[Large Text Size]  [Normal Text Size]  [Dark Theme]  [Light Theme]  [Graphical Version]
  Help

Education, Health and Care Plans

A school or other setting will often be able to meet the needs of children through SEN support in that school or setting. Sometimes, however, a child or young person needs a more intensive level of specialist help that cannot be met from the resources available to schools and other settings to provide SEN support.

In these circumstances, the young person, parent, school or other setting could consider asking the local authority for an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment for the child or young person. This assessment could lead to them getting an EHC plan.

An EHC plan brings a 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.

The links on this page set out more information.

'Education, Health and Care Plans - The Assessment Process' - sets out a full explanation of how the process will work from requesting an assessment to the Final Plan being produced.

'Education, Health and Care Plans - Assessment timescales' - sets out how the process is split over the 20 week timescale so you can see what should happen and when.

'Education, Health and Care Assessment Panel Terms of Reference' - gives more detail about the Panel that makes the decisions on requests for an assessment for a Plan.

'Information for Parents - Resourced and Special Schools' - sets out information on the specialist school settings that are available in Liverpool.

'Liverpool Local Transfer Plan' - describes how Liverpool will convert current Statements of Special Educational Needs and Learning Disability Assessments into Plans over the next few years.

'Non-maintained school placements for children with SEND' - explains more as to how a non-maintained school can be considered to be named in a final Plan.

The Department for Education's Parents' Guide includes a chapter on Education, Health and Care Plans for further information.

Liverpool's Personalisation & Personal Budgets Policy is available in the documents section here.

If you need support in requesting an assessment for Education Health and Care Plan or need further advice you can contact the Special Educational Needs and Disability Information Advice and Support Service on 0800 0129066 

'Information, Advice and Support Service' provides further information on the the support available through the education, health and care assessment process from Parent Partnership and the Independent Supporters.

FAQs

What is an Education, Health and Care (EHC) assessment?
 

An EHC needs assessment looks in detail at the special educational needs (SEN) of a child or young person (aged 0-25) and the support required to meet those needs. The assessment pulls together information from parents, children and young people, the school or setting they attend and any professionals who are involved. It is the Local Authority that is responsible for carrying out the EHC needs assessment under the Children and Families Act 2014. The purpose of the assessment is to decide whether a child or young person needs an EHC plan.

For further information including how to request an EHC assessment please see the Local Authority's EHC Assessment and Planning Document.


Who will have an EHC Plan?
 

Most children and young people (aged 0-25) can have their needs met through the school or setting providing SEN support. This is where the school or college makes additional or different provision to meet the needs of the child or young person. This can include tasking other professionals for their advice or support. For most children and young people this support will be enough. However, if a child or young person does not make enough progress despite this support, an EHC needs assessment may be the next step. For further information including how to request an EHC assessment please see the Local Authority's EHC Assessment and Planning Document.

A request is made to the Local Authority who will look at a range of information covering:

  • the child or young person's special educational needs
  • their attainments and their progress
  • what support has already been given and what difference that support has made
  • their physical, emotional and social needs and their health needs.
  • In deciding whether to undertake an EHC assessment, the Local Authority must consider all the evidence provided about what steps have been taken by the school or setting to meet the child or young person's needs and whether, despite all the additional support the school or setting have provided over a reasonable period of time, the pupil has not made expected progress.

    In addition to this, all children and young people who currently have a statement of SEN will undergo a transfer review process within the next 3 years to convert their statement into an EHC Plan under the new system.


What is SEN Support?
 
What is SEN support?

This is where the setting makes additional or different provision to meet the needs of the child or young person (aged 0-25). This can include asking other professionals for their advice or support. The setting should take action to remove barriers to learning and put effective provision in place. This is done through a four part cycle of Assess, Plan, Do and Review.

Assess - the school or setting gets a clear understanding of the child or young person's needs through teacher assessment, the child or young person's progress and attainments, the views and experience of the parent, the child or young person's own views and, where relevant, advice from external professionals.

Plan - the teacher and Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) agree in consultation with the parent and child or young person the adjustments, interventions and support to be put in place, the impact it is expected to achieve and set a clear date for review.

