An Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is for children and young people aged up to 25 who need more support than is available through Special Educational Needs (SEN) support.
EHC Plans identify educational, health and social needs and set out the additional support to meet those needs.
Requesting an assessment for an EHCP
If you think your child needs an EHCP, you can request an assessment. The assessment will gather information and:
- Describe the child or young person's needs
- Describe what outcomes we all want for your child/young person
- Explain what support is proposed to achieve these outcomes
- Outline who can provide that support
You can complete the request for an EHC assessment or a professional can apply on your behalf with your consent. If you would like support or advice about how to complete the request for an EHC assessment form, contact the advice service on 0300 303 2677.
The application process asks for information about your child/young person. This includes their strengths, their needs and reasons for applying – including details of services already involved in supporting you and your family.
If you need further advice/support, please contact us on 023 8083 4373 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For lots of useful information about Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs), please follow this link to the Southampton SENDIASS website where you can find factsheets that explain EHCPs in more detail.
Eligibility for an EHC assessment SHOW
We will decide whether to start an EHC assessment. The criteria for this is:
- Whether the child or young person has or may have special educational needs (SEN)
- Whether they may need special educational provision to be made through an EHC plan
If the answer to both of these questions is yes, we will carry out an EHC needs assessment.
To inform our decision, we will need to take into account a wide range of evidence, such as:
- Evidence of the child or young person’s academic attainment (or developmental milestones in younger children) and rate of progress
- Information about the nature, extent and context of the child or young person’s SEN
- Evidence of the action already being taken by the early years provider, school or post-16 institution to meet the child or young person’s SEN
- Evidence that any progress has been made only because of much additional intervention and support. This is support over and above that which is usually provided
- Evidence of the child or young person’s physical, emotional and social development and health needs. This is drawing on relevant evidence from clinicians and other health professionals. It also accounts for what has been done to meet needs by other agencies
- If over 18 – we will consider whether the young person requires additional time to complete their education or training. This will be compared to others the same age without special educational needs. Remaining in formal education or training should help young people to achieve education and training outcomes. It should build on what they have learned before and prepare them for adult life.
The assessment process and support for parents SHOW
If an EHC assessment is agreed for your child/young person, we will identify a professional to be your Assessment Coordinator.
They will be the person who keeps you updated on the progress of the assessment. You can contact them if you have any questions throughout the process.
An assessment team will work in partnership with you and your child/young person. This team will involve staff from education, health, nursery, school or college and social care services. They will gather information by listening, bringing together information from previous assessments and arranging new assessments if needed.
When all the information is gathered, everyone involved in the assessment stage will agree on the support needed for your child/young person to achieve what they want from life. This will be recorded in a proposed EHC Plan.
- The assessment needs to happen over time to get a true understanding of your child’s needs. This will help identify any barriers which might prevent them achieving their potential. Your Assessment Coordinator will keep you updated with progress and any early findings
- Once an EHC plan is agreed, a Lead Professional will be identified to be your new single point of contact. They will normally be a professional that you already know. For example, they may be your Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) at school, your Health Visitor, Social Worker or your Community Nurse. You will have a say about who you would like it to be
The process from applying for an EHC assessment to sending out a final EHC plan should take 20 weeks at most.
Reviewing EHCP SHOW
Your Lead Professional will be responsible for overseeing and arranging reviews of your child/young person’s EHCP. This will normally be the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) at your child’s school or college.
The reviews will happen through a meeting. You will be invited to this along with the services and professionals involved in your child’s plan. Meetings will happen at least once a year. They can be more frequent if your child has very complex needs or circumstances change.
- EHCP – guide for young people
- Guidance for EHC needs assessment requests
- EHC needs assessment referral form
- EHC needs assessment application form (Early Years 2021)
- EHC application form – schools and colleges
- EHC needs assessment consideration meeting – terms of reference
- 0-25 service complex case panel – terms of reference
- SEN graduated response and EHC assessment criteria – school age
- 'I am unique' worksheet
- 'My unique family' worksheet
- 'My circle of support' worksheet
- 'One and Only' information pack guidance notes
- One and Only form – primary school
- One and Only form – secondary school