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Education Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessments requests

Important Notice:
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Following extensive collaboration with parents, settings, schools and colleges, the EHC documentation has been revised. Please use this documentation for all purposes; Application for statutory Education Health and Care  Needs Assessment (EHCNA); and Annual Review of EHC Plans. Please delete any earlier versions of the EHC Plan and associated documentation from your files.

Information Sharing
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If requesting a statutory Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment (EHCNA) and/or High Needs Funding, please ensure parent or carer consent has been secured thereby avoiding any unnecessary delay.

Kent approach to assessment
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Kent believe in the right approach at the right time and providing Kent pupils with intervention at the earliest stage. Schools and settings should ensure they have exhausted all the local resources available to them before applying for an EHCNA.

The decision to undertake an assessment is the responsibility of the Local Authority.

The majority of children and young people with special educational needs will have their needs met within their local Early Years setting, school or college without the need for an assessment.

Where an assessment is being requested an SEN officer will be allocated to oversee the statutory EHCNA process from point of request through to final decision.

Core principles of the Children and Family Act 2014 are:

  • A co-ordinated approach to assessment ('tell us once')
  • Co-production - incorporation of views of the child, young person, parents and carers.

The Assessment process
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The SEN officer for Early Years, schools or young people will:

  • Seek the family's or young person's views of needs and provision.

The LA will take the decision to conduct an EHCNA on or within six weeks.

If a decision is made to conduct an EHCNA, the SEN officer will:

  • Contact statutory advice givers and others suggested by parents
  • Set out a clear timeline for the assessment
  • Liaise with professionals, clarify six week timescale for reports and ensure flexibility to engage in a range of ways
  • Keep parents and young people informed
  • Explain Personal Budgets.

Decision to issue a plan (or not) will be taken by the LA on or within 16 weeks:

  • The SEN officer will contact families and inform of decision and next steps will be explained to CYP, parent and carers
  • LA will share draft plan with young person, parent and carers, giving them 15 days to consider the draft and discuss their preference for placement
  • The LA will consult with appropriate Schools, Further Education Colleges (FEC) and Early Years (EY) settings.

The process from assessment request to issue of the plan must take no more than 20 weeks.

EHC Reassessment process
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If a child’s or young person’s (who is aged over 16) educational or health needs, or situation changes a lot, they may need to have a statutory reassessment of their needs. This means having a new EHC needs assessment.

The Local Authority may carry out a reassessment if the parent, carer, young person or the education setting request one, as long as:

  • It has been more than six months since the last EHC needs assessment was completed
  • The Local Authority decide or agree a further EHC needs assessment is required

The Local Authority may however carry out a reassessment at any time it thinks it is necessary.

When the Local Authority receives a request for a reassessment, they must inform parent(s), carer(s) or the young person whether they will reassess or not within 15 calendar days. If the Local Authority decides not to re-assess, the parent(s), carer(s) or young person aged over 16 have the right to appeal that decision and to go to mediation or tribunal

The process for a reassessment is the same as an EHC needs assessment. The law states that a reassessment must take no more than 14 weeks from when the decision is made to re-assess, to when a final EHC plan is issued.

Appendices and Guidance for education settings
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Advice and Information for the statutory EHCNA
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