Do - the support and interventions are put into place, with the class teacher remaining responsible for working with the child or young person on a daily basis. The SENCo supports the teacher in further assessment of the child or young person's strengths and weaknesses and advising on effective delivery of the support.

Review - the effectiveness of the support and the impact it has had on the child or young person's progress is reviewed on the agreed date. This then feeds into the assessment of the child or young person's needs and the support is then revised taking into account the child or young person's progress and development. This would then start the cycle again. The review process may indicate that a multi-agency approach to meeting the child or young person's needs, possibly using an EHAT (Early Help Assessment Tool) may be appropriate.

SEN support can be provided in a number of ways including:

  • changing materials or equipment
  • working with the child or young person in a small group
  • helping the child or young person to take part in class activities
  • helping the child or young person to work or play with other children or young people in lessons or breaks
  • advice or support from external specialists such as educational psychologists, specialist teachers and therapists.


What is the Local Offer?
 

Every local authority must publish a Local Offer that describes what provision it expects to be available for children and young people (aged 0-25) with special educational needs and disabilities. It must include information about education, health and social care provision and services. The Local Offer should make information easy to understand, up to date and clear. The Local Offer includes information on:

  • how an EHC assessment can be requested
  • how a child or young person's needs are identified and assessed
  • post-16 education and training provision
  • arrangements for transport and travel
  • preparing for adulthood
  • leisure activities
  • where to find information, advice and support
  • resolving disagreements

You can find the Local Offer for Liverpool on the Early Help Directory at ehd.liverpool.gov.uk


What information and advice is available on the new system?
 

The Children and Families Act 2014 says local authorities must provide information advice and support about special educational needs (SEN), disability, health and social care for children and young people aged 0-25, and their parents. In Liverpool this service is provided by Liverpool Parent Partnership Service (soon to be renamed Liverpool SEND Information, Advice and Support Service).

The service offers accurate, up to date and impartial information, advice and support about the law on special educational needs and disability. This covers:

  • education, health and social care
  • national and local policy
  • the Local Offer
  • the rights and choices of parents and young people
  • where parents and young people can find help and advice
  • how they can access this support.
More information is available on their Local Offer page or on tel: 0151 233 0496.

The Independent Support Service is provided by Liverpool Personal Service Society (PSS). Their Independent Supporters can offer support specifically around the EHC assessment process, either for people requesting an assessment for the first time, or for those transferring from a statement of SEN to an EHC plan. More information is available on their Local Offer page or on tel: 0151 702 5552.


What is the process for transferring statements to EHC plans?
 

To transfer children and young people with statements to the new system, there must be a 'transfer review' which includes a requirement to carry out an EHC needs assessment. To find out when a child or young person's statement will transfer please see the document Liverpool Local Transfer Plan.

The Local Authority will use the existing Annual Review process as the basis for the new assessment. Schools and specialist teams were made aware of these changes before the autumn term 2014 which enabled some transfers to take place before the end of that term. Schools have received comprehensive training on person centred planning which ensures the review process holds the child or young person at the centre.

Partners, such as health and social care, will be requested to refresh their information on a child or young person subject to consultation with parents or the young person about the appropriateness of existing reports.

The EHC needs assessment requires a focus on outcomes and the LA will be expecting information that will help produce good outcomes.

The timescale for completing an EHC plan is 14 weeks from the date of the Transfer Review process letter. During the period of transition, all parents or young people will have the opportunity to meet with a local authority officer as requested or needed.


Is an EHC plan a legal document?
 

An EHC plan is a legal document written by the local authority. It describes the special educational needs that a child or young person (aged 0-25) has and the support that they will be given to meet their needs. It also includes any health and social care provision that may be needed.


Can I appeal if I am not happy?
 

In certain situations around the EHC needs assessment and plan, parents and young people can appeal but there are a number of other ways of resolving concerns before going through this formal procedure.

In the first instance, it is worth trying to discuss the situation with the Education Officer responsible for dealing with the child or young person's assessment. Meetings can be requested to discuss any concerns and to explore whether a solution can be reached. Parent Partnership Service or the Independent Support Service can support parents and young people with this.

If further discussions are not successful, other options available are: