If you're not happy with the final EHC plan you can talk to your link SEND Assessment Coordinator in the first instance or you can ask for free impartial mediation, in which will be necessary if you are still unhappy and wish to progress to a Tribunal Appeal.

View the latest EHC Plan performance data.