Local Offer - Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP)

If your child’s special educational needs (SEN) cannot be met through SEN support then their setting may ask the local authority to carry out an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment to determine if your child needs an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

Doncaster Education, Health and Care Hub - Now Live!

On 18th April 2024, the online Doncaster Education, Health, and Care (EHC) Hub went live. The EHC Hub will transform communication enabling families, education settings and SEND Professionals to collaborate with complete transparency on assessments, plans and reviews.

Doncaster Education Health and Care Hub FAQs

What is an Education, Health and Care Plan?

An Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is a legal document which describes a person's needs. It sets out the education, health and care services needed to meet those needs and the type of educational setting which would best suit them. Your child could have a plan from birth to 25 if they stay in education, and the plan will change and develop as they get older. An EHCP focuses on identifying individual outcomes and puts the child or young person, and their families, at the centre of the assessment, planning and review process.

Who might need an Education, Health and Care Plan?

Most children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) will have their needs met by their local mainstream early years setting, school or college, through high quality teaching and SEN support. However, some individuals have more complex needs that cannot be met by the support put in place by their school or college. These learners may require an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment to see if an EHCP is required.

What is the Education, Health and Care Plan process?

Doncaster SENDIAS Service have produced this simple flowchart on the EHCP process.

How can my child get an Education, Health and Care Plan?

Before an EHCP can be issues, the local authority must carry out an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment. The assessment will help the local authority determine if your child requires an EHCP. 

EHC Needs Assessment

Who can request an EHC needs assessment and how can it be requested?

Anyone can bring a child or young person to the local authority's attention, if they think the child has or may have SEN and an EHC needs assessment may be necessary. This includes your child's education setting or other practitioner, such as a Portage worker, health visitor or social worker. You, or the young person themselves, can also request an EHC needs assessment.

Parents requesting an EHC needs assessment for their children

You can apply for an EHC assessment for your child by completing the online form on the EHC Hub. Alternatively, you can complete this parent and carer's sample letter and send to sen@doncaster.gov.uk

Young people requesting an EHC needs assessment for themselves

If you are aged under 25 and in education, you can apply for a EHC needs assessment by completing the online form on the EHC Hub. Alternatively, you can complete this young person's sample letter and send to sen@doncaster.gov.uk

 

Professionals who wish to apply for an EHC needs assessment may also complete the online form on the EHC Hub.

What happens before the decision to assess?

Once a request for an EHC needs assessment has been made, the local authority has six weeks to decide whether or not they will carry out an EHC needs assessment. During this time, the local authority will gather a range of information and evidence about your child's SEN and the support your child has already received.

A panel of education, health and care professionals will then review the request and decide if the child or young person requires an assessment. 

What happens if the local authority decide not to proceed with the EHC needs assessment?

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, or the young person if over the age of 16 and 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 (SEND) Tribunal.

What happens during the EHC needs assessment?

If the local authority feels that it should formally assess your child, it must seek statutory advice from all the services and settings involved and ask you and your child for your views, wishes and feelings. The SEN Service and the lead practitioner will provide further information and support to your family. Everyone has 6 weeks to return their advice and reports. The statutory assessment will provide information on the following: 

  • Your child’s strengths 
  • Yours and your child's views, wishes and feelings
  • Your child's special education, health and care needs 
  • How your child's needs can best be met 
  • Special resources, equipment or input 
  • Access to buildings, curriculum etc. 
  • What outcomes are desired: what will your child be able to do that they can not do now?

What happens after the EHC needs assessment?

If the local authority (LA) decides an EHCP is needed:

If, following the EHC needs assessment, the LA decides that your 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 you and your child. The draft EHCP will not say where your child will go to school, at this stage.

You have 15 calendar days to give your views on the content in the EHCP. You can express a preference for a named setting and confirm if, and how, you would like to take up the offer of a Personal Budget.

You must complete and return the letter, that was sent with your child's draft EHCP, to the council. You can return this via post to SEN Service, Civic Office, Waterdale, Doncaster, DN1 3BU or you can scan the letter (or take a clear photo) and email it to sen@doncaster.gov.uk 

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 LA must comply with that preference and name the school or college in the EHCP 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 SEND 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.

If the LA decided an EHCP is not needed:

Sometimes the LA'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 LA's decision through The SEND Tribunal after mediation has been considered.

