Support for SEND

EHC needs assessments

Here you will find information about:

  • Education, Health and Care Needs Assessments
  • Education, Health and Care Plans
  • Annual Reviews of Education, Health and Care Plans

Most children and young people with SEND make progress with the extra help early years settings, schools and colleges can give from the resources they already have, this is SEN Support.

We suggest you and/or your young person have an early years, school or college meeting with the SENCo or equivalent to discuss the current level of support before making a request. The request for an EHC needs assessment is more likely to be agreed if the child or young person is receiving all that they can under SEN Support.

Nationally about 4% of children and young people need more help than a mainstream school can provide from its own resources. They get this help because they have an EHC plan. The EHC plan is provided by the local authority, in our case Buckinghamshire Council. If the child attends an early years setting, school or further education setting, the provider will usually be given funding additional to their own resources so that the help in the plan can be provided.

An Education, Health and Care needs assessment (EHCNA) is a legal process involving you, your child or young person, and a range of professionals. The aims of the assessment are:

  • to identify your child or young person's special educational needs and
  • to decide whether or not they need their extra help by way of an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP).

A decision is made by a panel of professionals at Buckinghamshire Council about whether to agree to an assessment. If an assessment is agreed, later on the panel will decide whether or not an EHC plan should be issued.

The EHC plan is a legal document setting out your child's special educational needs, the outcomes agreed for them and how the help will be provided.

What to include in your request

Describe your child's special educational needs:

  1. Say what is difficult for your child, for example, stopping an activity when it is time to move on
  2. Say how frequently the difficulty occurs, for example any time she is engaged in an activity, such as washing hands, playing with train set - or for example, once a week when it is her favourite activity
  3. Say what the level/scale of the difficulty is, for example, uncontrollable shouting/screaming/crying lasting X time, resists physically, runs away, hides. or example, visibly upset
  4. Say how the difficulties act as a barrier to access the curriculum/ to achieve the best possible educational and other outcomes. For example, she isn't able to listen to instructions, she often has to be removed from the classroom because the noise she makes disturbs other children.
  5. Say what these difficulties arise from (if you know what causes them), explain what help your child requires for each of the needs you have listed.

Explain what help your child requires for each of the needs you have listed:

  • If your child is already getting help which works, explain what this is. For example, calming music to prompt change of activity, visual timetable, time out card.
  • If you have professional reports from specialists, use the relevant wording in these. Say what page of the report you have quoted from. Attach the reports when you send your request.
  • If you don't have reports, you should try to include other evidence

IPSEA gives the following suggestions, written evidence may be available from:

  • Teachers: ask them to be precise and to quantify exactly what is needed for your child
  • Health service, for example, speech therapist, paediatrician, clinical psychologist or occupational therapist may write a report. Get your GP to refer you
  • Others involved with you or your child, for example, social workers, youth workers, careers advisers
  • Information from voluntary groups relating to the learning difficulty/disability concerned
  • References to relevant research and findings
  • Extracts from books, magazines etc.
  • School reports, including results of national tests and assessments
  • The school/college’s own assessments and review reports
  • Details of any adjustments or access arrangements made for internal or external examinations
  • Home-school diaries
  • Your own evidence, for example, has a younger brother or sister overtaken your child? Is he or she anxious about going to school? Do you get bed-wetting, particularly in term time?
  • Evidence from your child or the young person, written via a third party when necessary
  • Your or your child’s school/college work if this demonstrates a point you want to make, such as the limited progress they have made, or a particular difficulty which is in dispute
  • If there has been little progress over a period of time, it sometimes makes it clearer if you can show this visually by a chart or graph. You may also be able to show uneven achievement between one particular subject or skill and another
  • Information from the school/college record. You have a legal right to a copy of this. Put your request in writing to the chair of the governing body at the school or the equivalent for a college
  • You may be charged for photocopying. The record includes school/college reports, attendance record and details of any exclusions. If behaviour is a difficulty, the disciplinary record may help you show whether this is getting worse, whether for instance the school and your child needs more help to manage it and whether there is a pattern

Once you have prepared your request, you should email it to one of the following (it will be forwarded on to the correct team if necessary):

Include any additional evidence as attachments.  You should receive an initial response from the integrated SEND Team (iSEND) to acknowledge your request.  You will also be asked to complete and return a consent form and a health questionnaire if you do not send this with your request, these can be found in the parental and young people sections here: EHC Needs Assessments and template letters

Further resources on EHC needs assessment

These resources may help to explain what an EHC needs assessment is: