EHC assessments and plans

SEND - Education and Health Care PlansThe new Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan will bring together all of the services that currently support you or your family.

The EHC plan will provide the same statutory protection as the Statement of Special Educational Needs, and now covers children from birth up to the age of 25 where needed.

The EHC needs assessments and plans are now a part of the service that we offer and started in September 2014.

  • What does 'Special Educational Needs' mean?

    A child has special educational needs (SEN) if he or she has learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for him or her to learn than most other children of about the same age.

    Many children will have special educational needs of some kind during their education. Schools and other organisations can help most children overcome the barriers their difficulties present quickly and easily. A few children will need extra help for some or all of their time in school.

    Special educational needs could mean that a child has difficulties with:

    • Communication and interaction - in expressing themselves or understanding what others are saying
    • Cognition and learning - in gaining basic skills in school such as reading and writing
    • Social, emotional or mental health difficulties - making friends or relating to adults or behaving properly in school
    • Sensory and/or physical - such as hearing or visual impairment, which might affect them in school or a medical or health condition which may slow down a child’s progress and/or involves treatment that affects his or her education.

    Children make progress at different rates and have different ways they learn best. Teachers take account of this when they organise lessons and teach. Children making slower progress, or having difficulties in one area, may be given extra help or different lessons to help them succeed.

    You should not assume - just because your child is making slower progress than you expected or the teachers are providing different support, help or activities in class - that your child has special educational needs. Every school has a special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO). If you have any concerns about your child you should contact the class teacher and the SENCO to discuss these.

  • What support is there for special educational needs and disabilities?

    Before your child starts school or in early education:

    Your child’s early years are a very important time for their physical, emotional, intellectual and social development. When your health visitor or doctor makes a routine check, they may suggest there could be a problem, or you may already have worries of your own. You can talk to your doctor or health visitor who will be able to give you advice about the next steps to take and who can help.

    If your child’s needs are severe or complex, your health visitor or doctor may approach the other services on your behalf.

    If your child is at an early education setting or at school:

    If you have any concerns about your child’s progress you should first talk to your child’s class teacher. In schools (or pre-school) there is a SEN Co-ordinator (SENCO), who is responsible for co-ordinating help for children with special educational needs. You will be able to talk over your concerns with the teacher and/or SENCO and find out what the school thinks. The SENCO will be able to explain what happens next.

    Working together with your child’s teachers will often help to sort out worries and problems. Schools can offer strategies and support, set extra targets and when needed involve additional professionals to help, such as educational psychologists.

    There is more information about what support is available to schools on the Education and Childcare page.

  • More support services and information can be found in Derby City’s Local Offer.

    Those who need help using the searches can email or telephone 01332 642611

    Assessments and Plans

    • What is an Early Help Assessment?

      In April 2014 the Early Help Assessment replaced the Common Assessment Framework (CAF).

      The Early Help Assessment is to be use for Children and families who may need support from a wide range of local agencies.
      Where they would benefit from co-ordinated support from more than one agency there should be an Early Help Assessment.

    • What is an Education Health Care Needs Assessment?

      The Children and Families Act - Part 3 will introduce education, health and care (EHC) plans for children and young people with the most complex special educational needs. This will replace the statement of special educational needs assessment.

      The majority of children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities will have their needs met within local mainstream settings.

      Some children and young people may require an EHC needs assessment in order for the local authority to decide whether it is necessary for it to make provision in accordance with an EHC plan.

      This system covers 0 – 25 year olds with special needs or disabilities.

    • What is an Education, Health Care Plan?

      Timescales for the process are set out in the Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 - 25 years.

