Education, Health & Care Plans (EHCP)

A guide to the Education, Health & Care Plan Process in Bolton.

If it is thought that a child or young person has additional needs that are holding them back at school; or, if the parents or young person believe that the school isn’t able to provide the help and support that is needed, then an EHC needs assessment can be requested.
The following people can make the request to the local authority for an EHC needs assessment:
  • The parent or carer of a child or young person between 0-25 years.
  • Anyone at your child’s school, such as your child’s teacher.
  • Other professionals/practitioners who work with your child, such as your doctor, health visitor or nursery worker
  • Young people over 16 years old can request their own.
  • An EHC Needs Assessment is not just an educational assessment. It is an assessment of the education, health care and social care needs of the child or young person. This means that consideration must be given to whether a social care assessment or additional health assessments are needed. This might mean you are requested to attend a health assessment, in which case you will be automatically contacted to arrange an appointment. A social care assessment would happen if parents carers requested it, normally by the educational establishment submitting an early help form. The result of this assessment would then feed into the EHC plan once it has been completed.
  • Local authorities must make sure that you and your child are fully involved in the EHC needs assessment.
  • They must ensure you can access impartial information, advice and support to help you understand the process and make sure you are properly involved in decisions that affect your child. This may include help from the Information and Advisory Service SEN or Independent Support. In Bolton, this information will be included on your paperwork.
  • The assessment includes talking to you and your child and finding out from you what support you think your child needs, and what aspirations you and your child have for his or her future.
  • The assessment also includes seeking information and views from people who work with your child, such as class teachers, doctors and educational psychologists.
  • After your local authority has made its assessment, having involved you and your child fully in the process, it will then decide whether or not an EHC plan is necessary.
  • If they decide that an EHC plan is not needed, they must tell you within 16 weeks from the date that the assessment was requested. The parent/young person has the right to appeal this decision to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.
  • If your local authority decides to proceed with an EHC plan, they should work closely with you and your child to ensure the plan takes full account of your views, wishes and feelings.
  • You will be given 15 days to comment on the draft and you can ask for a meeting to discuss the draft if you want one. At that point you will also be able to request a specific school, or other setting, you want your child to attend. This could be a mainstream school or special school.
  • Parents and carers will also have the opportunity to submit their own thoughts in the six week period of information gathering. In the case of transfers, a Parental Advice Form is issued prior to the person centered review.
  • If you are transferring to an EHC Plan, during this process your child/young person will have a person centered review. This review will form the basis of the report that the current educational setting will submit to the local authority to be included in the EHC Plan.
  • Once the plan has been written, a draft will be sent to you which must not contain the name of the school or other setting your child will attend.
  • Your local authority has 20 weeks from the request for the EHC needs assessment to issue the final plan to you.
  • Once an EHC plan has been finalised, your local authority has to ensure that the special educational support in section F of the plan is provided, and the health service has to ensure the health support in section G is provided. This should help to enable your child to meet the outcomes that you have jointly identified and agreed.
  • In Bolton, if you have chosen the option of a personal budget you will be asked to attend a meeting to discuss this.
  • Your local authority must review your child’s EHC plan at least every 12 months. That review has to include working with you and your child and asking you what you think and what you want to happen, and a meeting which you must be invited to.

Information, Advice and Support Network SEN (I.A.S)

If you require more information or feel you need some support at any point during this process, the Information, Advice and Support Network (I.A.S) is a dedicated service, which provides independent support to children, young people and families with SEND.

To contact IAS, call Cheryl Wyatt 07467 943495 or email Cheryl-ppsbolton@outlook.com