An Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment is an assessment by the Local Authority, of a child or young person’s education, health and care needs. It is the first step to getting an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC plan).
If your child or young person has a learning difficulty or a disability which is holding them back at school or college, you believe that the school or college is not able to provide the help and support needed, then a request should be made to the Local Authority for an EHC needs assessment. You can do this at any time.
You can download and complete the Redbridge Parental EHC Needs Assessment Request Form from the EHC page on Redbridge’s Local Offer or your child’s or young person’s nursery, school or college can do this for you. The Local Authority must reply within six weeks. RIASS can support with reviewing your draft application before you submit.
If the Local Authority refuses to carry out an assessment, you have the right to appeal this decision. The decision letter will explain your right to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) and should contain details of Community Accord (the independent mediation service used in Redbridge) for you to contact.
If the Local Authority agrees to carry out an assessment, the professionals involved with your child’s/young person’s education or health will be approached for their advice. This could include you as a parent or your young person, their head teacher, SENCo, an Educational Psychologist, your child’s/young person’s GP or anyone else the local authority thinks appropriate
Anyone asked for information and advice must respond within 6 weeks. The LA must notify the parent or young person of their decision whether or not they will issue a plan within a maximum of 16 weeks from the request for assessment.
The LA must then decide if it will issue an EHC plan for the child or young person, based on the evidence it has gathered during the EHC needs assessment.
If the LA decides not to issue an EHC plan, it must tell the parent or young person within 16 weeks of the date the request for an assessment was made.
If the LA decides to issue an EHC plan the next step would be a co-production meeting and then send out a draft EHC plan for the parent or young person to review and comment on.
Co-Production Meeting (CPM)
This process is person centred and involves face to face structured discussion between the family child/young person and those who work with the family, including where appropriate professionals from health and social care.
Advice and information gathered through the assessment process is collated and circulated prior to the CPM. In most cases a plan will be drawn up at the Co Production Meeting, usually led by the SENCO at the school where the child or young person attends. At the meeting your EHCP Co-ordinator from Redbridge SEN and Inclusion Team draws together the discussion and drafts the EHC plan.
Finally the SEN Team will send the final EHC plan to the parent or young person within 20 weeks from the date the assessment was requested. In order to meet this deadline, they would need to send out the draft plan a maximum of 14 weeks from the date the assessment was requested.