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Education, Health and Care Plans and Requesting an Education, Health and Care needs assessment

Education, Health and Care Plans and Requesting an Education, Health and Care needs assessment

If you want any information about the EHC process please contact the SEND Support, Assessment and Review Team:

Phone: 0191 277 4650





What is an Education Health and Care Plan?

An Education Health and Care (EHC) plan is a legal document which describes a young person’s needs, what provision will meet those needs and which school or education setting this child or young person should attend. Plans must be person centred, focusing on the needs and aspirations of the child.  An Education, Health and Care plan is for children or young people who have a need for special education which cannot be reasonably provided within the resources normally available to mainstream education settings and which would not be possible without an EHCP.

Who are EHC plans for?

 Children and young people have to be between 0 and 25, and in education or training (not university), or wanting to remain in education.

Most children and young people with special educational needs and disability (SEND) don't require an EHC needs assessment. This is because the local school, early years or college setting can support their learning and progress from extra help that they can make available. This is known as SEN Support. Take a look at this short video which talks about the support available for children and young people in mainstream school /settings without an EHC plan, this is sometimes called 'the Graduated Response').

What is an EHC needs assessment and how do I request one?

For a few children and young people extra help provided as part of SEND support may not be enough to meet their needs and support their learning and personal wellbeing.

These children and young people may need an EHC needs assessment. The EHC needs assessment is a detailed process to find out what the child’s or young person’s special educational needs are and what provision should be put into place to meet them. It will show whether it is necessary to issue an EHC plan setting out the additional help, over and above what is available to the mainstream school or setting, to meet needs.

If you feel that a EHC needs assessment and plan is necessary you should talk to your SENCo. The recommended way for families to request a needs assessment is through the school or education settings. Usually schools /settings complete the request form with parent/carers.

The assessment may not lead to a plan being issued. 

Notes for schools/settings:

  • We are now only taking requests from professionals through the SEND Portal. 
  • The request form asks for more information than the old one, but this means that schools and settings will no longer have to complete an additional education advice form. However, if we haven’t got all the information we need on the request form we may need to get in touch again. Or if you get hold of additional information please upload it to the portal.
  • Schools should note that short term outcomes for the child/young person will not be included in the EHC but should be added as an appendix and included in the individual education plan. This is at the advice of the DfE and is set out in the SEND Code of Practice.

Requests from parents/carers or young people

Requests for assessment do not have to come from a school and can be made by:

  • The child/young person's parents/carers (or somebody on their behalf)
  • The young person if over the age of 16 (or somebody on their behalf) or
  • A person acting on behalf of an early years setting, school or post 16 institution, (this should be with the knowledge and agreement of the parent/carer or young person where possible)

In addition, anyone can inform the local authority about a child or young person who has, or may have, Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND). This could include foster carers, health and social care professionals, early years practitioners, youth offending teams or probation services. It may also include those responsible for education in custody, school or college staff or a family friend. Again, this should be done with the knowledge and agreement of parents/carers or the young person where possible.

If a local authority (LA) is requested to carry out an EHC needs assessment by a parent, young person, school or college, they must consider:

  1. whether the child or young person has or may have special educational needs (SEN)
  2. and whether they may need special educational provision to be made through an EHC plan.

This is often referred to as the '2 Legal Tests'.

If the answer to both of these questions is yes, they must carry out an EHC needs assessment.

Citizen’s Portal

Did you know you can put your request in via our Citizen’s Portal? 

This will mean that as your request progresses you will be able to see professional advices that are coming in and ultimately draft and final EHC plans.

The link to the portal can be found here:  Citizen Portal - Sign in

On our Local Offer page for the SEND Portal, we have included a video to show parents how to use the portal. You can watch it by clicking here

Below there is a parent request form that you could use to put your request together and upload to the portal.  The webpage also includes a number of different forms at the bottom of the page to help guide you and get children’s views. The following guidance forms have been co-produced with parents/carers and children and young people to help put ensure their views are included in the assessment and plan.

How long does it take?

Requests for an EHC assessment follow a 20 week process as set out below. You will be allocated a SEND Caseworker who will help to guide you though the process. If you want more detailed information take a look at the Parent/Carer Guide to SEND process.

How we make decisions 

We have set up ‘panels’ of professionals from schools, settings, education, health and social care services who consider requests for Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan assessments, whether to issue an EHC plan and the monitoring and review of EHC plans. Having a range of officers from different services ensures a joint collaborative approach to support the Local Authority in making transparent and equitable, well-informed decisions. Ultimately though it is the Local Authority’s decision and the Team manager of the Support, Assessment and Review Team Chairs the panels.  Details of the what the panels do and who the panel members can be found by clicking here.

