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Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council Education Health and Care Assessment Guide

Pre request - Is an EHC plan needed?

First two weeks
  • There is a single point of entry to request a statutory EHC assessment via the SEND Assessment Service based at Riverside House.
  • Anyone can bring a child or young person with SEND to the attention of the local authority and parents, health agencies, early year's providers, schools and colleges have an important role in doing so.
  • To request an assessment form should be completed and sent to the SEND Assessment Service. It will need to be supported by clear, appropriate documentary evidence without which a request cannot be accepted.
  • A young person or parent can make a direct request to the local authority but will need to supply relevant supporting evidence for the request to be properly considered. Support in making this request is available for parents from the SEND Parent Partnership Service and for young people from the Integrated Youth Support Service.
  • All information or evidence to support a request is considered by the Local Authority to identify whether a statutory assessment leading to an EHC Plan is appropriate.
  • A member of the SEND Assessment Service will contact the young person, parent and others involved to let them know of the decision. The statutory time limit for this is 6 weeks but in most cases we will try to respond within 2. The whole assessment and planning process from the time the request for assessment is received until the final EHC Plan is issued lasts up to 20 weeks.

What happens for the child/young person and the family?

  • Young people and parents will have been involved in discussions with their early years setting, school, college or education provider. It is expected that they will have for some time been involved in the development and review of an SEND Support Plan
  • If the local authority decides to proceed with a statutory assessment, the EHC Assessment Coordinator makes contact with the family to introduce themselves as the key point of contact, to plan the process with the family and answer any immediate queries.
  • If the local authority decides not to proceed with a statutory assessment, the SEND support plan for the child or young person will continue supported by a lead professional or educational psychologist. The reasons will be made clear and opportunities to discuss and resolve any issues given.

What should practitioners do?

  • Before supporting or making a request for an EHC Statutory Assessment, the child/young person should normally have in place an SEND Support Plan that shows how all involved have worked together to identify and support the child/young person's needs. Usually, this plan will have been reviewed at least twice in collaboration with the family and child or young person. There will be evidence of targeted support being in place and evaluation of how effective it has been in achieving the expected outcomes. This information is also required when the family or young person make the request for a statutory assessment.
  • Practitioners need to be sure that the request is in line with local guidance and sets out how the delegated funding for SEND is being used.
  • If an assessment is deemed not appropriate relevant staff will be informed of any follow up or further support needed.

Listening and learning - gathering advice

Weeks 2 to 8

The EHC Assessment Coordinator will:

  • contact the family to discuss and plan the process and set a date for a planning meeting around week 12
  • identify and request any additional reports or assessments required as part of the assessment process
  • gather all existing and additional evidence, making contact with Health and Social Care and other agencies and specialists as required
  • keep in touch with the family and begin to draft the EHC plan.

What happens for the child/young person and the family?

  • The child/young person and family receive contact from their allocated EHC Assessment Coordinator who will plan the assessment process with the family, discuss the purpose of the 12 week meeting and wherever practical, identify the family preferences and availability for meeting times and location.
  • The child/young person and family meet practitioners who will discuss their role in supporting the assessment of education, health and care needs. The EHC Assessment Coordinator will attempt to reduce any burdens on the family.
  • The child/young person and their family are able to contribute directly to the plan.
  • The child/young person and their family will be in receipt of the draft plan and supporting evidence collated through the statutory assessment process.

What happens for the practitioners?

  • Practitioners will receive early notice of a statutory assessment and be able to access all current documentation which should reduce the need for duplication of questions for the family. They will also be informed of family preferences and availability for meeting times and location. Practitioners contact the family.
  • Practitioners carry out any assessments required and where relevant, notify the EHC Assessment Coordinator of any additional information or assessments required following on from discussion with the family and/or young person.
  • All practitioners involved should respond to requests to be involved in assessments and attend any planning meetings as required. These meetings will be coordinated by the EHC Assessment Coordinator but may be led by a professional involved.
  • We are working to establish a system that will enable the EHC Assessment Coordinator to facilitate the family and practitioners accessing current advice received throughout the statutory assessment process.

Agreeing the Plan

Weeks 9 to 13
  • The EHC Assessment Coordinator will:
  • collate all advice received and where advice suggests health and social care are directly involved ensure relevant managers are aware of budget issues
  • complete a draft plan, contact health and social care managers, and use established criteria to prepare indicative budgets ready for the week 12 planning meeting.
  • Present draft plans to the SEND Panel to:
    • decide whether an EHC plan should be issued and if so the intensity and type of SEN provision necessary
    • clarify indicative budgets
  • If the outcome of the statutory assessment is that an EHC plan is not appropriate the reasons will be set out clearly in a letter to the parent and referrer together with information on their rights of appeal. A TAC (Team Around the Child) meeting will be offered to discuss the outcome and set out any on-going appropriate support to be delivered by the school/education provider and services.
  • If it is agreed an EHC plan is appropriate the parent, referrer and all involved parties will be advised.

What happens for the child/young person and the family?

  • The young person and/or family are advised of the initial outcome of statutory assessment.
  • If an EHC plan is felt to be appropriate the young person and their family will be advised and the EHC Assessment Coordinator will draft an initial EHC plan.
  • If the outcome of the statutory assessment is that an EHC plan is not appropriate, the reasons will be set out clearly in a letter to the parent and referrer. Also a meeting will be offered to discuss the outcome and set out any on-going appropriate support to be delivered by the school/ education provider.

What happens for the practitioners?

  • All information is gathered together and a decision is made whether an EHC plan is necessary for the child/young person.
  • If it is agreed an EHC plan is appropriate the resources needed will be assessed and indicative budgets agreed.
  • If the outcome off the statutory assessment is that an EHC plan is not appropriate the EHC Assessment Coordinator will send a letter explaining the reasons and suggest a TAC meeting.
  • The EHC Assessment Coordinator uses all collated information to draft an initial EHC plan to be discussed at the week 12 meeting.

Finalising the EHC Plan

Weeks 14 to 20
  • The EHC Assessment Coordinator will work with the family to finalise the plan and identify additional resources, provision or placement.
  • The final plan will be issued with a review date set. The plan will need to be reviewed annually but it is possible with agreement from all parties to have interim reviews regarding particular outcomes.

What happens for the child/young person and the family?

  • The EHC Assessment Coordinator will work with the child/young person and family to produce a final plan and identify an appropriate school placement.
  • Personal budgets are identified where appropriate.

What happens for the practitioners?

  • The final plan will be sent to the education, health and social care provider as appropriate.
  • The local authority will arrange that the SEND provision as identified in the plan is put into place.
  • The Clinical Commissioning Group must ensure that specified health provision is made.

EHC overview plan process