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Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment and Plan

The information on this page is still in draft and will be finalised following the completion of coproduction work with parents and independent advice teams.

The majority of children or young people with special educational needs (SEN) will have their needs met within local mainstream early year’s settings, schools or colleges through SEN Support arrangements and the resources from the funding already given by Ealing Council to schools every year.
A very small number of children or young people need a more individualised or intensive level of specialist help than can be provided from the SEN Support arrangements in place. In these circumstances, you, your child or young person’s early year’s setting, school or college may decide to ask Ealing Council to consider starting an EHC Needs Assessment

COVID-19 Temporary Changes to Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans

For updates on changes to EHC plans during COVID-19 please visit our Updates on requests for statutory assessments, Education Health and Care (EHC) Plans and Annual Reviews page. 

What is an EHC Needs Assessment?

An EHC Needs Assessment is a detailed look at a child or young person's special educational needs and the support he or she may need in order to learn.  This is a request for more targeted intensive support where previous special educational needs (SEN) support has been put in place but not worked and the child or young person continues to have significant needs. The EHC Needs Assessment should not normally be the first step in the process. It should follow on from planning and interventions already undertaken with parents and young people in partnership with an early year’s setting, school or college.

If, following this assessment, Ealing Council agrees that a child’s needs are severe enough to need additional support to what school are already providing, or that the child would benefit from attending a special school or additionally resourced provision, they will write an Education Health and Care Plan, based on all the strengths and difficulties that have been identified by parents and professionals who know the child. The Plan will describe these strengths and difficulties, will set out outcomes that the child needs to achieve in the next 3 or 4 years and will describe the interventions and strategies that a school needs to put into place to help the child achieve these outcomes. The Council will then allocate additional funding to the mainstream school so they can implement this Plan or seek a placement in a special school or additionally resourced provision.

Who can request an EHC Needs Assessment?

Requests for an EHC Needs Assessment are most often received after several meetings have been held at the early year’s setting, school or college to review the SEN Support being provided and the rate of progress.


For the majority of children, the early year’s setting or school will make the request. However, the doctor, health visitor, parents and carers, or the young person themselves (if over the age of 16 but under the age of 25) can also request an EHC Needs Assessment by writing to Ealing Council. 

  • If a request is being made by early year’s settings, schools or colleges then an: Ealing Request for a Statutory Assessment (ERSA) form can be used. Please see downloads section on this page.

or

  • If there is already an EHAP (Early Help Assessment and Plan) with enough information that describes the child’s strengths and difficulties and shows what the child’s educational attainments currently are, this should be used in place of the ERSA.  Please see downloads section on his page.

What information needs to be provided with a request for an EHC Needs Assessment?

It is important that the documentation submitted with the request for an EHC Needs Assessment  clearly demonstrates that the child or young person has significant special educational needs and shows clearly what has been implemented and reviews undertaken. This information regarding SEN Support would normally be provided by the early year’s setting, school or college.
If a parent, carer or young person has made the request, it is important to submit all relevant medical information relating to your child or young person’s SEN/disability.  This information should represent the last 12 months and include any information from the educational setting too.

How to request an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessment

All requests should be sent via a letter or email electronically to: ERSA@ealing.gov.uk 

Telephone: 020 8825 6910    Email ERSA@ealing.gov.uk


If a request is being made by an early years setting, school or college an Ealing Request for a Statutory Assessment (ERSA) form or Early Help Assessment and Plan (EHAP) must be completed.


If you need help to make a request for an EHC Needs Assessment ring the SENAS Team Telephone : 020 8825 6910

For Impartial support and advice from an independent local organisation

Ealing I SAID Service 

ISAID (Impartial Support and Information on Disability and Special Educational Needs)provide free and confidential advice to parents / carers, children and young people aged up to 25. Advice is free, impartial and confidential.

Tel: 020 3978 8989 

Contact 

Contact provides support, advice and information for families with disabled children, no matter what their condition or disability. Advice is free, impartial and confidential.

Tel: 020 8571 6381 

How long will the EHC process take?

The EHC assessment process takes 20 weeks from beginning to end.

The timescale has been broken down to explain what happens at each stage of the process.