      The purpose of an EHC plan is to:

      • make special educational provision to meet the special educational needs of the child or young person
      • to secure the best possible outcomes for them across education, health and social care
      • prepare them for adulthood as they get older

      To achieve this, local authorities use the information from the assessment to:

      • find out  and record the views, interests and aspirations of the parents and child or young person
      • provide a full description of the child or young person’s special educational needs and any health and social care needs
      • agree outcomes across education, health and social care based on the child or young person’s needs, hopes and aspirations
      • specify the provision required and how education, health and care services will work together to meet the child or young person’s needs and support the achievement of the agreed outcomes

      Families with an EHC plan will be able to request a personal budget to buy services they need.

    • Who can request an EHC Needs Assessment?

      The following people have a right to ask for an education, health and care needs assessment of a child or young person aged between 0 and 25:

      • the child’s parent
      • a young person over the age of 16 but under the age of 25
      • a person acting on behalf of a school or post-16 institution (this should ideally be with the knowledge and agreement of the parent or young person where possible)

      Anyone else can bring a child or young person who has (or may have) SEN to the attention of the local authority, particularly where they think an EHC needs assessment may be necessary. This could include:

      • foster carers
      • health and social care professionals
      • early years practitioners
      • youth offending teams or probation services
      • those responsible for education in custody
      • school or college staff

      Bringing a child or young person to the attention of the local authority will be undertaken on an individual basis where there are specific concerns. This should be done with the knowledge and, where possible, agreement of the child’s parent or the young person.

    • When should we request an EHC needs assessment?

      Most requests are made by educational settings (usually the school), they should have evidence of support and interventions already in place and will hold information on progress made to date.

      An educational setting is expected to make a request where: despite the setting having taken relevant and purposeful action to identify, assess and meet the special educational needs of the child, the child has not made expected progress.

      You may find it useful to look at our Criteria to get a EHC Plan before you make a request to help you understand the sort of children and young people that these plans can support.

    • How do we make a request for an EHC needs assessment?

      If you are a parent or carer, to make a request you need to complete the EHC needs assessment request form for parents

      EHC needs assessment request form for parents EHC needs assessment request form for young people 

      If you are a professional you can make a request using request for EHC assessment form

      These forms should be used for any requests submitted after 21st March 2016.

      You may want to use Guidance on making a request for an EHC needs assessment 2016 ‌ to help you.

      It will also be helpful to have the family views shared on the Family Views Form for EHC request and the child views shared on Child or young person's views for EHC - assessment request at the time of making a request.

      Send your completed forms to:
      Special Educational Needs,
      Derby City Council,
      Council House,
      Corporation Street,
      Derby DE1 2FS

    • Who can we contact for help or updates?

      There are a number of people who can help you. Below are contact details for people providing different types of information or support you may need:

      For help and advice about requesting a new Education, Health and Care plan or support through the conversion process from an Statement of Educational Need

      SENDIASS phone: 01332 641414

      Umbrella Independent Support Service  phone: 01332 785658  e


      Enquiries regarding where a child/student is in the assessment process or annual review/conversion process contact your caseworker

      Claire Barnes 01332 642794

      Pat Dilks 01332 642425

      Gabrielle Motley 01332 642659

      Baldish Olk 01332 642698

      Kam Variah 01332 642691



      Enquiries regarding annual reviews due and completion of reviews please contact Assistant Inclusion and Assessment Officer

      Michelle Rayner 01332 642877


      Enquiries regarding students/children with a statement/education, health and care plan, mediation or tribunals contact your Inclusion and Assessment Officer

      Kusar Ali 01332 642638

      Elaine Cresswell 01332 642808

      Tracy Kirk-Burton 01332 642860

      Carolyn Maw 01332 641430


    • What are the admissions arrangements for pupils with an EHC Plan or Statement? How do schools places get allocated?

      Students change school at set periods in their school career:

      • Pre-school to Nursery
      • Nursery to Infant
      • Infants to Juniors
      • Juniors to Secondary.

      If your child has a statement of special educational needs or an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan you will get a letter explaining that the process of requesting the next school starts in the Summer term of the year prior to transfer. For example you will get a letter in the Summer of 2016 if your child will change school (transfer) in September 2017.
      You will be invited to a review of your child’s statement or EHC plan and asked to start to consider options.

