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The Education, Health and Care Plan Assessment

To get an EHCP you will need to have an EHC needs assessment which involves a process of gathering information from the relevant people or agencies, including the views, interests and aspirations of you and your child/young person.

What happens during the assessment process?

What do we consider for an EHC needs assessment to be carried out?

Once a request is received our SEN team write to the referrer for further information.

We will seek a wide range of evidence to include: 

  • Academic attainment and rate of progress/development
  • Information about the nature, extent and context of the student’s SEN
  • Evidence that where progress is made it has only been as a result of much additional intervention and support over and above that which is usually provided
  • Evidence drawn from relevant clinicians and other health professionals

We will also consider whether a young person aged over 18 will require extra time to complete their education or training.

This is in line with relevant legislation: Section 36 of the Children and Families Act 2014 and Regulations 3, 4, and 5 of the SEND Regulations 2014


  • If an assessment is agreed we will write to all involved professionals to gather information on reports and assessments carried out over the past six months (12 months if agreed relevant).
  • We will also ask if you have any additional information to add.
  • With your permission you will be contacted by an Educational Psychologist (EP) who will complete a report for the assessment.  This may not be required if your child is already with an EP.
  • Evidence is then taken to the SEN panel for consideration.
  • The panel will consider all of the information to make a decision about whether or not there is enough evidence to show that an EHC Plan is necessary and will let you know in writing. 

The EHC plan

  • If an EHC plan is to be drawn up then a planning meeting will take place, wherever possible, involving all relevant professionals, parents/carers and the child/young person.
  • You will be issued with a draft plan, you have 15 days to consider this; if we don't hear from you we will assume you are happy with the content. If you would like us to consider any amendments, or have any questions we can arrange a meeting to discuss.

Guide to SEND Provision (PDF 0.69MB)

Choosing a setting (Nursery/Setting/College)

You can now say which school, college or other educational setting you would like your child to go to.  We will provide you with information for you to find out about schools and colleges and following your recommendations we will consult with your preferred setting(s)/college(s), who will also have 15 days to respond.

If they do not respond within the timescales then we may name them in the final EHCP if they are maintained by Dudley Council or if they are: 

  • an Academy (mainstream or special)
  • free School (mainstream or special)
  • non-maintained special school
  • FE or 6th Form College
  • independent school or independent specialist college (where they have been approved by the Secretary of State and published in a list available to all parents and young people).

Any of the settings listed above must comply with your request unless:

  • it would be unsuitable for the age, ability, aptitude or SEN of the child, or
  • the attendance of the child would be incompatible with the efficient education of others, or the efficient use of resources

If the setting is not in the Dudley Local Authority and is maintained by another local authority we will have to consult with that authority for a place in their setting/college.

Personal budgets

During the EHC assessment process or when an EHC plan is reviewed, parents or the young person can request a Personal Budget to support some of the outcomes in an EHC plan. 

Personal budgets are most commonly provided for social care support, for example when a child requires a personal assistant or short break: social care assessments are necessary for a personal budget to be agreed.

Find out more about Personal Budgets.

What happens next?

If you are happy with the EHCP and your preferred setting/college/training provider is able to offer your child a place (it may be your child’s current setting), then we will finalise the EHCP, naming the preferred setting by Week 20.

If you have not told us which setting you would like for your child, we will consult with your child’s current setting and another suitable setting nearest to your home address, where necessary.

Annual review

EHCPs are reviewed every 12 months, usually at the educational setting, and are undertaken in partnership with the child/young person and their parent (the young person's choice). 

The review focuses on the child/young person's progress towards achieving the outcomes specified in the EHC Plan, and if these outcomes and supporting targets remain appropriate.  The review must take account of the views, wishes and feelings of the child/young person.

What happens if I disagree with a decision?

We will try to resolve any concerns with you in a co-operative, friendly manner, as and when they arise in the process.

The Code of Practice states that parents and a young person (over the age of 16 and below 25) can formally challenge the following decisions that are made by us:

  • the decision not to carry out an EHC assessment
  • the decision not to issue an EHC plan
  • the description of the SEN and provision within an EHC plan
  • the name or type of setting or other educational institution

Where possible we will seek to resolve any disagreements as quickly as possible and at a local level. You do have the right to appeal at any time in the process and we can advise you how to do this.