Newcastle SENDIASS 

(Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information, Advice and Support Service)



Newcastle Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information, Advice  and Support Service | Newcastle Special Educational Needs and Disabilities  Information, Advice and Support Service

How to’ Guides for Parent/Carers



How to understand SEND Support

How to appeal a decision

How to have a successful meeting

How to check a draft plan

How to review an Education, Health and Care plan


If you are not happy with a decision regarding an EHCP assessment or review.....


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Call us

We will  work with you to resolve any concerns you may have and explain further about why the decision has been made. If any further advice or evidence is now available, please send us a copy and we will consider this as it may make a difference to the original decision.  Please contact:

SEND Support, Assessment and Review Team

Tel: 0191 277 4650


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SEND Information, Advice and Support service (SENDIASS)

If we can’t reach agreement or you are still dissatisfied you can also contact SENDIASS an independent team who will give you information and advice. Here’s  how to contact them:

Tel:  0191 211 6255


This you tube video tells you more about how SENDIASS can help you: Introduction to the Information Advice and Support Service - YouTube

2,600+ Mediation Illustrations, Royalty-Free Vector Graphics & Clip Art -  iStock | Meditation, Conflict resolution, Business mediation

Seek Mediation

If we are unable to come to an agreement independent mediation arrangements are in place  to help discuss, resolve or prevent any disagreements  linked to decisions about EHC needs assessments and plans.  An adviser will provide you with information on how they can help. Please contact:

Sue Hall, Chapel Mediation & Consultancy Service

Tel: 07792227526 or


Please note if you wish to make an appeal to the SEND Tribunal you may only do so after contacting the mediation service and discussed whether mediation might be a suitable way of resolving the disagreement. They will issue a certificate.

Tribunal - SENDIASS Camden

Apply to a SEND Tribunal

If you still wish to appeal to the tribunal, you should do so within two months of receiving this letter or one month from the date of a certificate being issued, whichever is the later.  Information on how to appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal can also be obtained from:

HM Courts & Tribunals Service

Special Educational Needs & Disability Tribunal

1st Floor Darlington Magistrates’ Court


Darlington DL1 1RU

Tel:  01325 289 350

Advice on making SEND appeals to the Tribunal is available from:

Other useful informationTell route

Transport Eligibility

For further information in relation to travel assistance eligibility please visit: SEND Travel Support team can also be contacted on 0191 277 4646


Below are the details of the other support services available to families who support children and young people with special educational needs in Newcastle

The Parent Carer Forum –

Pass it on Parents Advice and Support at Skills for People – Facebook page-   Pass it on Parents Newcastle upon Tyne | Facebook

The Access Fund - The Access Fund - Nunsmoor Centre Trust

Get connected  - Get Connected | Newcastle Support Directory

The Art garden -  Art Garden and Music Garden at Scotswood Community Garden

Newcastle Carers Centre - Newcastle Carers - Local Carers Support Services Near Me | Carers Trust - Carers Trust

We want to hear your views about the EHC process

If you have been through the EHC planning process we would really appreciate your feedback. Please complete the short survey at : Tell us what you thought about the EHC process - quick survey

Or scan this QR code:

The EHC plan template

The EHC request form has been written to feed directly into the new EHC template which was co-produced in 2021/2022. 

In Autumn 2021 we consulted on whether we should develop a single 0-25 years EHC plan template and we received some strong opinions about why we should keep two plan templates. As a result, the PCF carried out a survey to get views about which plan option is preferred. The feedback received was very mixed, an even split between parents/carers wanting one EHC plan and some wishing to keep the two as they are now. Parents/carers who have the post 16 EHC plan were worried about losing the focus on preparing for adulthood and living independently. 

As a result, we commissioned NDTI to facilitate a series of collaborative and interactive workshops, aiming to discover and share our strengths and dream big together about how we can make the EHCP template the best it can be to support people to lead amazing lives.

The first workshop in February 2022 was attended by 34 delegates including, parent /carers, our Voice trainee, the SEND Information and Advice Support Service and SEND Professionals from across schools, education, health and care. 

Some of the discussions from the workshop are attached here.

We then split into groups to come up with different template options, which were presented to the full group, who identified the best parts of each to create the template. We also ‘mocked’ up the templates with some real EHC plan examples. This was very hard to do because the new template is very different from the old ones.

The workshop delegates agreed that we went through a really interesting and exciting journey to come up with the final template, where we had an opportunity to have open discussions be creative and develop the template by mutual consent.

The new EHC template aims to:

  • prompt preparing for adulthood discussions from the earliest years
  • make it clear that only provision above that expected in mainstream school is included
  • show a clear link between outcomes and provision
  • allow families to put forward their views however they wish to do so
  • be colour coded and more accessible than previous versions and looks good on a mobile phone
  • meet all legislative requirements.

The new template can be seen in the pictures below.



















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