      During the Winter term you will be asked for your school preference for the following September. Next we have to consult with schools, this is where we ask the school if they can meet the needs of your child, we will do this when you have told us which school you would like them to go to.

      After a school is agreed it will be named on the EHC plan and this will be sent to you.

      We have produced Which school for my child - guidance for parents of children with an EHCP or Statement to help you understand what will happen.

    You can also seek guidance from the Derby SEND Information Advice and Support Service at any stage.

    Umbrella Independent Support Service  can offer help and support with the EHC process.

    Personal Budgets

    If you get an EHC Plan you may be able to request a personal budget. Read our personal budget guide to find out more

    Tell us what you think

    Your feedback is important to us. Please let us know about your experience of getting an EHC Plan using one of the surveys below:
    Survey for parents
    Survey for children and young people.

    Converting LDAs and Statements to Education, Health and Care plans

    We have planned how and when children and young people who have a Statement of Educational Need or a Learning Difficulty Assessment will get these converted to Education Health Care Plans.

    Download the Derby City SEND Conversion Plan - Version 3 Feb 2016

    We are always reviewing where we are with the number of conversions needed in the City. We are aiming to have the Derby City Draft Conversion Plan October 2016 finalised by the end of October. We are doing final data checks and some further consultation currently.


    Disagreement Resolution and Mediation

    Wherever possible we want to enable issues and disagreements to be discussed and resolved at the earliest opportunity. This may be an informal chat with a teacher, social worker or health professional initially. Schools, colleges and services will have their own published policies and/or guidance for addressing complaints and disagreements and the arrangements described below are not intended to replace these.

    There may be times where a more formal meeting and talking with those involved in supporting children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities, facilitated by an independent and neutral third party is required. Such discussions would include the parents and carers but may also involve the children and young people themselves, as appropriate.

    Disagreement, Mediation and Tribunals - the facts and details

    • What is Disagreement Resolution?

      Disagreement Resolution is the process for exploring and addressing issues about any aspect of SEN provision, including health and social care disagreements. The child or young person does not have to have or be in the process of being assessed for an Education, Health and Care Plan, in order to access the disagreement resolution process. It is intended to provide a quick and non-adversarial way to resolve disagreements.
      Two providers deliver Disagreement Resolution Services (DRS) across the East Midlands. They are Kids and The Together Trust.

    • What is Mediation?

      Mediation Services focus on issues and disagreements relating to Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans. This includes where a request has been made for an assessment for an EHC Plan and that request has been turned down by the Local Authority. Decisions relating to the assessment process or the educational provision or needs described in an EHC Plan can be appealed to the First Tier Tribunal. 

      Obtaining Mediation Advice
      From the 1 September 2014 a parent or young person wishing to appeal to the First Tier Tribunal about the education elements of EHC assessments and plans will need to obtain a certificate to demonstrate that they have at least considered mediation before the Tribunal will accept their appeal. This certificate will be issued by a Mediation Adviser, who can provide support and guidance to you about what can be appealed to tribunal, how mediation can be accessed and who the appointed mediators are for the East Midlands.

      You do not have to contact the mediation adviser prior to registering an appeal with the Tribunal, if the appeal is solely about the name of the school/college/other institution named in the EHC Plan, or the type of school/college/other institution specified in the plan, or the fact that no school or other institution is named.

      Mediation advice is also not required where the disagreement is in relation to a disability discrimination claim. 
      Global Mediation Ltd was appointed to provide Mediation Advice across the East Midlands region. This service is free of charge to users and can be accessed via the following Freephone number – 0800 064 4488.
      Global Mediation Ltd is a separate organisation from the providers of mediation services in the East Midlands and is therefore able to provide neutral and independent advice on the mediation process and refer you to a mediation provider, if appropriate.

