Education, Health and Care needs assessments and plans

An EHCP brings together your child's education, health and social care needs into a single plan

Sometimes, the resources available in schools for SEN support cannot meet the needs of the child or young person with SEN.

In such a case, you or your child's school can ask the local authority for an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment which could lead to your child receiving an Education, Health & Care Plan (EHCP).

If your child doesn't have SEN, you can contact our Families Information Service at 01642 444532 about alternative support.

Information on whether a child is eligible for an EHCP can be found on our People's Information Network website​.

Asking for an EHC needs assessment

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) can request a statutory assessment for EHCP.

In addition, anyone else can bring a child or young person who has (or may have) SEN to the attention of the local authority, particularly where they think an EHC needs assessment may be necessary. This could include, for example, foster carers, health and social care professionals, early years practitioners, youth offending teams or probation services, those responsible for education in custody, school or college staff or a family friend.

Following a request for an EHC needs assessment, or the child or young person having otherwise been brought to its attention, the local authority must determine whether an EHC needs assessment is necessary. The local authority must make a decision and communicate the decision to the child’s parent or to the young person within six weeks of receiving the request.

For further information you can contact SEN Services by calling 01642 304503 or 01642 304561 or by emailing

The EHC needs assessment

You and your child will be fully involved in the assessment and decisions. We will provide you with impartial information, advice and support to help you understand the process. 

The assessment will also involve getting information about your child from their teacher(s), health, social care and the local authority’s educational psychologist. Advice and information from any person requested by the child’s parent or young person should be sought where reasonable to do so. 

Once the assessment is completed, we will decide whether or not to make an EHC Plan.

Preparing an EHC plan

When drawing up an EHC Plan we will take into account yours and your child's views, feelings and wishes and will prepare a draft version for you to look at. 

You will have 15 days to look at the EHC Plan and choose which setting (nursery, school, college etc) you would like your child to attend. This could be a mainstream or special school setting. You can ask for help or support during this process. 

We have 20 weeks from assessment request to issue the EHC Plan including the name of the setting.

Reviewing an EHC plan

EHC plans must be reviewed by us at least every 12 months by the date agreed in the plan.

Reviews will focus on:

  • Providing information to the nurseries, schools or colleges to support the child’s or young person’s progress and their access to learning
  • The special education provision made for the child or young person 
  • The health and social care provision made for the child or young person
  • How suitable the EHC plan is for the child or young person
  • New targets and/or outcomes for the coming year
  • Any targets set by the nursery, school or college

Reviews must be undertaken together with the child/young person and their parent and take into account their wishes and feelings. If the needs of the child have significantly changed or there need to be a change of educational provision, sometimes we may have to undertake a re-assessment. 

Personal budgets

You are entitled to request a personal budget if your child has an EHC Plan or has been assessed as needing one, and you want to be involved in choosing and arranging some of the support for them. 

A personal budget can only be used to meet your child's needs in their EHC Plan.

Further information on personal budgets can be found on the council's Local Offer website, or by contacting our Families Information Service at 01642 444532.

For further information relating to SEND please go to the People's Information Network Website.​​