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Applying for an Education, Health and Care needs assessment

Sometimes a child or young person needs a more intensive level of specialist help that cannot be met from the resources available and this is the time to consider an EHC needs assessment. Some children may require an EHCP assessment very early on and in these cases the local authority should liaise with the appropriate professionals and start the process without delay.  

Anyone can contact the SEND Team to ask for advice on the best route to requesting an EHC needs assessment; this will most often be through a multi-agency meeting with those involved, at the educational setting (e.g. school). Following this meeting, either the educational setting or the parents may submit a request.  If the young person is over 16, they can ask for an assessment themselves. 

What is an Education, Health and Care Plan?

An EHCP brings the child or young person’s Education, Health and Social Care needs into a single, legal document. The child or young person must have special educational needs to be eligible for a plan.

 

Requesting a Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment

Forms numbered NA1 or NA2 below are for requesting an *Education, Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessment for the first time if you are a setting/school/education establishment.

The separate PM - Provision Map form should be used to support a needs assessment request made by settings/schools/educational establishments.

EHC and Consent: important changes for education settings to note and action

Achieving for Children has updated the wording related to consent and data protection on its EHC needs assessment forms. Local Authorities do not require 'consent' to carry out their statutory, public task of EHC needs assessment. However, AfC still expects education settings requesting EHC needs assessment to do so with the full knowledge and preferably agreement of parent(s). The same applies to young people aged 16+, who are adults and have their own rights. When you are considering submitting a request for EHC needs assessment using forms NA1 and NA2, please seek to gain the parent(s) signature using the Agreement Form below, and submit this at the same time as your request. If parent(s) decline to agree with your request to sign the form, you may still submit the request and you should inform the parent(s) if you do. On receipt, the SEND Service will further explain to parents AfC's public task duty, and consider if it will register the request in the usual way. 

Agreement for Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment (word)

Forms numbered NA3 or NA4 below are for requesting an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessment for the first time if you are a young person (over 16 years) or a parent/carer making the request for an assessment.

If parents or young people choose not to use these forms, they may request EHC needs assessment at any time in writing to the address below. Achieving for Children does not accept requests for EHC needs assessment by telephone.

You should send requests with attachments to the following address: 

Address: SEND Team, c/o Achieving for Children, Guildhall 2, Kingston, KT1 1EU

We strongly recommend that any referrals sent to the SEND Team are sent via secure email due to the sensitive nature of the information. If you require guidance or support on sending referrals please contact our team directly.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 020 8547 5872

How we send information to you securely

When we send information to families we use a secure system. We will email unsecurely to let you know we have sent something, and provide an attachment with guidance on how to open the secure messages.  If families don't want to use the secure system, then we will send it unsecurely, but only if a family gives us permission to do so. 

The Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment process starts when the SEND Service registers it. This is usually on the same day that Achieving for Children (on behalf of either Kingston or Richmond Local Authority) receives it. If the SEND Service decides that it cannot register a request for any reason, it will let the person making the request know why, and what needs to happen for it to be successfully registered.

It ends when your local authority:

  • decides not to carry out an EHC needs assessment; or
  • carries out an EHC needs assessment, but decides not to issue an EHC plan; or
  • issues a finalised EHC plan.

The EHC needs assessment process from start to finish should take no more than 20 weeks. The SEND Service will accelerate the EHC needs assessment if possible. Occasionally, EHC needs assessments may take longer. The SEND Service will let everyone involved know why that is happening. You can find a detailed timeline of what happens at each stage of the EHC needs assessment process below:

 

When What is happening What you should do
From the start of week 1 to the end of week 6

We are considering the request for an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment of your child or young person.

 

We will usually let you know our decision by the end of week 6.

Send us any relevant reports you may already have from education, health or social care professionals. We usually only accept reports that are less than 12 months old but if the only reports you have are older than this, please send them to us anyway.

From the start of week 7 to the end of week 12

If we agree to an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment, we will ask professionals to assess your child or young person.

 

Professionals will usually send their advice to you and to us by the end of week 12.

 

Let us know if you are arranging for any other professionals to assess your child or young person - tell us who they are and their contact details.

 

Let your professionals know that they must send us their advice no later than the end of week 12. If we receive it after this date, it may be too late for us to consider it.

 

 

From the start of week 13 to the end of week 16

 

We are reviewing professionals’ advice and deciding if we should write an Education, Health and Care Plan for your child or young person.

 

We will let you know our decision no later than the end of week 16.

 

 

Wait for us to contact you with our decision. 

 

 

From the start of week 17 to the end of week 18

 

If we agree to write a draft Education, Health and Care Plan for your child or young person, we will send it to you

 

 

 

 

If we agree to write a draft Education Health and Care Plan for your child or young person, please read it.

 

Use the form we send you to make any comments about the draft Education, Health and Care Plan and answer other questions on the form.

 

Send the completed form back to us within 15 calendar days of the date we sent it to you.

 

From the start of week 19 to the end of week 20

 

If we agree to write a draft Education, Health and Care Plan for your child or young person, we will consult with nurseries, schools or colleges for a place for them or consider the other education arrangements you may have asked for.

 

 

Wait for us to contact you with our decision. 

 

From the end of week 20 until the Annual Review meeting

 

We will then send you a final Education, Health and Care Plan that will include the name of the nursery, school or college or other education arrangements your child or young person will attend.

Keep in touch with the SENCO in your child or young person's nursery, school or college - they are responsible for ensuring that the special educational provision in Education Health & Care Plans is delivered. The SENCO can usually answer any questions or concerns.