Support for children aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Education Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessment process

This page explains what will happen if we (the local authority) have agreed to carry out an Education Health and Care (EHCEHCEducation, Health and Care) Needs AssessmentAssessmentMeasures children and young people’s learning and development and identifies additional needs..

Along with health and other agencies, we will work with you and your child or young person to understand how we can best minimise disruption during the assessment. Where possible, appointments will be co-ordinated or combined and arrangements will be made to accommodate any particular needs or difficulties your child or young person has.

You and your child or young person will have access to impartial advice and information in relation to SEND, including the assessment process itself, EHCPs and personal budgets from SENDiass4BCP.


Co-ordinating the assessment process

We (the local authority) are responsible for making sure the assessment and planning process is well co-ordinated. This will involve:

  • managing the process to meet the needs of you and your child or young person
  • keeping everyone informed
  • arranging meetings
  • co-ordinating input from professionals
Information sharing

In order for the assessment and planning process to fully identify the education, health and care needs and desired outcomes of your child or young person, information sharing is vital.

Information gathering and sharing should be simplified so that you and your child or young person don't have to repeat the same information to different services.

We (the local authority) must have explicit consent and agreement to what information can be shared with other agencies in respect of confidentiality.

How long does the assessment process take?

The EHC planning and assessment process should take no more than 20 weeks from the date of the request until the EHC plan is issued.  The EHCP timeline explains what happens when. 

What happens at the end of the assessment process?

At the end of the assessment process, we (the local authority) decide whether to issue an EHCP. We will inform you of the decision by week 16 of the process, as outlined in the EHCP timeline

To help with decision making, wherever possible, your case will be discussed with the SEND Panel .

If it's decided that an EHCP will be issued, we will initially send you and your young person a draft version.

The draft plan will include information on your child or young person's:

  • special educational needs
  • health and care needs
  • provision required to meet those needs
  • the outcomes that should be achieved
  • their aspirations, views and feelings.

This is an opportunity for you and your young person to check if the draft EHCP contains everything it should. The draft EHCP won't include the name of a particular school, college or other educational setting, or what type of placement your child or young person will attend. This will only appear only in the final EHCP.

You and your young person have 15 days in which to:

  • make comments ('representations') about the draft EHCP
  • ask for a meeting with us to discuss the draft
  • ask that a particular school or other institution is named in the final EHCP.

If we decide not to issue an EHCP, all of the assessment information that has been gathered will be shared with the child or young persons education setting so that they can update your child or young persons SEND support plan.

If you disagree with our decision, you can appeal through a SEND Tribunal. The appeal must be registered within two months of getting our decision.