Statutory SEND Processes (EHC Assessments and EHCPs)

Overview of SEND Statutory process, how to make an EHC Assessment Request and what is involved once a child has an EHCP.

From September 2014, Statements of SEN were replaced by Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) and a new SEND Code of Practice alongside a new Children and Families Act came into place.  This is a brief summary of how NYC discharges its Statutory SEND duties, the processes to follow and the forms and tools we use.

Key points:

  • All schools and settings are required to follow the SEND Code of Practice in terms of identification of SEND, delivering the graduated response to emerging SEND and using their delegated SEND budget (for statutory school age) to support children and young people as per Chapter 6 in the SEND Code of Practice
  • Where required, the NYC SEND Hubs may be able to provide support where a school / setting needs additional advice / guidance / input over and above what could reasonably be expected as part of High Quality Teaching in their graduated response.  Please refer to the SEND Hubs page for further information.
  • Evidence should be gathered in line with Chapter 6 of the SEND Code of Practice to demonstrate what has been tried, what impact it has had and what resources have been used.  Please see the SEN Support pages for further information and for example SEN Support plans and chronologies that could be used.
  • In most cases there will be at least two cycles of the graduated response before a request for EHC Assessment is made.
  • With full involvement and consent from the parent / carer and young person if appropriate, a request for assessment can then be made using the Education Health and Care Assessment Request (EHCAR) form (see below)
  • Once an EHCAR is received with the required consents the LA has SIX weeks to make a decision as to whether to progress the assessment
  • An EHCAR decision meeting will be held within 2-4 weeks of receipt of the EHCAR and will involve the school / setting (often the SENCO), parents / carers / young person, Educational Psychologist and SEN Officer.  Together they will make the decision to assess.  If they decide not to progress the assessment at this time, next steps will be agreed.  If they decide to progress the assessment at this time, they will agree the broad outcomes to be achieved through the EHC Assessment and potentially an EHCP.
  • Advice will be sought from Education, Health and Care agencies and they have 6 weeks from that request for advice to respond.
  • By 16 weeks, the LA will make a decision whether to issue an EHCP and if so, will issue a draft EHCP giving parents / carers 15 days to make amendments and also to consult with schools.
  • By 20 weeks the LA will issue a final EHCP for those that they agree to issue.
  • There MUST be a statutory review of the EHCP at least every 12 months which the school / setting must conduct and submit information to the LA for any amendments to the EHCP to be made – should amendments be required, a new draft EHCP will be issued and finalised alongside the 15 days for amendments as described above.

School Responsibilities

  • To adhere to the guidance and statutory duties outlined in chapter 6 of the SEND Code of Practice to ensure that children and young people are appropriately supported at SEN Support levels with a SEN Support plan that is reviewed termly alongside parents / carers / young people
  • To submit the EHCAR with all required information including parent / carer / young person consent
  • To provide advice and information when requested for the EHC Assessment
  • To deliver the provision identified in the EHCP, work towards agreed outcomes in the EHCP and make efficient use of the allocated Element 3 resource.
  • To ensure that all reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act are in place for any child with a disability; regardless of whether they have an EHCP or not
  • To conduct an annual review within 12 months and to submit the required documentation back to the LA within 2 weeks of the annual review taking place.

Local Authority Responsibilities

  • To conduct statutory assessments within statutory timescales
  • To work in partnership with parents / carers / young people in developing any EHCP
  • To allocate funding to meet assessed need over and above the nationally agreed threshold in line with the NYC Banding system (see documentation below)
  • To process annual reviews within 6 weeks of receipt of the annual review with the aim of parents / carers / young people having an amended finalised EHCP within 10 weeks of the annual review meeting
  • Where needs have significantly changed and an interim review is held, the LA will process with urgency and prioritise any amendments
  • To provide schools / settings with the documentation they need and the support and training to use the documentation

References/Links to Associated Information

EHCAR Proforma

Annual Review Proforma

Banding Process and Descriptors

Annual Review Checklist for SENCos May 2022

Statutory Guidance

Contact for more information