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Hertfordshire Send Local Offer

Most children and young people will have their needs met by their mainstream setting, school or college. A graduated approach will be used to assess their needs and provide the appropriate support.

An education, health and care (EHC) plan is a document which sets out any additional support identified to cater for special education needs identified through the EHC needs assessment.

What is an Education, Health and Care (EHC)plan

Some children and young people with more complex SEND (0-25) may need an education, health and care (EHC) assessment which may lead to an EHC plan.  This is a legal document issued by the Local Authority which sets out the provision 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.

You 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 request an EHC needs assessment?

If you are concerned about your child’s progress speak to the early years setting, school or college in the first instance.  They can talk to you about the support available in the school and from local support services including Integrated Services for Learning (ISL)and other educational, health or social care services.

If the setting still feels that further support is required to meet the needs of a child or young person, a detailed assessment of their needs may be required. This is called an EHC needs assessment. 

This assessment will not always lead to an EHC plan. However it may help to decide how the education setting can meet the child or young person’s needs. When deciding whether to issue an EHCP the local authority will take into account whether the needs of the child or young person can reasonably be met from resources normally available to settings.

If you would like more information, please contact the local area SEND team via the email addresses below or through the Customer Service Centre on 0300 123 4043. We are happy to respond to any questions or concerns you may have.

To request an assessment, the request for an EHC Needs Assessment form should be completed and also emailed directly to your local SEND area team, listed below. Requests can be sent by the parents/carers of a child, the young person (if you are aged 16-25) or the educational setting.

North Herts & Stevenage 

St Albans & Dacorum  

East Herts, Broxbourne, Welwyn & Hatfield 

Watford, Three Rivers & Hertsmere 


This flow chart shows the timescales on your journey to apply for an assessment.

What happens next?

A SEND officer will be allocated to you/your child's case and will contact you to explain the process.

The local authority will decide within 6 weeks whether or not to carry out the assessment. If the assessment goes ahead and shows a need for an EHC plan, this will be produced within 20 weeks of receipt of the request.

To create a plan, professionals will work with the parents and the child to consider what outcomes are desired and what is needed to achieve them. A draft copy of the plan will be sent to you to consider and suggest changes. You will have 15 days to request any changes. The school or setting named on the EHC plan will also be consulted and has 15 days to respond.

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.

Support

EHC plans have the same legal protection as the previous Statements of SEN and you also have the right to ask for independent support during the process. It should be developed together with the family, parents/carers and all professionals involved with the child or young person.

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 it here.

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. The rules for primary, junior and middle schools are different to secondary school rules.

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