To request an Educational Health Care Plan (EHC Plan) please contact the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) in your child’s school/nursery or speak with your health visitor. Parents can also request that their child has an EHC Plan Assessment.
A local authority must conduct an assessment of education, health and care needs when it considers that it may be necessary for special educational provision to be made for the child or young person in accordance with an EHC plan. The factors a local authority should take into account in deciding whether it needs to undertake an EHC needs assessment are set out in paragraphs 9.14 to 9.15 of the Code of Practice, and the factors a local authority should take into account in deciding whether an EHC plan is necessary are set out in paragraphs 9.53 to 9.56 of the Code of Practice. The EHC needs assessment should not normally be the first step in the process, rather it should follow on from planning already undertaken with parents and young people in conjunction with an early years provider, school, post-16 institution or other provider. In a very small minority of cases children or young people may demonstrate such significant difficulties that a school or other provider may consider it impossible or inappropriate to carry out its full chosen assessment procedure. For example, where its concerns may have led to a further diagnostic assessment or examination which shows the child or young person to have severe sensory impairment or other impairment which without immediate specialist intervention beyond the capacity of the school or other provider would lead to increased learning difficulties.
Who can request and EHC Needs Assessment?
The following people have a specific right to ask a local authority to conduct an education, health and care needs assessment for a child or young person aged between 0 and 25:
- the child’s parent
- a young person over the age of 16 but under the age of 25, and
- a person acting on behalf of a school or post-16 institution (this should ideally be with the knowledge and agreement of the parent or young person where possible)
In addition, anyone else can bring a child or young person who has (or may have) SEND to the attention of the local authority, particularly where they think an EHC needs assessment may be necessary. (Further details can be found in 9.9 of the Code of Practice)
There are also local groups that can provide you with support and information, such as
- Wirral SEND Partnership Information, Advice and Support Service (previously known as Parent Partnership Service)