Week 0 - 6

Ealing Council SEN Assessment Service (SENAS) receives a request for an EHC Needs Assessment.
You will be allocated an EHC Coordinator and he or she will check that all the forms have been completed correctly, and that there is sufficient supporting reports.
The EHC Coordinator will present the request for an EHC Needs Assessment to the Special Educational Needs (SEND) Panel.
The EHC Coordinator will inform you in writing of the SEND Panel decision.

The SEND Panel will decide to either:

a) Start the EHC Needs Assessment


 Or


b) Ask your child’s school to continue meeting their needs at SEN Support stage.


If the SEND Panel decision is to start EHC Needs Assessment you will also receive an information pack. This will include;

  • A form for you to complete about your views, what aspirations you, your child or young person have for his or her future, as a parent or young person (this form is known as Appendix A). Where possible the child or young person should complete the form.
  • Where the request for an EHC Needs Assessment shows significant input is needed from health and/or social care professionals a ‘Working Together Meeting' will be arranged with you by your EHC Co-ordinator. The 'Working Together' Meeting would happen around week 14/15 from the initial request for an EHC Needs Assessment and will be an opportunity to consider all reports written by professionals and to draft an EHC plan with you and the professionals who know the child. This meeting will only happen for children with the most complex needs.

Week 7 - 13

The EHC Co-ordinator will seek information and views, in the form of a report, from people who work with you and your child or young person
Once all the reports have been received the EHC Coordinator will summaries all the reports including you and your child or young person’s views, into a draft Plan.  This is called a Draft SEN Support Plan
The draft SEN Support Plan is made up of a number of sections:
Section A will include you and your child or young person’s views.
Section B will describe the child or young person’s strengths and difficulties in four broad areas of development;

  1. Cognition and learning (e.g. how the child or young person thinks and how well they are doing with numeracy and literacy etc.),
  2. Communication and interaction,
  3. Social, emotional and mental health and,
  4. Sensory/physical.

Section C  - will contain advice from Health professionals about your child’s health strengths and difficulties.
Section D  - will contain any relevant information from any Social Workers who have worked with your child, young person or family about your child’s strengths and difficulties.
Section E -  is a summary of the outcomes that you and the professionals want to see your child or young person achieve over the next 3 to 4 years.
Section F - H will be a table that outlines the outcomes and strategies that are needed to meet your child or young person’s needs, as well as who will be delivering any different strategies, how often these strategies should be used, who will monitor progress and which organisation will fund each strategy.

Week 14 - 16

A draft SEN Support Plan will be emailed to you and/or the young person and their early year’s setting, school or college so that you know what documents will be considered by the SEND Panel.
The EHC Coordinator will have a discussion with you and/or the young person about the draft plan either through email or over the telephone.
At this stage a parent/carer or young person can express their preference of an educational provision.

Week 17- 19

Draft SEND Support Plan is presented to the SEND Panel by your EHC Coordinator. In particular, the Coordinator tells the Panel what educational setting you want for your child, and how you think the support for your child would look like.

The SEND Panel usually consists of mainstream and special school representatives (e.g. Headteachers or SENCOs), an Educational Psychology Service representative, a Paediatric Therapies manager, a representative from the Behaviour teams in Ealing, a Social Care representative and the Designated Medical Officer.
The meeting is chaired by Ealing’s Head of Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND), and all Panel members read, review and discuss each draft SEN Support Plan  request drawing on their particular professional expertise and experience. 
The Head of SEND considers the views and advice given by the Panel members, and makes a decision about whether to convert the SEN Support Plan into a draft EHC Plan.

Your EHC Co-ordinator will write or email you with the decision made by The Head of SEND and the reasons behind the decision.
If the Local Authority agree the child or young person's needs are severe enough to need significant amount of additional support the draft SEN Support Plan will be changed into a draft EHC Plan. At this stage the SEND Panel will read the draft EHC Plan and the associated reports and decide if the child or young person early year’s setting , school or college should be given additional funding to meet the child or young person’s needs or consider alternative specialist placement. They will send a copy of the draft EHC Plan with any changes they have made.


Parents have a 15 calendar days to look through the draft  EHC Plan and to convey their views about the draft Plan to their EHC Coordinator. Upon receiving the draft plan with your parent feedback, amendments will be made following discussion with yourselves.

If the SEND Panel decides that an EHC Plan is not needed, the EHC Coordinator will let you and/or young person know why and help you to find other ways that you, your child or young person can be supported in their early year’s setting, school or college. The Local Authority expectation is that your child’s needs can be met by their existing school with the resources they already have in school. 

Week 20

By week 20 parents should expect to receive a finalised EHC Plan.
An Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan must:
• Establish and record the views, interests and aspirations of the parents and child or young person
• Be clear, concise, understandable and accessible
• Provide a full description of the child or young person’s special educational needs and any health and social care needs;
• Establish good, relevant outcomes across education, health and social care based on needs and aspirations with a long term focus on preparing for adulthood and being independent, having relationships, being healthy and being in employment
• Specify the provision required and how education, health and care services will work together

Education, Heath and Care (EHC) Plan Reviews

Reviews of an child or young person’s progress should occur annually.  Parents can request a review earlier than this by liaising with the school’s SENCO in the first instance. This meeting is chaired by the child’s school and all professionals who are working with your child, as well as parents, are invited to the Annual Review meeting. Everyone reviews the progress the child has made in relation to the outcomes set out in the EHC plan, and in relation to the shorter term outcomes that were set the previous annual review. Information about your child’s wellbeing and social and emotional development are also discussed if they are not already an outcome on their EHC plan. If school or parents want to increase or decrease the funding their child receives, or the school or parent want to consider a change of placement then they should sat this at the an Annual review meeting  

Records of the Annual review are sent to the local Authority and to parents and other professionals, within 2  weeks (10 working days)  of the Annual Review meeting. The Local Authority aims to consider the Annual Review record within 2 weeks of the record being sent to the Local Authority. Any amendments to the EHC Plan will then be discussed with school and parents. Amendments are only made when there are significant changes in a child’s life.

Professionals should send annual reviews securely , via email, to EHCPReviews@ealing.gov.uk  

Ending an EHC plan
Parents or professionals may recommend ending an EHC Plan and returning the child or young person to the SEN Support level where funding for strategies has already been delegated.
An annual review is a good opportunity to consider when an EHC Plan should end. Before a decision is made the EHC Co-ordinator will discuss it with the parent and/or the young person and take your views into consideration.

What to consider
• If the educational or training outcomes specified in the plan have been met?
• What type of SEN support is still needed?
• Can the additional support be arranged within the resources already available in school or college?
• The wishes of the parents and the child or young person about the future i.e. moving to further education or employment.

EHCP Timeline Table

Please see the downloads section of this page (to the right) for a table breaking down Ealing's Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment and Plan process. 

What is an ARP (Additionally Resourced Provision)?

Additionally Resourced Provisions (ARP’s) are “additionally funded” which means that a school ARP receives additional resources. They are able to offer:

  • Teaching staff with additional knowledge, skills and expertise in a particular area of SEND;
  • Specialist environments which support the learning needs of each pupil;
  • Systems to track small-step progress;
  • Some lessons in mainstream classes, but with additional specialist resources and teaching
  • Additional Educational Psychologist and specialist health input as necessary.
    Each ARP specialises in a particular area of special educational needs. Each ARP is an integral part of the school.
  • ARPs are small-scale, typically providing for between 10 and 20 pupils in primary schools and up to 30 in secondary schools

Each ARP specialises in a particular area of special educational needs. Each ARP is an integral part of the school.

ARPs are small-scale, typically providing for between 10 and 20 pupils in primary schools and up to 30 in secondary schools. ARP pupils are supported in their own year groups. Pupils will spend time within the designated ARP classroom and their time in their mainstream class will be agreed so that their access to mainstream activities will be agreed in advance and monitored carefully. Adjustments will be made to maximise positive learning outcomes. This approach enables each individual to receive the particular support that they need, at the appropriate age-related level in the most appropriate setting.

Primary Schools with Additionally Resourced Provisions (ARP's)

The following primary schools have an Additionally Resourced Provision (ARP) for children aged 4-11 with speech, language and communication needs including autism, and learning difficulties:

Beaconsfield Primary School
Beaconsfield Road, 
UB1 1DR,

Tel: 020 8574 3506

Coston Primary School
Oldfield Lane South, 
UB6 9JU,

Tel: 020 8578 1515

Drayton Green Primary
School Drayton Grove 
W13 0LA

Tel: 020 8997 2307

Selborne Primary School                                                                   
Conway Crescent
UB6 8JD, 

Tel: 020 8997 1947                                                         

West Acton Primary School
Noel Road,
W3 0JL

Tel: 020 8992 3144

Willow Tree Primary School
Priors Farm Lane
Off Abbott Close
Northolt
UB5 5FE

Tel: 0208 845 4181

The following school caters for nursery and primary aged children with severe learning difficulties and autism:

Allenby Primary School
Allenby Road
UB1 2HX

Tel: 020 8578 6636

The following school caters for nursery and primary aged children with hearing difficulties:

Gifford Primary School
Greenhill Gardens 
UB5 6BU

Tel: 020 8845 4661

The following school caters for nursery and primary aged children with developmental language disorders:

St John’s Primary School
Felix Road, 
W13 0NY

Tel: 020 8567 6251

Special Schools for Primary School Aged Children

Castlebar School
Hathaway Gardens, W13 0DH
Tel: 020 8998 3135
For children with complex moderate to severe learning difficulties & autism. Age range 4-11

John Chilton
Compton Crescent, UB5 5LD

Tel: 020 8842 1329
For children and young people with physical disabilities and learning difficulties. Age range 4-17.

Mandeville
Horsenden Lane North, UB6 0PA

Tel: 020 8864 4921
For children with severe to profound and multiple learning difficulties and autism. Age range 4-11.

Springhallow
Cavendish Avenue, W13 0JG

Tel:  020 8998 2700
For children with autism and complex needs Age range 4-16.

High Schools with Additionally Resourced Provision(ARP's)

The following school caters for children and young people with hearing difficulties: 

Dormers Wells High School
Dormers Wells Lane,                                                                         
UB1 3HZ  

Tel: 020 8566 6446

The following school caters for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs including developmental language disorders, autism, and learning difficulties:

Elthorne Park High School                                                                          
Westlea Road,         
W7 2AH                                                                                                            

Tel: 020 8566 1166

The following schools cater for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs including autism, and learning difficulties

Greenford High School 
Lady Margaret Road,    
UB1 2GU                                                                                                              

Tel: 020 8578 9152

Twyford C of E High School                                                       
Twyford Crescent                                                                                
W3 9PP                                                                                              

Tel: 020 8752 0141

The following school caters for children and young people with autism and communication needs, and mild learning difficulties: 

William Perkin Church of England High School                                           
Oldfield Lane North
UB6 8PR                                                                                                             

Tel: 020 8832 8950

Special Schools for High School Aged Children

Belvue School
Rowdell Road, UB5 6AG
Tel: 020 8845 5766
For children and young people with complex moderate to severe learning difficulties & autism.
Age range: 11 – 19

John Chilton
Compton Crescent, UB5 5LD
Tel: 020 8842 1329
For children and young people with physical disabilities and learning difficulties.
Age range 4-17

Springhallow
Cavendish Avenue, W13 0JG
Tel:  020 8998 2700
For children and young people with autism and complex needs.
Age range 4-16

St. Ann’s
Springfield Road, W7 3JP
Tel: 020 8567 6291
For children and young people with severe to profound and multiple learning difficulties and autism.
Age range 11-19

Finding an Independent Special School in England and Wales

Independent schools for pupils with special educational needs, including those approved under section 41 of the Children and Families Act.

Lists of all independent schools and colleges for children with special educational needs or disability (SEND), including:

NMSS are schools that the Secretary of State for Education has approved under section 342 of the Education Act 1996.

Transition Timeline

Below is the timeline which the Local Authority(LA) follow for children who are currently in Year 6 with an EHCP and will be transferring to a Secondary school the following September. 

In line with the SEND Code of Practice (9.178) the LA will review and amend the EHCP using the Year 5 Annual review. 

Chronology & Key Dates

 

Year 5 Annual Reviews will be logged in the new 11+ High School Transfer by the Annual Review Team.

July, September, October

LA SEN High School Transfer Panels will be held recommendations will be made for a type of school/setting, the LA will write to parent  accordingly

September – October

Schools will hold opening evenings for parents . The LA writes to parents to seek parental preference

19 October

Deadline for parent/carers to submit their school preferences

October-February

Consultation and negotiations during the transfer process. This will also involve meeting and talking with school staff, parents, the young person, professionals and other partners. The EHCP is amended during this time to reflect the current info in the Year 5 AR. Parents will be sent the draft amended version during this time

15 February

Statutory deadline for finalising EHC Plans naming new school/provision type in Section I

 

Regulation 18 of the SEN Regs requires that the EHC plan must be re-viewed and amended before:

 

(a) 31 March if the transfer is from secondary school to a post-16 in-situation

 

(b) 15 February in any other case, or

 

(c) If a young person is moving from one post-16 institution to another post-16 institution at any other time, at least five months before that transfer takes place.

 

This generally means the local authority (“LA”) should start the annual review process in the autumn term of the year before the child or young person moves setting.

Advice on moving into the borough for children with an EHC Plan

If you are moving to Ealing with a child who has an Education, Health and Care (EHC) you should inform your child or young person’s current Local Authority SEN department of your move.  You must also speak with Ealing’s SEN Business Support Team:

Business Support Team
Ealing Service for Children with Additional Needs (ESCAN)
21-22 Carmelita House
The Mall
Ealing W5 2PJ 

020 8825 7687/6910

Once you have moved to Ealing your child's EHC plan  (along with all other documents relevant to your child's special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), such as current provision map will be transferred from your current Local Education Authority to Ealing.  Ealing will then become responsible for making sure your child receives the support outlined in the EHC and will have six weeks to decide whether to review the EHC and/or make any adjustments.

Finding the right school

By moving to Ealing, the school named in your child's EHC/SSEN might now be too far away for them to continue to attendance. In this case, Ealing will need to name an appropriate new school to meet your child's needs. During this decision-making process, you may be asked to place your child in a school of Ealing's choice temporarily, to allow enough time for you to visit other schools and discuss options. The SEN Assessment Service  will always consult with you over changes to your child's or young persons EHC Plan.

If your child has special educational needs and/or disabilities but no EHC Plan, you should contact Ealing's school admissions team to apply for a place.

Disagreeing with a decision about your child’s EHC Plan or EHC Needs Assessment

Keep Talking with your Education Health and Care Co-ordinator (EHCCO)

There are different ways to address concerns with, or decisions made by the Ealing Council. Working with the Education Health and Care Co-ordinator to put the needs assessement or plan together is important to ensure the most effective outcomes for your family are included. Keep talking with your EHCCo from the SEN Assessment Service (SENAS) if there is anything that you are confused about or do not agree with. If necessary, ask for a further meeting to discuss your concerns and to see if they can be resolved.

Mediation services

If you still feel that there are unresolved concerns or decisions that you are not happy with following on from communications with your EHCCo, you may like to consider mediation.

Mediation is a less formal way of working out a solution to a problem. It involves the use of a completely independent person who is trained in resolving disputes to help the people involved agree on a way to resolve the problem. Mediation works best if the people involved are able to compromise as in these circumstances the mediator is able to use this to try and obtain an agreement that all involved are happy with. The cost of mediation is paid for by the Ealing Council.

KIDS Mediation Service

https://www.kids.org.uk/mediation-info

Tel: 0207 359 3635 

There are independent disagreement resolution and mediation services that are available to help to overcome disagreements. Mediation is a requirement for those wishing to appeal to HM Courts and Tribunal Service.

SEND Tribunal

The First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) (the “SEND Tribunal”) is an independent national tribunal which hears parents’ and young people’s appeals against LA decisions about the special educational needs of children and young people.

In line with Schedule 2 of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 all local areas in England are required to publish details in their local offers for ‘notifying parents and young people of their right to appeal a decision of the local authority to the Tribunal’ and this includes their extended rights as part of the single route of redress national trial. The following information on the national trial, to supplement the information that must already be published on the right to appeal a decision of the local authority, has been included below to support local authorities in fulfilling this duty.

Single Route of Redress - National Trial

What is the National Trial

The Government are extending the powers of the First-tier Tribunal (SEND), sometimes referred to as the ‘SEND Tribunal’, to make non-binding recommendations about the health and social care aspects of Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans as part of a two-year trial. The trial will apply to decisions made or EHC plans issued/amended from 3 April 2018. 

To date, you have only been able to appeal the educational aspects of EHC plans.  The trial gives you new rights to request recommendations about the health and social care needs and provision specified in EHC plans, in addition to the educational aspects, when making a SEND appeal.  This gives you the opportunity to raise all your concerns about an EHC plan in one place.