Annual Reviews

What is an annual review?

An Annual Review is a review of your child's education, health and care plan (EHCP). They should be held at least once a year.

What is the purpose of an annual review?

An annual review ensures that at least once a year, parents, learners, the local authority, education setting and all other professionals involved monitor and evaluate the continued effectiveness and relevance of the provision set out in the EHCP. The meeting should:

  • Consider progress by the child/young person towards the outcomes in the EHCP 
  • Consider if the 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.

In addition to the annual reviews, education settings should meet with parents at least 3 times a year to review the child's progress.

What could happen to an EHCP at an annual review?

At an annual review, it may be decided that:
  • The EHCP does not need changing. For example, because:
    • Your child's needs have remained the same, therefore, the provision written in the EHCP is still required
    • Your child is still working towards their targets or their targets are still appropriate, therefore, their outcomes do not need to be changed
  • The EHCP needs updating. For example, because:
    • Your child's needs have changed, therefore, different provision may be required
    • Your child has achieved their targets, or their targets are no longer appropriate, therefore new outcomes will be set
  • The EHCP is no longer needed so it will be ceased

How can I prepare for an annual review?

The Contact website has a great section on preparing for an annual review. You can also contact Doncaster SENDIAS for information, advice or support.

Annual review documents for professionals can now be found in the Graduated Approach Toolkit.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Person Centered Planning?

Who is responsible for ensuring my child receives the provision set out in their EHCP?

The local authority is responsible for ensuring your child or young person receives the provision specified. 

What are the different sections of an EHCP?

EHCPs must include the following sections:

Section A     The views, interests and aspirations of the child and his parents or the young person
Section B The child or young person's special educational needs (SEN)
Section C The child or young person's health care needs that relate to their SEN
Section D The child or young person's social care needs that relate to their SEN
Section E The planned outcomes or outcomes sought for the child or young person
Section F The special educational provision (provision which ‘educates or trains is not health or social care provision it is educational).
Section G Any any health care provision reasonably required by the learning difficulties or disabilities
Section H Any social care provision that must be made for the child or young person under 18
Section H2 Any other social care provision required that is related to their SEN
Section I The name of the school or other institution to be attended, and the type of that institution (or just the type if no specific institution is named) 
Section J Details of how any personal budget will support particular outcomes and the provision it will be used for
Section K Copies of all of the advice and information obtained as part of the EHC needs assessment

I've received my child's draft EHCP. What should I do next?

If you're happy with the contents of the draft EHCP

Complete and return the letter to: SEN Service, Civic Office, Waterdale, Doncaster, DN1 3BU. Alternatively, you can scan the completed letter (or take a clear photo) and email it to sen@doncaster.gov.uk

If you're unhappy with the content of the draft EHCP

Complete the letter, providing details of which sections you are unhappy with, including your reasons and what you believe the EHCP should say instead. You must then return the letter to: SEN Service, Civic Office, Waterdale, Doncaster, DN1 3BU. Alternatively, you can scan the completed letter (or take a clear photo) and email it to sen@doncaster.gov.uk

When can an EHCP be ceased?

An EHCP can be ceased if the local authority feel that your child no longer requires an EHCP to support them. This may be because their needs can be met without the need for an EHCP. An EHCP will also be ceased if a young person leaves education or turns 26 years old, for example, if the young person enters higher education (university) or if they leave their further education course.

What can I do if I feel the EHCP no longer reflects my child's needs?

If you feel the contents of your child's EHCP no longer reflects their needs then you can ask their education setting or the local authority to call an early Annual Review. This will give everybody an opportunity to review the EHCP and amend your child's needs, SEN provision and outcomes, where necessary. If you require support during this process, you can contact Doncaster SENDIAS.

What can I do if I disagree with a decision relating to my child's EHCP?

Most disagreements can be resolved quickly by speaking with your child's education setting or the local authority. If the disagreement is not resolved then there are steps you can take to try and reach an agreement. Find out more about appeals and disagreement resolution. If you require support during this process, you can contact Doncaster SENDIAS.

Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP) are maintained by the Special Educational Needs (SEN) Service. If you would like to speak to somebody regarding your child's EHCP, please contact the SEN Service on:

 

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Last updated: 23 April 2024 08:45:35

 

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City of Doncaster Council’s Families Information Service is responsible for co-ordinating and publishing the Local Offer – Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

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