Some children and young people who have special educational needs may need extra support which cannot be provided from the resources available at their early years setting, school or college.
To make sure that the right extra support is provided for these children and young people, an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessments takes place. This process brings together education, health and social care professionals as required who then work together to assess all the needs of the child or young person. This means that these professionals have a co-ordinated approach to understanding the child or young person’s needs and then making provision to meet these needs.
At the end of the assessment, an EHC Plan (EHCP) is written. This will detail what is required to meet the needs of the child or young person and to achieve the best outcomes for them.
What is involved?
Firstly, a request is made for an EHC Needs Assessment. The request could be made by the parent of the child or young person, their school, setting or a professional working with the family, for example. The request is made to the Local Authority.
Then this detailed assessment of all the education, health and social care needs of the child or young person takes place.
Once the assessment is complete, an EHCP is written. This is undertaken in partnership with the parents and the child or young person and those who know them best. This means that the child or young person and their parents are kept at the heart of the decision-making process. Support will be provided to ensure that the plan is easy to understand and help parents and young people to be involved in preparing it.
The EHCP is reviewed every year and, as they get older, this will include adding in support for young people to move successfully into adulthood. Examples of the support that can be provided include resources to help young people to live independently and gain employment. Support through an EHCP can be provided up to the age of 25, depending on the needs of the young person.
How long does it take?
The whole process from assessment to the date when the EHCP is produced should not take more than 20 weeks. Where possible, professionals will work together to ensure the process is completed as quickly as possible.