Local Offer - Assessment including Education, Health and Care Plans

All schools should have a clear approach to identifying and responding to SEN. The benefits of early identification are widely recognised – identifying need at the earliest point and then making effective provision improves long-term outcomes for the child or young person. (Reference Chapter 6 SEND Code of Practice 2015)

What do I do if I feel my child may have SEN? 

Many children have some degree of special educational needs at some stage in their lives. Most of these additional needs are met by the school the child attends. 

If a parent/carer thinks their child may have SEN then they should:
Contact the Special Educational Needs co-ordinator (SENCo) or Manager/ Head teacher /Principal in the education setting alternatively parents/carers may be aware of a lead practitioner or lead service involved with their child and they may be able to provide more information Parents/carers know their children better than anyone and they have a right to take part in decisions about their child’s education. The closer a parent/carer works with their child’s teachers, education setting and other services, the more successful any special help will be. 

All schools must have an SEN Policy which sets out how children might be supported in school. Schools also have to publish an SEN Information Report to show how they have implemented their Policy and also how they are meeting their duties under the Equalities Act 2010. The Department for Education (DfE) has published a Parents’ Guide to the SEND Code of Practice January 2015 which can be accessed on this page.

The SENDIAS Service, Families Information Service and Doncaster Parent Voice parent/carer forum are very helpful and can provide independent information, advice, and/or support.  

SEN Support

What is SEN Support?

Where a child or young person is identified as having SEND, schools and colleges should take action to remove barriers to learning and put effective special educational provision in place. This is called SEN Support. A child does not need to have an Education Health and Care Plan to have support from their school or setting.

SEN support should happen in a four-part cycle:
  • Assess
  • Plan
  • Do
  • Review
This should give you, your child and everyone involved in supporting them a good understanding of the child / young person’s needs and of what support is appropriate for your child / young person to make good progress and achieve their outcomes. Settings may call upon external specialists including an Educational Psychologist and should meet with parents at least 3 times a year. For a full overview of the service please visit Assess - Plan - Do - Review

How much support your child / young person will receive will depend on his or her individual needs. The nursery, school or setting will use a step-by-step approach to support. If your child / young person does not make progress then the support plan will be changed and the school will gradually increase the support given.

SEND Support in Early Years - Sample Plan and Review Framework

 SEND Support in Schools - Sample Plan and Review Framework

 Requesting additional funding at SEN support (enhanced) or an extension of the Early Intervention Allowance into reception (FS2)

Education, Health and Care Plan 

What is an Education, Health and Care Plan?

An EHCP is a legal document which describes your child / young person's needs. It sets out the education, health and care services needed to meet those needs and the type of educational place that would best suit your child. Your child could have a plan from birth to 25 if he or she stays in education, and the plan will change and develop as your child gets older.

The Children and Families Act has introduced changes to the ways children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are supported. One of these changes is a new assessment process with an integrated Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan) replacing Statements of Special Educational Needs and Learning Disability Assessments. The EHC Plan is for children and young people aged 0 – 25. It focuses on identifying individual outcomes and puts children, young people and their families at the centre of the assessment, planning and review process. EHC Plans will have the same protection in law as a Statement of SEN.

The majority of children and young people with SEN and disabilities will have their needs met by their local mainstream early years setting, school or college. However for those with complex needs that cannot be met by the support put in place by their school or college, an EHC needs assessment may be required.
Before children and young people are given an Education, Health and Care Plan, they will already have been receiving support, known as SEN support, from their school or setting. 

Educational Health Care Process

The following animations help parents to explain the EHCP process and its important relationship with the Person Centred Approach, visit: EHCP process animations.

Education Health Care Plan - Timeline
Download (147KB)
Education, Health and Care Plans - Checklist
Download (1.56MB)

Requesting an Educational Health Care Plan Assessment

Anyone can bring a child or young person to the LA’s attention, if they think the child has or may have SEN and an EHC needs assessment may be necessary. This should be done with the knowledge and, where possible, agreement of the child’s parent or the young person. Please complete the below document 'SEHCAR1 - Requesting a Statutory EHC Needs Assessment (September 2017)' using the guidance if necessary. Once completed, please send to sen@doncaster.gov.uk

A statutory assessment will consider special educational needs together with health and social care needs. When a request is made, the child will have demonstrated 'significant cause for concern' despite all relevant and purposeful action being taken. The education setting, or other practitioner, such as a Portage worker, health visitor or social worker, may bring a child to our attention. 

They should provide the Local Authority with a range of information including: evidence of how the child and family have been involved the child’s strengths, special educational needs and any health and care needs relating to their SEN the outcomes for the child: i.e. what will s/he be able to do that they cannot do currently the interventions and strategies in place and an evaluation of the impact of these on improving outcomes for the child the resources or special arrangements that they have already made available the specialist advice they have acted upon over time.

When we receive a request for an assessment for an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), we will need to decide whether or not your child needs one. A panel of education, health and care professionals makes this decision.

The panel makes its decision based on:

  • How complex your child’s needs are
  • The level of support your child has already received
  • Whether or not your child can be given support in his or her current setting.
sample letter young person
Download (14KB - DOCX)
sample letter parent and carer
Download (14KB - DOCX) 
SEHCAR1 - Requesting a Statutory EHC Needs Assessment (September 2017)
Download (1.1MB - DOCX)
Guidance when Preparing A Request for EHC assessment (September 2017)
Download (858KB)

What happens if the Local Authority decision is NOT to proceed?

The Local Authority may decide that the evidence does not support a statutory needs assessment and that the child’s needs should be met through school -based SEN Support. In these situations the Local Authority will explain the reasons to the parent and to the education setting and set out what they should do next to continue to meet the child’s needs.
The Local Authority will also set out the rights of appeal.
If parents, and young people over the age of 16 if they are able to make their own decision, disagree with this decision, they first have to consider mediation and have a right of appeal through The Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.

What happens during the assessment?

If the Local Authority feels that it should assess the child formally, it must seek statutory advice from all the services and settings involved and ask the child and family for their views, wishes and feelings.. The SEN Service and the lead practitioner will provide further information and support to the family. Everyone has 6 weeks to return their advice and reports. The statutory assessment will provide information on the following:
• The child’s strengths
• The child and family’s views, wishes and feelings
• The special education, health and care needs
• How the needs can best be met
• Special resources, equipment or input
• Access to buildings, curriculum etc.
• What outcomes are desired: what will the child be able to do that they can not do now?

What happens next?

If, following a statutory assessment, the Local Authority decides that a child requires support above what must be provided by the setting, an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) will be issued. This will be drafted in consultation with the family. It will not say at this stage where the child will go to school. The family has 15 days to give their views on the content in the EHCP. They can express a preference for a named setting and confirm if, and how, they would like to take up the offer of a Personal Budget.

If a child’s parent or a young person makes a request for a particular nursery, school or post-16 institution in these groups the Local Authority must comply with that preference and name the school or college in the EHC plan unless:
• it would be unsuitable for the age, ability, aptitude or SEN of the child or young person, or
• the attendance of the child or young person there would be incompatible with the efficient education of others, or the efficient use of resources.

A final EHCP must be issued within 20 weeks of the initial request being received and it will name an education setting although there are some exceptions allowed. Parents and young people have a right of appeal at this stage through The Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. It important that the EHCP is specific and identifies all the child's needs and that it matches detailed provision to meet these needs and the identified outcomes.

Sometimes the Local Authority’s view is that the statutory assessment advice says that an EHCP is NOT needed. If this is the case, the Authority will explain in writing and also say how the education setting should continue to meet the child’s needs. Parents, and the young person if they are over 16 and able to make a decision, have the right to appeal against the Local Authority's decision through The Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal after mediation has been considered.

Single Route of Redress – National Trial 

The Government have extended the powers of the SEND Tribunal to make non-binding recommendations about the health and social care aspects of Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans. This is a two-year trial from 3rd April 2018. For more about this, please read: 

Download (142KB - PDF)

Education, Health & Care Plan and Annual Review

Education settings should meet with parents at least 3 times a year and they are responsible for ensuring that the EHCP is delivered throughout the year. Ultimately the Local Authority is responsible for ensuring the child or young person receives the provision specified. The purpose of an Annual Review is to ensure that at least once a year the parents, pupil, Local Authority, school and all the professionals involved monitor and evaluate the continued effectiveness and relevance of the provision set out in the Statement or Education, Health and Care Plan. The meeting should:

• Consider progress by the pupil towards the objectives of the Statement or the Outcomes in the EHCP
• Consider if the Statement/ EHCP requires amendment, and if so, how
• Discuss and set new targets and review progress towards the agreed Outcomes
• Ensure that any phase transitions such as transfer from nursery (FS1) to Reception (FS2); primary to secondary school or 14-19 transition requirements are considered and followed according to the timeline set out in the SEND Code of Practice.

Here is an animation for children, young people and parents to help understand the process.

Documents for the Annual Review
NEW General EHCP template September 2016
Download (809KB - PDF)
Annual Review of EHCP - Blank Template (February 2018)-1
Download (610KB - DOCX)
Annual Review of an EHCP - Guidance Notes (September 2017)
Download (767KB)

Other useful documentation

Department for Education (DfE) Documentation


 Here is a video produced by CDC that explains what an EHCP is and who it is for.

Last updated: 27 March 2019 15:43:16