Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP)

Coventry SEND Local Offer

Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP) are for children and young people who have a special educational needs or disability that cannot be met by the support that is available at their school or college.

An EHCP describes a child or young person’s special educational needs (SEN) and the help they will get to meet these needs.

An EHCP also includes details about any health and care provision that is needed.

Download and view the SEND guidance for Education Health and Care Plans.

See below for more information about Education Health and Care Plans.

Find out about:

View full details of Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) - Eligibility


Assessment and identification 

All class teachers regularly assess the progress of each of their pupils to check that they are learning well. Once a teacher has identified that a child is not making the progress expected, additional support will be given by the class team- the teacher or/and a teaching assistant working under the guidance of the teacher.

If, after this additional help, the child is still not making good progress the teacher will usually ask for advice from the school SENCo (special educational needs coordinator) who will recommend extra help and support. A student who is being given this additional support will have their progress tracked using the Graduated Pathway (see below).

An EHCP is an Education Health and Care Plan, this used to be known as a Statement of Educational Need. In order to be eligible and considered for an EHCP Assessment, the school will have needed to use every resource available to them in order to support the child or young person with SEND. When a parent or professional requests an EHCP Assessment, Coventry City Council will require proof that the Graduated Pathway steps have been followed and that the school has done everything that they can to address the child or young person's additional needs. 

Teachers use a range of strategies to encourage children with SEND to concentrate on their work and manage any distractions. Children with SEND are also helped assess their own work- to think about what they have learned, what they can do well and what they need to do next.

The SENCo will work with teachers and teaching assistants to put in place support for the child. This additional help could include special books, learning activities, materials or computer programmes. The teacher or SENCO might also ask for advice from an outside professional, such as Social Emotional Mental Health and Learning (SEML) professional or a specialist from Complex Communication Team (CCT) or other SEN Support Service, so that the help offered is just right for the child. Parents/carers are informed at an early stage and their knowledge and views taken into account in planning any support for their child. This is the assess, plan, do, review cycle of actions. This cycle continues after a child has started to receive SEN Support.

What provision and support can I expect my child to receive in a Coventry School as part of the Graduated Pathway?

Graduated Pathway

Graduated pathway diagram


  • Assess - find out how well the child is learning and what progress s/he has made. These assessments will include the teacher talking with the child to find what s/he thinks about their learning and what s/he they find difficult.
  • Plan - decide what action to take to help the child make better progress, such as special resources or intervention programmes, or help from an adult.
  • Do - carry out the intervention programmes or additional support for a period of time, usually no more than 12 weeks
  • Review – assess the child’s progress again to find out what difference the extra help or intervention programme has made. Decide if this is the right help for this child and, if not, plan something else.

As illustrated in the Graduated Pathway diagram, all schools and settings are expected to put in place a range of interventions to support pupils identified with additional needs. This support is funded through Element 1 and Element 2 for pupils identified as requiring SEN Support. Through this graduated ‘wave’ approach, schools have a variety of interventions at their disposal to support a child or young person. To enable families, children and young people to understand the provision map of what schools should be providing to meet SEN needs in Coventry, view the ordinarily available provision in Coventry schools. This is provision that should be provided without an Education, Health and Care Plan.

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View full details of Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) - Needs Assessment Overview


Most children and young people’s needs will be met by the help available through their early years setting/school/post 16 years educational placements. Coventry is working closely with schools to support children with additional needs through My Support Plan.

My Support Plan allows professionals to work together effectively to identify a child’s needs and in time to consider whether an EHC Needs Assessment is appropriate for them. It allows professionals to evidence the support that is in place and have regular review periods to see if the support is working. Schools will involve parents closely in this process and invite you to regular review meetings of the support being implemented.

However, for a very small number of children and young people who need a lot of extra help at school, the Statutory Assessment and Review Service may decide that an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment is required to find out exactly what extra help is needed.

If you would like to talk to someone about your concerns, then please talk to your child's educational setting in the first instance. If you would like further information, then please get in touch with the Statutory Assessment and Review team

More information about the Education Health and Care Plan Needs Assessment Process and some frequently asked questions.

When is an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment necessary?

An Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment may be recommended for your child or young person if they do not make progress, despite getting appropriate extra help from their educational setting. If your child's educational setting feel that an assessment is necessary, they will discuss with you the reasons for moving to an education, health and care needs assessment. At this point if you feel it would be beneficial, you will be offered a meeting with the school SENCo (Special Education Needs Coordinator) and the link Education, Health and Care Plan Coordinator from the Local Authority to discuss your child’s additional needs before a formal request is made to Coventry Local Authority (LA). This is part of Coventry’s person centred Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment Pathway which sets out how we will work with parents, children and young people to enable co-production with families.

An Education, Health and Care needs assessment is sometimes referred to as formal assessment and is carried out by Coventry LA under the 2014 Children and Families Act and in accordance with the SEND Code of Practice 2014. Your child's progress, your views and the views of your child's educational setting or those who work closely with your child (this may include health professionals) will all be considered by Coventry LA before an assessment goes ahead.

Criteria for EHC Needs Assessment (Statutory assessment)

Most children and young people with SEN or disabilities will have their needs met in their local mainstream early years settings, schools or colleges. Some children and young people may need to have an EHC Needs Assessment in order for the local authority to decide whether it is necessary for it to make provision in accordance with an EHC Plan. Local authorities use criteria to help them make fair and transparent decisions about whether or not to carry out EHC needs assessments. In addition to these criteria, the panel that makes the decision will consider all the abilities, strengths and needs of the child or young person. Although Coventry has criteria this is not applied as a blanket policy and we will consider every request individually based on the information provided.

Coventry’s SEN criteria.

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View full details of 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.


024 7683 1614

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View full details of Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) - Needs Assessment Support


Support for families and young people during the EHC Assessment Process

Parent, carers and young people can get support from a number of agencies throughout the EHC process.

This includes the SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS). For more information about the support available please visit the SENDIASS website.

The support that SEND IASS could offer includes:

  • Explaining the EHC process
  • Ensuring that your views are included in the assessment 
  • Help in understanding the draft plan
  • Discussing the arrangements for challenging decisions/resolving disagreements
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View full details of Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) - Resolving Disagreements


Appealing Local Authority decisions

If the decision is made to carry out an assessment, an SEN Education Officer will take you through the rest of the process. If the decision is not to carry out an assessment, you and the school will be given the reasons in writing including your rights of appeal and the time limits for appealing. The routes of appeal are:

  • disagreement resolution or mediation, and
  • tribunal – the First-tier Tribunal SEND (The SEND Tribunal)

What if I don't agree with what the LA is saying?

When disagreements arise between parents, carers or families and local authorities or schools about an aspect of a child or young person’s education they can be difficult to resolve.

Local authorities are required to provide parents, carers and families with an independent way of addressing any such disagreement. Mediation is a positive way of resolving conflict and can help to avoid the traditional adversarial approach to disagreement resolution without affecting other rights of appeal. It can work within or alongside the time frame for the SEND first-tier tribunal. You should first speak to your SEN Officer to see if the disagreement can be resolved locally. If we cannot come to an agreement, there are other options open to you.

These are:

Disagreement Resolution

Disagreement Resolution helps resolve disputes between parents and the Local Authority about the education of children and young people with special educational needs. 


Mediation is a way of helping families where relationships have broken down to reach agreement about the future. It can be an alternative to tribunal appeals or work alongside them. Mediation provides a safe, neutral place where parties can talk through difficult and sometimes distressing issues with the support of a skilled professional family mediator who will not take sides or make judgements. It aims to improve communication, reduce stress and enable families to move forward into the future.

The SEND Tribunal 

The Tribunal hears appeal against decisions made by Local Authorities in relation to children and young people’s EHC Needs Assessments and EHC Plans.

Where parents disagree with the decisions of the Local Authority (LA), they have the right to appeal to the SEN and Disability Tribunal, which is an independent body.

Parents can appeal in the following circumstances:

  • If the parents request the LA to carry out a formal assessment of the child’s Education, Health & Care (EHC) needs, but the LA refuses 
  • If the LA refuses to issue an EHC Plan following an assessment 
  • If the parents disagree with parts of the EHC Plan 
  • If the LA refuses to change the school named in Section I of the Plan 
  • If the LA refuses to re-assess a pupil 
  • If the LA decides to no longer maintain an EHC Plan 
  • If the LA does not amend the Plan after re-assessment 

The LA will keep parents informed about their right of appeal during the assessment process.

Single Route of Redress - National Trial

The Government are extending the powers of the First-tier Tribunal (SEND), sometimes referred to as the ‘SEND Tribunal’, to make non-binding recommendations about the health and social care aspects of Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans as part of a two-year trial. The trial will apply to decisions made or EHC Plans issued/amended from 3 April 2018. 

To date, you have only been able to appeal the educational aspects of EHC plans.  The trial gives you new rights to request recommendations about the health and social care needs and provision specified in EHC Plans, in addition to the educational aspects, when making a SEND appeal.  This gives you the opportunity to raise all your concerns about an EHC plan in one place.

It is only possible for the Tribunal to consider the health and/or social care aspects of the EHC plan where you are already making an appeal in relation to the education aspects of the EHC plan and the education aspect must remain live throughout the appeal.

For more information, please visit the SENDIASS Single Route of Redress webpage 

Disagreement resolution process

  1. We understand that for some families going through the Education, Health and Care Needs assessment process can be a difficult time. We endeavour to work together with you during this process. If during this process you feel unhappy with the following Local Authority decisions; refusal to assess, refusal to issue an EHCP following assessment, the content of EHCP or the setting named in ‘Section I’ we can arrange to meet informally to try and resolve any disagreements. We want to listen to your concerns and work with you to an amicable resolution.
  2. Contact the Statutory Assessment and Reviewing Service. We can schedule a meeting or talk over the phone to go through your concerns. Call us on 024 7683 1614 or email us at [email protected]. You can also access impartial advice and information from: SEND Information and Support Service on 024 7669 4307.
  3. If this did not resolve your concerns you can contact mediation services. This is a free service.
  4. If you are still unable to reach agreement about the EHC Plan, or after contacting a mediator you have the option to register an appeal to the Tribunal.
    HM Courts and Tribunals Service
    Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal
    1st Floor, Darlington Magistrates Court,
    Parkgate, Darlington DL1 1RU
    Telephone: 01325 289350
    E-mail: [email protected]
    Justice Department SEND Tribunals Website
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View full details of Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) - What to expect if you have an EHCP


How does a Plan help us meet the needs of your child?

All mainstream schools are required to contribute the first £6,000 of additional educational support for a pupil from their notional SEN budget. For more information about budgets please refer to the financial support portion of the website. Pupils should only require an Education, Health and Care Plan if they need support above what is ordinarily available.

Because mainstream schools are required to contribute the first £6,000 of additional educational support for a pupil from their notional SEN budget, the EHCP will only  be required to provide additional funding to the school in exceptional circumstances.

We will discuss the contents of the Plan with you and the school to agree how best the Plan can describe what special help is needed. We will always begin by trying to meet your child's needs in a mainstream school although in some cases it may be necessary to consider the provision available within specialist provision.

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View full details of Mental Health Support for Children - CAMHS Specialist Learning Disability Team


Who are we?

The LD - CAMHS are a multi-disciplinary team who work with children who have a moderate to severe learning disability and additional significant mental health/behavioural problems. We endeavour to work closely with young people, their families and other professionals who are also supporting the young person. We accept referrals for children and young people aged 0-18 years old that have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP ). Our service only supports children with Section G of their EHCP.

If children are referred over the age of 16 years, our team will work with adult services and transition forums as needed. 

Who is in the team?

A young person with Special Education Needs and Disabilities may need to be supported by a number of different professionals. We have the following professionals on our team:

  • Consultant psychiatrist
  • Clinical psychologist
  • Specialist Learning Disability Nurses
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Speech and Language therapist

What do we offer?

A young person and their family are offered an initial assessment which will determine if we are the right service to help with their difficulties. This will be carried out by one of the clinical professionals in the team.

Initial assessments are often held in clinic but can be arranged to be carried out at home or school. It is essential that the young person and the parents/carers attend the assessment.

If a young person qualifies for our service a specialist assessment will be carried out. This may involve:

  • Formal mental health, behavioural, psychological, sensory and/or communication assessments
  • Direct interviews and observations of the young person, parents/carers/schools/respite carers
  • Indirect interviews / gathering historical information
  • Group intervention

Intervention will depend on the outcome of the specialist assessments and may include:

  •  Working with the people around the young person, at home, in school and respite services
  • Direct work with the young person

Sometimes it is necessary for a young person to be under the care of our Consultant Psychiatrist, this would be for:

  • Medication
  • Diagnosis

Who can refer?

Referrals are accepted from:

Any professional that is involved with a child or young person as part of a local tiered response. This could be:

  • Social Workers
  • Teachers
  • Health Visitors
  • Paediatricians
  • School Nurses
  • Primary Mental Health Workers
  • Doctors
  • Educational Psychologists.

When a referral comes through a school, the Head Teacher should be notified. 


Referral Guidelines LD - CAMHS


 0300 200 2021

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View full details of My Support Plan


My Support Plan is a document that can be used to support children and young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN). It contains information about their needs, the support that will be put in place to meet these needs and their progress in school.

My Support Plan is usually used for children and young people who have lots of different professionals working with them. It allows information from all of these professionals to be written in one place.

My Support Plan is used in lots of nurseries and schools across Coventry. This means that if a child or young person with SEN moves schools, their new school can find out quickly about their needs and how to support them.

When children and young people have severe or complex special educational needs, the information in My Support Plan can be used to help request an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment.


024 7678 8400

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View full details of Neurodevelopmental Pathway - Educational Psychology Service


The Revised Neurodevelopmental Pathway

Coventry’s Revised Neurodevelopmental Pathway has been created to improve the support for parents and carers of children and young people with social communication difficulties that may be linked to autism.

Health and education professionals have gathered the views of parents/carers, schools and GPs in order to make the pathway more user-friendly and supportive. They want families and professionals to be able to work together more easily.

For more information please visit The Neurodevelopmental Pathway Leaflets and Forms page

Here you can find more information about the Neurodevelopmental Pathway in Coventry and how to get the kind of help and support that is best for you.


024 7678 8400

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View full details of Personal Budget


A Personal Budget is one part of a personalised way of supporting children and young people with special educational needs or disability (SEND). A Personal Budget should not be seen in isolation but as an integral part of the agreed individual plan, with a clear focus on improving outcomes for children and young people.

A Personal Budget is an amount of money identified by the Local authority to deliver provision set out in an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).  It is not all of the money that is spent on a child or young person, but is the element that a parent or carer can have control of. It is the funding that must be used to meet the needs, outcomes and provision outlined in the EHCP.

For more information, please see the Coventry Personal Budget Statement 

The video above was made by KIDS Charity, a charity that supports disabled children and young people and their families. 


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View full details of Top up funding / SEND funding


Top Up Funding is agreed locally and is given to schools under three main headings:

Element 1: an amount of money for each pupil in the school

Schools get most of their funding based on the total number of pupils in the school. Every pupil in a school attracts an amount of money. The amount varies from one authority to another. There is usually more funding for each pupil in a secondary school than in a primary school. In 2015/16, all secondary schools, including academies, are getting at least £4,000 for each pupil and all primary schools are getting at least £3,000 for each pupil.

This is the core budget for each school and it is used to make general provision for all pupils in the school including pupils with SEN.

Element 2: the school’s Notional SEN budget

Every school receives an additional amount of money to help make special educational provision to meet children’s SEN. This is called the Notional SEN budget.

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. 

The amount in this budget is based on a formula which is agreed between schools and the local authority. The formula usually gives more money to schools that have more children on free school meals and more children who are not doing as well as others in English and Maths. This provides a good guide to how many children with SEN a school is likely to have.

A small number of schools may find they have many more children with SEN than expected. This might happen where, for example, a school has a good reputation for teaching children with SEN. Where this does happen, the school can ask the local authority for additional funding.

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’s SEN that is ‘additional to or different from’ provision made for all children. 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. For a child 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 3: top-up funding

If the school can show that a pupil with SEN needs more than £6,000 worth of special educational provision, it can ask the local authority to provide top-up funding to meet the cost of that provision. Where the local authority agrees, the cost is provided from funding held by the local authority for children and young people with high levels of need.

Element 3 is provided by the local authority for an individual pupil who has a high level of need. Schools are expected to use this funding to make provision for that individual pupil.

Funding for the provision specified in an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan comes from the local authority's high needs block, along with funding for the first £6,000 worth of provision from the school’s notional SEN budget. The school will continue to provide this when they receive top-up funding for a child with an EHC Plan.

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