It is only possible for the Tribunal to consider the health and/or social care aspects of the EHC plan where you are already making an appeal in relation to the education aspects of the EHC plan and the education aspect must remain live throughout the appeal.

What does this mean for parents and young people?

If you are unhappy with a decision not to issue an EHC plan, or with the special educational content or placement in the plan, you can make an appeal to the SEND Tribunal.  This trial now gives you the opportunity to also request recommendations about the health and social care content of the plan at the same time. This will mean the Tribunal will take a more holistic, person-centred view of the needs of the child or young person. 

This does not prevent you also complaining about other aspects of your disagreement through other complaint procedures.  You should seek advice about the different routes available, including from your local Information Advice and Support Service (IASS).

If the SEND Tribunal makes a recommendation about health or social care elements of an EHC plan, this is non-binding. The local authority and/or health commissioner is generally expected to follow such recommendations, but they are not legally binding. Where they are not followed, the reasons for not following them must be explained and set-out in writing to you and to the Department for Education through the evaluators. If they are not followed, you can complain to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) or Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) or seek to have the decision judicially reviewed. Further information on the roles of these bodies can be found on their websites.

When can a parent or young person request recommendations about the health and social care elements of an EHC plan?

You can request the Tribunal makes recommendations about the health and/or social care aspects of EHC plans as part of an appeal relating to:

  • the description of the child/young person’s special educational needs in an EHC plan
    the special educational provision specified in an EHC plan
  •  the school or other educational institution named in an EHC plan
  • a decision by the local authority not to issue an EHC plan
  • a decision by the local authority not to carry out a re-assessment for a child/young person who has an EHC plan
  • a decision by the local authority not to amend an EHC plan following a review or re-assessment
  • a decision by the local authority to cease to maintain an EHC plan
    What does this mean for local areas?

The Trial places responsibility on local authority SEND teams to:

Inform parents and young people of their new rights through decision letters and the local offer.

Provide evidence to the Tribunal from the health and social care bodies in response to any issues raised within the timeframe set by the Tribunal, seeking permission to bring additional witnesses to the hearing as necessary.
If a recommendation has been made, send the health and social care response letters to the evaluators at SENDletters@IFFResearch.com.
It also places responsibility on health and social care commissioners to:

  • Respond to any request for information and evidence within the timeframe set by the Tribunal
  • Send a witness to attend the hearing as required

Respond to the parent/young person and the LA SEND team within 5 weeks of a recommendation being made, setting out the steps they have decided to take or giving reasons why they are not going to follow the recommendation.

How can a parent or young person request a health or social care recommendation?

If you wish to appeal against a local authority decision on any of the grounds above and want to request that the Tribunal considers your concerns about the health and /or social care aspects of the EHC plan, you should follow the normal process for bringing an appeal to the Tribunal and tick the box on the form relating to a health and/or social care appeal. Advice on making SEND appeals to the Tribunal and the appeal form is available on the GOV.UK website and further guidance can be found in the trial toolkit of support.

Taking part in the evaluation

There will be an independent evaluation of the trial to inform a decision on whether the new tribunal recommendation powers should be continued after the trial. The evaluation will run alongside the trial, from January 2018 to March 2021.

It is important that the evaluation is based on robust evidence, and the evaluators are therefore strongly encouraging participation from parents and young people. This could include taking part in a telephone or online interview just after the appeal hearing (or when the appeal process has been completed, if earlier), and then a follow-up interview 6 months later. These interviews will help the evaluators to gather the views of parents and young people on the appeal process, as well as identify how recommendations have been implemented and what the (early) impact has been. 

Parents and young people that take part in the trial will receive a letter from the Tribunal explaining more about the evaluation and how their personal data will be stored confidentially and how it will be protected.

As a parent or young person, do I have to consider mediation as part of the trial?

Before you can register an appeal with the Tribunal, you must contact a mediation adviser within two months of the LA decision you wish to appeal and consider whether mediation might be a way to resolve your disagreement with the LA. If you want to appeal only about the school or other institution named in the EHC plan you do not have to contact a mediation adviser.

