Lancashire SEND IAS

Lancashire SEND IAS

Information, advice and support for Special Educational Needs and Disability

Education health and care (EHC) plan assessment process

The EHC plan assessment process is a detailed look at a child or young person's special educational needs (SEN) and the support they may need in order to learn.

Your local authority is responsible for carrying out the assessment under the Children and Families Act 2014.

The assessment will include information from you, your child or young person, the education setting and any other professionals who work with or support your child.

The assessment is to see if your child or young person needs an education health and care (EHC) plan.

Who can ask for an EHC plan assessment?

Parents, young people over the age of 16 and under 25, the education setting can request assessment but should talk to your first.

Other professionals such as a doctor or health visitor, foster carers, social care can tell the local authority that they believe the child needs an assessment

You can find more information and the EHC plan request forms and guidance on the SEND local offer website.

What happens next? 

The local authority must let you know when the have received the request for assessment, and after 6 weeks they must notify you if they have decided to carry out an assessment or not and the reasons for their decision.

If the local authority decided that an EHC plan assessment is not necessary they must tell you about:

  • Your right of appeal
  • Mediation
  • How to get further information and support

If the authority agree to assess they will request information and advice from the professionals, school and yourself.

They must ask for advice from

  • Parents (or young person)
  • The education setting
  • Educational psychologist
  • Any health professionals working with your child (such as a paediatrician, speech and language, occupational therapist, hearing impairment or visual impairment teacher)
  • Social care
  • Anyone relevant who you ask them to contact.

If an EHC plan is necessary

The local authority must write a draft plan and send it you along with copies of all the reports and information used. You should check that everything important has been included and that you agree with the support and outcomes, you should also be asked which school you would prefer for your child

If you are unhappy with the final EHC plan or the authority decide not to issue a plan you have the right to go to mediation and/or appeal. See our mediation and Tribunal appeal pages for more information or you can contact us.

EHC plan timetable

The local authority (LA) receives a request for an EHC needs assessment.

The authority must tell parents about this request.

The date the authority received the request is the start date and the beginning of week 1.

The local authority decides if an EHC needs assessment is necessary.

The authority must tell parents about its decision.

Within six weeks of the start date you will receive a letter from the authority informing you of their decision.

If agreed the EHC needs assessment takes place The local authority tells the parents of its decision.

A. The local authority sends a draft EHC Plan to parents.

B. The local authority tells the parents of its decision not to issue an EHC Plan.

Your letter from the authority will explain what you can do next.

This assessment starts as soon as the decision is made and within 16 weeks of the start date you will receive notification from the authority of their decision

Parents should respond to the draft EHC Plan.

They can: Agree that the draft is adequate or ask for a meeting to discuss any changes.

Parents have the right at this point to state a preference for a school or early years setting.

You have 15 days from receiving the draft plan to contact the authority to agree with the plan or discuss any changes to the plan and your preferred school.
The local authority consults with the school or early years setting Within 15 days of parents’ response to the draft EHC Plan.
The local authority issues the final EHC Plan Within 20 weeks of the start date.