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Education, health and care plans for children with SEND

Find out about education, health and care (EHC) plans and how to apply for an EHC needs assessment for children and young people with special educational needs (SEND).

Educating your child with SEND

Most children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) will have their needs met by mainstream education providers.

We want to make sure that all children and young people receive the right education that supports and enables them to make progress. We want them to:

  • achieve their best
  • become confident individuals living fulfilling lives
  • make a successful transition into adulthood, through further or higher education, training and employment.

If your child’s educational needs are not being met

Sometimes a child or young person’s SEN may need more resources than their school or education provider has delegated to them.

If your school agrees that it is unable to meet your child or young person’s needs, the school will work with you to request an EHC needs assessment from our special educational needs team.

As a parent or young person, you also have the right to make a direct request for an assessment.

A professional can request an EHC needs assessment on behalf of a school or post-16 education provider. Where possible, this should be made with the parent’s knowledge and agreement.

What is an EHC needs assessment?

An EHC needs assessment may be necessary in order for special educational provision to be made for a child or young person in accordance with their EHC plan. This is likely to be where the special educational provision required to meet the child or young person's needs cannot reasonably be provided from the early years providers, schools or post 16 institutions local offer.

If the decision is to conduct an EHC needs assessment, an allocated EHC coordinator will undertake the assessment in line with the special educational needs and disabilities code of practice.

An EHC needs assessment will determine whether an EHC plan should be issued. The information gathered through this assessment process may indicate ways in which the early years provider, school or post 16 institutions can meet your child needs without an EHC plan.

How to apply for an EHC needs assessment

To request an EHC needs assessment for your child, you will need to download and complete the EHC needs assessment request form.

You will need to send your completed request form, with signed consent and supporting documentation, to:

Special Educational Needs Team
Lewisham Children with Complex Needs Team
Kaleidoscope
32 Rushey Green
Catford
SE6 4JF

or send by secure email to ehcp@lewisham.gov.uk 

What is an EHC plan

In some circumstances, it may be necessary for additional resources to be allocated by us to meet the SEN needs of a child or young person.

An EHC plan allows a child or young person to get the extra educational support they require, when their needs cannot be met by the existing SEND support available within the school.

The education provider must ensure they have gone through the four-part graduated response process, and used the resources it has already delegated to meet the needs of the child and young person with SEN.

How an EHC plan works

An EHC plan brings together education, health and care services to develop a plan that looks after the needs of your child or young person with SEN. The EHC plan is written in partnership with you and your child or young person, and focuses on developing and achieving agreed outcomes.

As your young person gets older, the EHC plan will be shaped to support and assist them to prepare for adult life. Your young person will be involved in the development of the assessment and they will be supported throughout this process. The EHC plan will focus on what they want to achieve now and in the future.

More information on EHC plans

Annual reviews for EHC plans 

If your child has an EHC plan we will review your child or young person’s progress at least every 12 months. If your child is under five, their progress will be reviewed every six months. The reviews will focus on their progress towards the outcomes in the EHC plan. The review will also consider whether these goals and supporting targets are still appropriate.

See our parents’ guide on EHC plan annual reviews.

Decision making and appeals for EHC plans

If you are not happy with our decision on your child or young person’s EHC plan or an EHC plan has not been agreed, you are entitled to appeal through the SEN mediation and disagreement resolution service. This is available you under the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act Code of Practice 0-25 years.

You can find detailed information on the EHC plan decision-making process.

For more information on your local SEND mediation service, see the KIDS website.