You can go to mediation about the health and social care elements of an EHC plan, but this is not compulsory. You can request recommendations about health and social care issues without having to receive mediation advice or attend mediation about those issues, provided there is also an education issue about which you are appealing.

Once a mediation adviser has been contacted, or once you have taken part in mediation, you will be issued with a certificate.  This will be necessary if you are still unhappy and wish to progress to an appeal with the Tribunal. An appeal to the Tribunal must usually be made within two months of the decision about which the appeal is being made or one month following the issuing of the mediation certificate, whichever is the later. 

If mediation resolves the educational issues, you will not be able to appeal to the Tribunal on any health and/or social care aspects of the EHC plan.  However, mediation provides an opportunity for us to resolve disagreements and it can be completed more quickly than an appeal.  It does not affect your right to make an educational appeal, and some aspects of the disagreement can go to appeal even when other aspects are resolved. 

Help and further information

A guidance document on the national trial is published as part of a toolkit of support.
The evaluation of the trial is led by IFF Research working with Belmana. For any questions or to get involved please get in touch with them at SENDtrial@IFFResearch.com, freephone: 0800 035 6051.

Get in touch with your EHCCo (Education, Health and Care Plan Co-ordinator)

If you need any support or have any concerns about your child related to their ECHP your allocated Education Health and Care Plan Co-ordinators are your first point of contact to provide you with advice and direct you to support available. 

Please see below up to date list of allocated EHHCo's and contact information. 

Single Route of Redress - National Trial

What is the National Trial?


The Government are extending the powers of the First-tier Tribunal (SEND), sometimes referred to as the ‘SEND Tribunal’, to make non-binding recommendations about the health and social care aspects of Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans as part of a two-year trial. The trial will apply to decisions made or EHC plans issued/amended from 3 April 2018. 


To date, you have only been able to appeal the educational aspects of EHC plans.  The trial gives you new rights to request recommendations about the health and social care needs and provision specified in EHC plans, in addition to the educational aspects, when making a SEND appeal.  This gives you the opportunity to raise all your concerns about an EHC plan in one place.


It is only possible for the Tribunal to consider the health and/or social care aspects of the EHC plan where you are already making an appeal in relation to the education aspects of the EHC plan and the education aspect must remain live throughout the appeal.


What does this mean for parents and young people?


If you are unhappy with a decision not to issue an EHC plan, or with the special educational content or placement in the plan, you can make an appeal to the SEND Tribunal.  This trial now gives you the opportunity to also request recommendations about the health and social care content of the plan at the same time. This will mean the Tribunal will take a more holistic, person-centred view of the needs of the child or young person. 


This does not prevent you also complaining about other aspects of your disagreement through other complaint procedures.  You should seek advice about the different routes available, including from your local Information Advice and Support Service (IASS).
If the SEND Tribunal makes a recommendation about health or social care elements of an EHC plan, this is non-binding. The local authority and/or health commissioner is generally expected to follow such recommendations, but they are not legally binding. Where they are not followed, the reasons for not following them must be explained and set-out in writing to you and to the Department for Education through the evaluators. If they are not followed, you can complain to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) or Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) or seek to have the decision judicially reviewed. Further information on the roles of these bodies can be found on their websites.


When can a parent or young person request recommendations about the health and social care elements of an EHC plan?


You can request the Tribunal makes recommendations about the health and/or social care aspects of EHC plans as part of an appeal relating to:

• the description of the child/young person’s special educational needs in an EHC
plan
• the special educational provision specified in an EHC plan
• the school or other educational institution named in an EHC plan
• a decision by the local authority not to issue an EHC plan
• a decision by the local authority not to carry out a re-assessment for a child/young
person who has an EHC plan
• a decision by the local authority not to amend an EHC plan following a review or
re-assessment
• a decision by the local authority to cease to maintain an EHC plan

What does this mean for local areas?


The Trial places responsibility on local authority SEND teams to:


1. Inform parents and young people of their new rights through decision letters and the local offer
2. Provide evidence to the Tribunal from the health and social care bodies in response to any issues raised within the timeframe set by the Tribunal, seeking permission to bring additional witnesses to the hearing as necessary
3. If a recommendation has been made, send the health and social care response letters to the evaluators at SENDletters@IFFResearch.com.


