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EHC for parent carers - Needs Assessment Process

Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans

On this page:

First steps

What is an EHC Needs Assessment?

Applying for an EHC Needs Assessment

What to expect and when during an EHC Needs Assessment

If you have concerns or issues

 

First steps

If you are worried about your child’s progress, arrange a meeting with the teacher or SEN Coordinator (SENCO) at your school or setting to discuss further.

Find out more:  

I am worried about my child's progress

Role of the SENCO

 

What is an EHC Needs Assessment?

Most children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) will be supported by extra help provided in their school, nursery or college. This is called SEN Support.

Education providers must try to meet the needs of all children and young people with learning difficulties.

They do this using funds given to them by the council and Education and Skills Funding Agency to help children and young people with special educational needs (SEN).

Some children and young people may continue to have difficulties learning, despite an education provider’s attempts to identify, assess and meet their SEN.

This is when an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessment may be considered to find out more about a child or young person's special educational needs and what support is needed in order to learn, progress and achieve.

The EHC Needs Assessment will find out if an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan is needed. It does not automatically lead to a plan being issued. 

At every stage in the EHC Needs Assessment process, the views and wishes of you and your child or young person will be listened to.

Find out more:  

What is SEN Support

What should educational settings do?

Trafford's Graduated Approach - Parent carer guide

 

Applying for an EHC Needs Assessment

Usually your child’s teacher or tutor and a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) will request an EHC Needs Assessment. The assessment will help us to decide if we need to provide additional help through an education, health and care (EHC) plan.

Your child's education provider should work closely with you to gather additional information about your child.  This will include the views of the child or young person themselves, as well as their parents or carers.

If you feel that your child's needs are not being met at their education provider you can self refer as a parent carer or if you are a young person over the age of 16 years. You should discuss this with your school first wherever possible. 

If you need more help to complete the form or for independent advice and support about needs assessments and EHC plans you can contact  Trafford SENDIASS. Tel: 0161 912 3150 email: sendiass@trafford.gov.uk 

 

What to expect and when during an EHC Needs Assessment

 

Weeks 0-2 Referrals (Quality Assurance)

School referrals

The SENCO will apply using our online system called Liquid Logic. We will send an acknowledgement letter or email to you to let you know that we have received it and when it should be heard at the Trafford Assessment Panel (TAP).

Parent carer / other referrals

The paper application is received by post or email. We upload this into our system and send you an acknowledgement letter to confirm we have received it, and when it should be heard at the Trafford Assessment Panel (TAP).

 

Weeks 2-6 Trafford Assessment Panel (TAP)

With threshold criteria to help, members of this panel discuss new cases and make a decision.

Decision: Agree to assess

The panel recognise your child’s Special Educational Needs (SEN) should be assessed. The Needs Assessment helps find out more information about the level of difficulty and provision required.

Decision: Not to assess at this time

The panel recognise your child’s needs can be met within school/college resources at SEN support. More evidence or information is needed. You will receive a letter explaining this and giving you rights of appeal, and inviting you to a meeting with the educational setting/SENCo and a panel representative.

 

Weeks 5-16 Assessment and information gathering

The EHC needs assessment will begin. An Educational Psychologist will arrange to meet with you and your child and a report will be written which will form part of the completed assessment.

 

Weeks 14-16 Moderation and Resource (MAR) Panel 

The draft plan will be submitted to the Moderation and Resource Panel. The core members of the group will make recommendations, agree outcomes, type of placement and suggested funding.

Decision: Yes a plan will be issued

The outcomes and provision will be added into the plan. You will be sent a draft to have a look at.

Decision: Not to issue a plan

This is because the assessment has shown that your child’s needs can be met by school/college resources at SEN Support. You will receive all the reports we have gathered through the assessment process. The school can use these to write an SEN Support Plan.

You will receive a letter explaining this and giving you rights of appeal, and inviting you to a meeting with the educational setting/SENCo and a panel representative.

If a decision has been made to issue an EHC plan your EHC Coordinator will send you a draft EHC Plan by the end of week 16.  Read more in Education and Health Care Plan

 

Weeks 16-20 Final Stages

Week 16:

You will receive a draft plan where the section which relates to Educational Placement will be.

Week 17:

The EHC Coordinator will consult for a placement and discuss this with you.

Week 20:

You will receive the final EHC Plan. This now takes over as the legal document regarding your child’s Special Education Needs and must be recognised by your child’s educational provision. If you disagree with the contents you have a right to appeal. This information will be given to you via a letter.

 

If you have concerns or issues

This can be a confusing time for parents and carers.

The EHC team in Trafford understands this and we try to support parents in any way we can. You can contact us to ask questions or for a clearer explanation. We will always try to work with you.

If you are unhappy about any aspect of our service, please contact your EHC Coordinator and explain the problem. If you are still unhappy you can speak to the EHC Manager.

Trafford SEND Information and Support Service (SENDIASS) is there to support you. They will help and see if there is anything else which can be done to help resolve the situation.

If you still feel that your issues are not being resolved there are further options to support you in reaching a resolution such as disagreement resolution, mediation or SEND tribunal.

Back to Contents: Trafford's Graduated Approach - Parent carer guide