Requesting an Education, Health & Care (EHC) Needs Assessment
From the 1st September 2014, Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans will replace statements of Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDAs).
Educational settings (nurseries, schools and colleges) may request an EHC Needs Assessment if they feel your child is not making progress or requires statutory support. Parents or a young person over the age of 16 but under the age of 25 can also request an EHC Needs Assessment.
Requests must be submitted in writing to the:
Isles of Scilly
Current statements of SEN and Learning Difficulty Assessments will be converted to EHC plans by April 2018 – please see the section on Transfer Reviews below for more information.
EHC Needs Assessment and Timescales
Under the new statutory framework, the assessment process has been reduced from 26 weeks to 20 weeks. You must be notified within 6 weeks of a request being submitted as to whether an assessment will be carried out for your child.
If a request to carry out an EHC Needs Assessment is not agreed
You will be contacted within 6 weeks if it has been agreed that an EHC Needs Assessment will not be carried out for your child. You will have the opportunity to meet with a Senior Inclusion Officer to explain the decision.
If a request to carry out an EHC Needs Assessment is agreed
You will be contacted by a SEND Lead Practitioner within 6 weeks, who will arrange a face to face meeting with you to explain the process in more depth and provide you with a ‘preparing for your assessment’ booklet for your child and you to complete. This booklet will to help form a picture of you and your child’s hopes and aspirations for the future, which will help to inform the outcomes for your child’s proposed EHC plan.
Depending on whether recent assessments have been carried out, you will either be invited to attend an Assessment Meeting to meet with relevant professionals who are currently or should be involved in assessing your child’s needs. If up to date assessments are available, you will be invited to an Outcomes Meeting where draft outcomes for your child’s plan can be discussed and agreed with professionals.
Your SEND Lead Practitioner will attend all meetings with you and your child, as they are responsible for gathering the information and drafting your child’s proposed EHC plan.
You will be notified within 16 weeks whether or not a proposed EHC plan will be issued for your child.
If an EHC plan is not issued for your child
You will be notified in writing explaining the reasons why an EHC plan has not been issued. A SEND Support plan (non-statutory) will be issued instead of an EHC plan. You will be able to meet with a Senior Officer to explain the decision if required.
If a proposed EHC plan is issued
You will be notified of the decision within 2 weeks and a proposed EHC plan will be issued. Educational Setting(s) named will need to be consulted to regarding the placement for your child. Once this has been agreed, a final EHC plan with a named educational setting(s) will be issued. This process should be concluded within 20 weeks.
Current statements of SEN and Learning Difficulty Assessments will be converted into EHC plans by April 2018. The Council of the Isles of Scilly have published a plan for transferring statements of SEN and Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDAs).
Information, Advice and Support
Independent, impartial information, advice and support is available to help parents and young people through the EHC Needs Assessment process. You can contact Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Special Educational Needs Disability Information Service (SENdiass) via their website, e-mail or phone 01736 751 291.
Mediation and disagreement resolution
Occasionally, disagreements may arise between families, schools and the Local Authority. The Council of the Isles of Scilly has commissioned Global Mediation to provide mediation services on its behalf.
Further details of the tribunal and mediation process can be found here.