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SEND Local Offer for Coventry - Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) - Needs Assessment Process

Requesting an EHC Needs Assessment 

To make an EHC Needs assessment request schools and colleges will need to use the Request for Statutory Assessment – non early years form.

If Early Years Setting wish to make a request the Request for Statutory Assessment – Early Years will need to be fully completed.

Education Health and Care Plan - Needs Assessment process documents.

We would always recommend that you speak to your child’s educational setting before making a request as they will be able to help you with this. If you decide to make a request directly to us then you will need to write a letter detailing why you believe an EHC needs assessment is required together with any supporting evidence which outlines your child’s special educational needs.

How long does the whole EHC process take?

If we receive a request to carry out an EHC needs assessment, together with all the information to enable us to make a decision, then a panel will decide whether or not to carry out an assessment within six weeks.

If a decision is made to carry out an assessment then, following the assessment, you will receive a decision in writing about whether or not an EHC Plan has been agreed and your rights of appeal within 16 weeks from the original request for assessment.

If it is agreed to issue an EHC Plan then the whole process should take 20 weeks, although there are some exceptions to this, such as during the school summer break.

You can see our handy flowchart for a breakdown of what happens during the process.

Weeks 1-6

Your request will be considered by a Panel of Professionals to decide if the request meets Coventry’s Criteria for an EHC Assessment (weblink to EHCP Process/criteria to be inserted). Please note that every request is considered on an individual basis but to bring fairness to the process there is a set of local criteria. After the request has been to the Panel you will be contacted by the SEN Team to advise if your request has been agreed. If it has been refused you will be notified of the reasons for refusal together with information about how you can appeal the decision and where you can access impartial information, advice and guidance.

Weeks 6-12

When an EHC Needs Assessment is agreed we will spend the next 6 – 12 weeks gathering advice from professionals who may know your child and any new advice that is required to inform the outcome of the EHC Needs Assessment. 

Weeks 12

Once all of the information has been gathered a decision will be made as to whether an Education, Health and Care Plan is required. If following the assessment it is evident that an EHC Plan is not required to meet your child’s needs we will contact you to inform you of the reasons why the decision has been made and offered information as to how your child’s education provider can use the assessments to support your child’s special educational needs. You will also be notified of your right to appeal and offered impartial information, advice and guidance.

Weeks 14-16

An EHC Plan is needed to support your child’s Special educational needs a draft EHC Plan will be developed using the professional advice gathered during the assessment. Once the EHC Plan is drafted a copy will be sent to you with the offer of an opportunity to meet with your link EHC Plan Coordinator to discuss any amendments or additions you would like to be included. It is often useful to meet at this point to co-produce the Outcomes to be included in the EHC Plan. At this point you will also be asked to express a preference for an educational setting. You will have 15 days to respond to the Draft Plan.

Access the draft plan reply slip.

Weeks 18-19

Any final amendments will be made to the EHC plan and consultations made with educational setting/s. Educational settings have 15 days to respond.

Week 20

The final EHC Plan will be sent to you with all the appendices (advice reports used to write the plan) naming the educational setting in section I. Copies will also be sent to the Educational setting and professionals that provided advice for the EHC Plan.

The SEND Information and Advice Service is also there to help you at any point.

Who can make a request for an Education, Health and Care Needs assessment?

Any professional working with a child, young person or family can make a referral to the authority for an Education, Health and Care assessment. It is usual for referrals to come from the child/young person's educational setting.

A parent/young person (over the age of 16) can make a direct request for an Education, Health and Care Assessment. However, we recommend that they speak to the young person's teacher or Special Needs Coordinator (SENCo) first as they will be able to help you.

Asking for an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment

Parents/Carers can ask us to make an education, health and care needs assessment if you feel that your child is falling seriously behind, despite getting extra help from their educational provider.  If you decide to make a request directly to us then you will need to write a letter detailing why you believe an assessment is required together with any supporting evidence which outlines your child’s needs. You will need to send the letter and supporting evidence to Statutory Assessment and Review Service, PO Box 15, Council House, Coventry CV1 5RR.

We would suggest that you should always talk to your child's education provider first before asking for an assessment. Coventry Local authority will carefully consider your request and if we feel it is necessary, will carry out the assessment. If we decide that an assessment is not needed, we will write to you and your child's educational provider to explain the reasons for our decision. We will give you details about your right to appeal against the decision to the SEN Tribunal. We will also tell you about the informal disagreement resolution arrangements available through the SEND Information, Advice and Support Service and Mediation Services.

How do health services work with Coventry City Council in the Education Health and Care Needs Assessment Process?

When a child has been referred for an Education Health and Care Needs Assessment, a panel will look at all the information provided to see if any concerns around the child’s health and wellbeing have been identified. A health representative is invited to attend the panel to ensure health needs are specifically discussed. If a health need or potential health need is identified, Coventry City Council will notify the relevant health service provider and request their advice to be provided within 6 weeks.

This advice can take different formats;

  1. If a child is already known (or classed as ‘open’, ‘on a waiting list’ or ‘recently discharged’) to a service, Health Services may provide advice based on the information within the clinical notes.  It is expected that most children should be already open to a service and referrals should be made when the need is identified and not wait for the EHC needs assessment.
  2. Please check if a referral form is needed when seeking advice for a child not already known to the service. 

  3. Clinicians may review the information provided and decide that the universal offer from their service is most appropriate to meet the needs identified at that time.  This will be their advice.
  4. On occasions the clinicians may need to speak to the child/family or to carry out a screening assessment to provide the advice.
  5. Once all the advice is provided, the Local Authority can then decide if an EHC plan is required.  If a plan is required then the health advice may be written into more than one part of the plan.
  6.  Some of the health advice will be written as special educational provision as the focus of the health advice is to support being at school, educating the child or young person and accessing the curriculum.  
  7. Some of the health advice will be written as health provision as the focus will be on health and wellbeing and long term condition management.

Telephone

024 7683 1614

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