Most children and young people with SEND will have their needs met by their mainstream setting, school or college.
Some pupils with more complex SEND (0-25) may need an assessment to see if they would benefit from having an Education, Health and Care plan. This is a legal document which sets out any additional support required to meet the special education needs of the child or young person.
Who is it for?
For children and young people with a special educational need or disability that can't be met with the usual support available in a school or college.
The young person can have a plan until the age of 25 while they remain in further education. If it's agreed at an annual review that a plan is no longer necessary, it can stop before 25.
How do I get a plan?
If you're concerned about your child’s progress, speak to their early years setting, school or college.
If the setting feels that further support is required, an Education, Health and Care needs assessment might be needed.
A request for an assessment can be done together with your child’s school, a doctor, health visitor or nursery worker. A request can be made by a parent or the young person if aged 16-25.
The assessment will help to decide how the education setting can meet the child or young person’s needs. When deciding whether to issue an EHC plan, education, health and social care professionals will take into account whether the child or young person's needs can reasonably be met by resources already available at the education setting.
The request an education, health and care assessment form should be completed and emailed to your local area team. This can be sent by the parents/carers of a child, the young person (if you are aged 16-25) or the education setting.
North Herts & Stevenage
St Albans & Dacorum
East Herts, Broxbourne, Welwyn & Hatfield
Watford, Three Rivers & Hertsmere
What happens next?
A SEND officer will be allocated to you/your child's case and will contact you to explain the process.
We decide within 6 weeks whether or not to carry out the assessment. If the assessment shows a need for an EHC plan, this will be produced within 20 weeks of the request.
Here's the time scale for the whole process (PDF 222 kb) Opening anew window.
What happens if my request is refused?
If we decide not to complete the assessment, we'll inform you within 6 weeks.
If after the assessment, it's decided not to issue an EHC plan, we must inform you within 16 weeks of the first request.
If you're not happy with either of these decisions then you'll have 2 months to consider mediation and make an appeal to a tribunal.
Young people without an EHC plan will still receive the support they need in their mainstream nursery, school or college where funding is allocated to the setting to support children and young people with SEND.
Changing your Statement to an EHC Plan (Transition)
Since 1 September 2014 changes have been taking place for
- Children with statements of special educational needs
- Young people with Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDA).
This process of transferring statements to EHC plans was completed by 1 April 2018.
EHC plans have the same legal protection as the previous Statements of SEN. It should be developed together with the family, parents/carers and all professionals involved with the child or young person
You can find out more about the transition process, from our policy documents.
With support from DfE, Independent Support has produced animations to help explain the EHCP process and its important relationship with the Person Centred Connection. Watch 'What is an EHCP and who is it for?' on Youtube.
Children without EHCPs may make an application for a school under a medical or social rule, often referred to as Rule 2 if the school(s) applied for includes such a rule in its oversubscription criteria.