      Deciding whether to go to mediation or make an appeal to the Tribunal
      Once you have received mediation advice, it is your decision whether you want to try mediation before making any appeal to the First Tier Tribunal.
      If you decide to proceed with mediation Global Mediation will refer your details onto your chosen provider so that you don’t have to give the same information all over again.
      If do not want to try mediation, then the Mediation Adviser will issue to you, within 3 working days a certificate which you will need to send to the Tribunal, if you wish to register an appeal.
      The SEN Code of Practice makes it clear that people and young people will not be disadvantaged at the Tribunal if they have chosen not to proceed with mediation.

      Mediation Providers
      KIDS and The Together Trust deliver independent mediation advice for us.
      At present it is not possible to appeal to the Tribunal about matters which specifically relate to the health and social care elements of an EHC Plan (unless that provision educates or trains a child or young person, in which case it would be treated as special educational provision). However it is still possible to go to mediation on the health and social care elements of the EHC Plan.
      If you wish to proceed with mediation please do not contact KIDS or The Together Trust directly. If you do contact KIDS or The Together Trust regarding a mediation matter without obtaining mediation advice first, these providers have been advised to refer the matter back to Global Mediation Ltd.

    • What can I do if I disagree with the decision about an EHC needs assessment or plan?

      The tribunal forms part of the First-tier tribunal (Health, Education and Social Care Chamber). Tribunals are overseen by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service.

      The tribunal hears appeals against decisions made by the local authorities in England in relation to children's and young people’s EHC needs assessments and EHC plans. It also hears disability discrimination claims against schools and against local authorities when the local authority is the responsible body for a school.

      The tribunal seeks to ensure that the process of appealing is as user-friendly as possible, and to avoid hearings that are overly legalistic or technical. It is the tribunal’s aim to ensure that a parent or young person should not need to engage legal representation when appealing a decision. Parents and young people may find it helpful to have support from a voluntary organisation or friend at a hearing.

      You can find out more on the Ministry of Justice website which gives guidance on what happens at a hearing.

    • What can I appeal to the tribunal about?

      Parents and young people can appeal to the tribunal about:

      • a decision by a local authority not to carry out an EHC needs assessment or re-assessment
      • a decision by a local authority that it is not necessary to issue an EHC plan following an assessment
      • the description of a child or young person’s SEN specified in an EHC plan, the special educational provision specified, the school or other institution or type of school or other institution (such as a mainstream school/college) specified in the plan or that no school or other institution is specified
      • an amendment to these elements of the EHC plan
      • a decision by a local authority not to amend an EHC plan following a review or re-assessment
      • a decision by a local authority to cease to maintain an EHC plan

      The tribunal does not hear appeals about personal budgets, but will hear appeals about the special educational provision to which a personal budget may apply.

      Before registering an SEN appeal with the tribunal the young person or the child’s parent must consider mediation unless an exemption applies. Parents and young people must contact a mediation adviser before registering an appeal about EHC needs assessments or the SEN element of an EHC plan. 

    • How do I register an appeal with the Tribunal service?

      Parents and young people have two months to register an SEN appeal with the tribunal, from the date of the local authority sent the notice containing a decision which can be appealed or one month from the date of a certificate which has been issued following mediation or the parent or young person being given mediation information, whichever is the later.

      In some cases parents and young people will not register the appeal within the two month limit. Where it is fair and just to do so the tribunal will use its discretion to accept appeals outside the two month time limit.

      Parents and young people will not be disadvantaged at the tribunal because they have chosen not to go to mediation.

      Contact the Tribunal Service

      HM Courts and Tribunal Service,
      Special Educational Needs and Disability tribunal,
      1st Floor,
      Darlington Magistrates' Court,
      Darlington DL1 1ZD

      Useful forms

      Contact details

      Post address:
      Special Educational Needs
      Council House
      Corporation Street
      DE1 2FS
      Minicom: 01332 256666