EHCP Assessment process

An educational, health and care plan (EHCP) brings your child’s education, health and social care needs into a single legal document.  Your child must have special educational needs or a disability for an EHCP.

Once an EHCP is agreed and in place it is reviewed 6 monthly as long as the child is under 5 and once a year for children over the age of 5.  At the review stage support can be increased, decreased or be maintained as a result of the review.  Parental views are vital.  Strengths, needs, outcomes and provision are included for 4 areas.

The process usually starts with an early help assessment which is reviewed at a team around the family/child meeting and the box is ticked for a statutory assessment if it is considered that a request for an EHCP should be made.  Parents should sign beside this box.

The Local Authority has 6 weeks to decide whether to proceed with the assessment.  The referral is looked at, at a panel meeting.  Parents and the referrer are informed of the decision.

If it is agreed that the assessment should go ahead, the Assessment Officer or EHCP Key Worker will ask for views from the parents and also for advice from any professionals they feel could provide useful information required to formulate a plan.  These people may or may not already be involved with the child.  Parents are asked to complete ‘Part A’ and parents should be offered help to complete this section.

Everybody involved in the process is given the date of the EHCP family meeting.  If this is not convenient then you can ask for it to be at a time/place that is suitable for you by contacting the Assessment Officer or EHCP Key Worker.

The Assessment Officer/Key Worker writes the draft plan 14-16 weeks after the original referral was received.

The EHCP family meeting takes place.  Parents/carers decide who they would like to be at the meeting – members of the wider family, friends, etc.  All professionals who have contributed will usually be there and it is led by the Assessment Officer/Key Worker.

The meeting can take 1.5 to 2 hours, sometimes longer, so allow for this.  This is the time you can make amendments, ask for things to be changed, removed or added to ensure that a plan is written that truly reflects your child, their strengths and needs, the outcomes and how these outcomes will be met.  At this point you can also request a specific school for your child.

The final plan is issued within 20 weeks of the original referral.

The EHCP process

All About Education, Health and Care Plans – SENDAC


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