It also places responsibility on health and social care commissioners to:

1. Respond to any request for information and evidence within the timeframe set by the Tribunal
2. Send a witness to attend the hearing as required
3. Respond to the parent/young person and the LA SEND team within 5 weeks of a recommendation being made, setting out the steps they have decided to take or giving reasons why they are not going to follow the recommendation.


How can a parent or young person request a health or social care recommendation?


If you wish to appeal against a local authority decision on any of the grounds above and want to request that the Tribunal considers your concerns about the health and /or social care aspects of the EHC plan, you should follow the normal process for bringing an appeal to the Tribunal and tick the box on the form relating to a health and/or social care appeal. Advice on making SEND appeals to the Tribunal and the appeal form is available on the GOV.UK website and further guidance can be found in the trial toolkit of support.


Taking part in the evaluation

There will be an independent evaluation of the trial to inform a decision on whether the new tribunal recommendation powers should be continued after the trial. The evaluation will run alongside the trial, from January 2018 to March 2021.

It is important that the evaluation is based on robust evidence, and the evaluators are therefore strongly encouraging participation from parents and young people. This could include taking part in a telephone or online interview just after the appeal hearing (or when the appeal process has been completed, if earlier), and then a follow-up interview 6 months later. These interviews will help the evaluators to gather the views of parents and young people on the appeal process, as well as identify how recommendations have been implemented and what the (early) impact has been. 

Parents and young people that take part in the trial will receive a letter from the Tribunal explaining more about the evaluation and how their personal data will be stored confidentially and how it will be protected.

As a parent or young person, do I have to consider mediation as part of the trial?

Before you can register an appeal with the Tribunal, you must contact a mediation adviser within two months of the LA decision you wish to appeal and consider whether mediation might be a way to resolve your disagreement with the LA. If you want to appeal only about the school or other institution named in the EHC plan you do not have to contact a mediation adviser.

You can go to mediation about the health and social care elements of an EHC plan, but this is not compulsory. You can request recommendations about health and social care issues without having to receive mediation advice or attend mediation about those issues, provided there is also an education issue about which you are appealing.

Once a mediation adviser has been contacted, or once you have taken part in mediation, you will be issued with a certificate.  This will be necessary if you are still unhappy and wish to progress to an appeal with the Tribunal. An appeal to the Tribunal must usually be made within two months of the decision about which the appeal is being made or one month following the issuing of the mediation certificate, whichever is the later. 

If mediation resolves the educational issues, you will not be able to appeal to the Tribunal on any health and/or social care aspects of the EHC plan.  However, mediation provides an opportunity for us to resolve disagreements and it can be completed more quickly than an appeal.  It does not affect your right to make an educational appeal, and some aspects of the disagreement can go to appeal even when other aspects are resolved. 


Help and further information

• A guidance document on the national trial is published as part of a toolkit of support
• The evaluation of the trial is led by IFF Research working with Belmana. For any questions or to get involved please get in touch with them at SENDtrial@IFFResearch.com, freephone: 0800 035 6051

Useful links and resources

IPSEA: EHC Plans - Find out all about EHC plans- what they contain, personal budgets and direct payments, appealing to the SEND tribunal and more. 

EHC Plans: Examples of good practice - Resource produced by the Council for Disabled Children to support the development of skills in writing good quality EHC plans. 

EHC plans: Examples of good practice (year 9 and beyond)- Produced by the council for disabled children, focusing on how plans should evolve for young people from year 9 reviews onwards. 

SEND code of practice: 0-25- Chapter 9 of the SEND code of practice covers all the key stages in the statutory assessment and planning and preparing the Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan.

Appealing to the SEND TribunalInformation on steps to appeal decisions around an EHC needs assessment or EHC plan. 

How to appeal a SEN decision- How to appeal an SEN decision to the First-tier Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Tribunal. 

Top Tips for Professionals- Guide for professionals supporting children and young people with an EHC and how to get them involved in the process.

Ealing ISAID - Organisation providing free and confidential advice to parents/carers of children and young people aged 0-25. ISAID can review EHC plans with parents/carers to ensure that objectives and outcomes of the special education provision meet the child/young person’s needs. Tel: 020 3978 8989

Ealing ISAID also have information specifically for young people (external link)

Contact- Contact provides support, advice and information for families with disabled children, no matter what their condition or disability. Advice is free, impartial and confidential. Tel: 020 8571 6381 

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