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What happens after an EHC needs assessment

What happens after an EHC needs assessment

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

When deciding if your child needs special educational provision in an EHC plan, the Statutory EHC Needs Assessment Panel looks at all the information gathered in the EHC needs assessment alongside the information available before the assessment. 

The panel looks at your child’s special educational need, the provision made for them and if the:

  • information from the needs assessment confirms the information available on the nature and extent of your child’s SEND before the assessment
  • provision made before the assessment was well matched to your child’s SEND

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 be provide that. 

Talk to the SENCO at your child’s education setting about how their needs will continue to be met through SEND Support, which happens in a four part cycle . 

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

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 it
  • 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
  • section D, explaining your child’s care needs
  • sections E to H, describing your child’s outcomes and the provision needed

If you’ve not completed section A yet, you can do this now. There may not be any information in sections C and D. 

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 help or 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, which you may find helpful when you’re checking the draft.

If you want to consider a personal budget

We’ll estimate provision costs, including placement, transport health and social care. This gives you time to consider if you might need a personal budget. 

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. 

We have to consider your preference, but we don’t have to agree with you. The SEND Code of Practice (9.78) describes what happens when you request a particular school, college or other institution.

Most children who have an EHC Plan go to their nearest mainstream school, which is often the one they’re already at. An EHC Plan may put in place additional resources to help the school meet your child’s special educational needs.

We’ll formally consult with the school or other educational provider you choose to make sure they can meet your child’s needs. We’ll try to send your child to your preferred wherever possible. 

If you request a  draft EHC plan meeting

We’ll have a meeting with you and your child, if they’re over 16.

The meeting could also include:

  • the SEN Coordinator from your child’s education setting
  • 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 Supportive parents.

In this meeting, we:

  • review comments from professionals who aren’t able to be at the meeting
  • agree joined short and 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 

Short term outcomes are for 12 months and long term outcomes are three to five years in the future or your child’s next change of education setting (transition point), whichever is sooner.

The final EHC Plan

We must issue the final EHC plan within 20 weeks of you asking for an assessment. If you’re not happy with the final plan you can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal  (special educational needs and disability).