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Requesting a new Education, Health and Care Plan

Requesting a new Education, Health and Care Plan

To request a plan, the requestor must complete the EHC Plan Assessment referral form.

The process that the referral follows is outlined in the document Newcastle EHCP Pathway.

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

  • The child's parents (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 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, 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 or the young person where possible.

The recommended way for families to request a plan is through the school or education settings. All referrals include the views of the parent/carer and the young person.

Support for families during this process can be provided through the Newcastle Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information, Advice and Support Service.

Does my child need an EHC Plan to get help?

No, your child does not need an EHC Plan and help should be provided on the basis of the individual child’s identified needs. Statutory assessments still have a role in identifying the most complex needs and are necessary if a child is moving from a mainstream school to a special school.  

What happens if the local authority decides that an EHC Plan is not necessary?

Following assessment, if the local authority decides that an EHC Plan is not necessary, it must inform the parents or young person, the early years provider, school or post 16 institution they currently attend and the health service, giving the reasons for its decision.

This must take place within 16 weeks of the initial request, or of the child or young person having been brought to the authority's attention. The local authority must also tell the parents or young person that they have the right to appeal against the decision to the SEND Tribunal and set out the time limits for appeal, and the availability of parent partnership and disagreement resolution services.

In these circumstances it is likely that the information gathered during the assessment will have indicated ways in which the school, college or other provider can meet the child or young person's needs from within available resources through an early years, school or college-based support plan.