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)

All children and young people in Doncaster settings have access to a broad and balanced curriculum, including extra-curricular activities. All Doncaster settings take account of a child/young person's additional needs in every area of school life and all children and young people have the opportunity to experience the full range of subjects and activities offered by our schools. Teachers and support staff make sure all children/young people's needs are met through arranging appropriate classroom organisation and activities. Learning activities include small achievable steps to meet the needs of individual a child/young person and where necessary extra adult support will be offered.

This page looks at SEN support and education, health and care plans, if you would like more information on General Development Assessment pathway please click the link - GDA pathway

Quality First Teaching

Schools will be able to provide quality first teaching and targeted individual/group support in specific areas of need. Schools will be required to show that they have followed relevant professional advice and used their own resource to meet a pupils needs, reviewing the success of such programmes and making appropriate adjustments when necessary.

What do I do if I feel my child has a Special Educational Need?

Many children have some degree of special educational needs (SEN) at some stage in their lives. Most of these additional needs are met by your child's school or setting.

If you think your child may have SEN then you should contact the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) or manager/head teacher/principal in the education setting. You know your child better than anyone and you have a right to take part in decisions about your child’s education; the closer a you work with your 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

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


The person who will take the lead in coordinating support for children with SEND is the School SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator). Every school is required to have a SENCO with day-to-day responsibility for the operation of SEN policy and the co-ordination of specific provision made to support individual pupils with SEN. The SENCO provides professional guidance to colleagues and works closely with staff, parents and other agencies. The SENCO should, therefore, be the main point of contact for parents who have concerns regarding their child’s SEND.

SEN Support

What is SEN Support?

The learning and development needs of most children will be met by the support they receive in their early years setting, school or college. However, some children and young people may need a little more assistance through a process called SEN support. This means that they should receive help that is additional to or different from the support generally given to most of the other children of the same age. Special educational provision is commonly known as SEN support.

The sooner the special educational need (SEN) is identified, the sooner arrangements for meeting the identified needs can be put into place. For more in depth information you can access information from IPSEA - What is SEN Support? or speak to the SENCo at your child's setting. 

Your child does not need a diagnosis to receive SEN support. Once a special educational needs has been identified, your child's setting should work to meet this need without delay. If you would like to explore how to get a diagnosis for your child, please visit our GDA Pathways page

How can my child get SEN support?

SEN support for your child is part of what is known as the ‘graduated approach’ and generally works as follows.

  • You may be contacted by your child’s early years provider, teacher or SENCo – if they think that your child needs SEN support OR
  • You can approach your child’s school or other setting if you think your child might have SEN

To decide whether SEN support is necessary, the early years setting, school or college will make on-going assessments of you child. You will be involved and your views will be needed throughout the process, and you will be kept up to date with the progress made. Young people aged 16 to 25 will be fully involved in designing their own SEN support and provision.

The four stages of SEN support are:

  • Assess: Your child’s difficulties must be assessed so that the right support can be provided. This should include, for example, asking you what you think, talking to professionals who work with your child (such as their teacher), and looking at records and other information. This needs to be reviewed regularly so that the support provided continues to meet your child’s needs. That might mean getting advice and further assessment from someone like an educational psychologist, a specialist teacher or a health professional.
  • Plan: Your school or other setting needs to agree, with your involvement, the outcomes that the SEN support is intended to achieve – in other words, how your child will benefit from any support they get – and you need to be involved with that. All those involved will need to have a say in deciding what kind of support will be provided, and decide a date by which they will review this so that they can check to see how well the support is working and whether the outcomes have been or are being achieved.
  • Do: The setting will put the planned support into place. The teacher remains responsible for working with your child on a daily basis, but the SENCO and any support staff or specialist teaching staff involved in providing support should work closely to track your child’s progress and check that the support is being effective.
  • Review: The support your child receives should be reviewed at the time agreed in the plan. You can then decide together if the support is having a positive impact, whether the outcomes have been, or are being, achieved and if or how any changes should be made.

How are schools funded?

Some children may need more support than can usually be provided from the staff and materials available from the school’s own resources. If this is the case, additional top-up resources can be requested from the local authority.

Element 1

This is a sum of money that each school will receive for EVERY child/young person. This is used to make general provision for all pupils in the school including pupils with SEN.

Element 2

All schools receive an additional amount of money to support the needs of children with SEN, this is known as the school's notional SEN budget. The government has recommended that schools should use this notional SEN budget to pay for up to £6,000 worth of special educational provision to meet a child’s SEN. Most children with SEN need special educational provision that comes to less than £6,000.

Special educational provision is anything that is provided to meet a child/young person's SEN that is ‘additional to or different from’ provision made for all children and young people. The local authority must make sure that the special educational provision specified in an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is made for the child/young person. For a child/young person receiving SEN Support a school must use its ‘best endeavours’ to make sure that special educational provision is made to meet a child’s SEN. Schools must also follow the SEND Code of Practice 2014 which expects schools to involve parents in decisions a about how their child’s needs are met.

Element 2 is called the notional SEN budget because no-one tells schools exactly how they should spend their money. When funding is delegated to schools, they can spend it in the way they think is best. However, schools have a duty to identify, assess and make special educational provision for all children with SEN; and the local authority has a duty to set out what schools are expected to provide from their delegated budget.

Element 3

If the school can evidence that a child/young person with SEN needs more than £6,000 (Element 2) worth of special educational provision, the school can request top up funding from the local authority to meet the cost of the extra provision required for the child/young person through a request for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

High Needs Funding

Top up funding without a plan (Element 3). Schools may request additional support via top up funding without a plan. Settings are able to request up to £4,000 additional funding via this process. Settings are required to submit a request with a robust evidence base in order to demonstrate provision that will enable the child or young person make accelerated progress. Cases will be discussed at a panel who will then make a decision on whether to proceed. Parents must be made aware that this is not a request for an EHC needs assessment by the school before the request is submitted.

Information and forms relating to High Needs Funding have been moved to the Graduated Approach toolkit which can be accessed on the link below.

Graduated Approach Toolkit

SEND Support - Sample Plan and Review Framework

SEND Support in Early Years - Sample Plan and Review Framework


SEND Support in Schools - Sample Plan and Review Framework

Guidance ON SEN Support Plans (September 18-19)
Download (578KB - DOCX)
My Support Plan September 2018-19-1
Download (553KB - DOCX)

Requesting Additional Funding at SEN Support (enhanced) or an Extension of the Early Intervention Allowance in Reception (FS2)

Documents relating to requesting additional funding at SEN Support (enhanced) or an extension of the Early Intervention Allowance in Reception (FS2) can be found on the Early Year Inclusion webpage.

Early Years Inclusion webpage

Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

What is an Education, Health and Care Plan?

An Education, Health and Care Plan (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. AnEHCP focuses on identifying individual outcomes and puts children, young people and their families at the centre of the assessment, planning and review process. 

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. 

Education, Health and Care Process

The Council for Disabled Children have produced the following animations for parents, to help explain the EHCP process and its important relationship with the Person Centred Approach. You can also view this simple flowchart produced by Doncaster SENDIAS service.

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

Requesting an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Need 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.

Request for EHC Needs Assessment for Professional 

If you are a professional applying for an EHC needs assessment then this should be done with the knowledge and, where possible, agreement of the child’s parent or the young person. Please complete the the 'SEHCAR1 - Requesting a Statutory EHC Needs Assessment (September 2017)' form using the guidance if necessary. Once completed, please send to sen@doncaster.gov.uk

If you are a professional applying for an EHC needs assessment for an early years child, please complete the Early Years request for an EHC needs assessment form. Once completed, please send to sen@doncaster.gov.uk

Request for EHC Needs Assessment for Parents, Carers and Young People 

If you are applying for a EHC needs assessment for your child or you are in education and under 25 years of age and wish to apply for a EHC needs assessment yourself then you can apply by completing the relevant following letter sample letter parent and carersample letter young person. Once completed, please send to sen@doncaster.gov.uk

More Information 

What happens before the decision to assess?

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.
Guidance when Preparing A Request for EHC assessment (September 2017)
Download (858KB)

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, 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 (SEND) Tribunal.

What happens during the EHC needs 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 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 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 calendar 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 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.

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 Education, Health and Care Plan. The meeting should:

  • Consider progress by the pupil 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.

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

Documents for the Annual Review
General EHCP template September 2016
Download (809KB - PDF)
Annual Review of EHCP Updated September 2019
Download (501KB - DOCX)

Other Useful Documentation

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:

Local Offer Homepage


Last updated: 05 February 2024 17:48:49

Did you find this page helpful?