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Once all the advice and information has been received and the assessment completed, the next decision is about whether an EHC Plan is necessary.
When deciding whether to issue an EHCP, the EHCP panel reads all the information and reports gathered during the EHC needs assessment process. They ask and discuss:
- What are the child/young person’s special educational needs?
- Is the current special educational provision working?
- Is the child/young person not making enough progress (and so needs something additional and different to help)?
- Is the child/young person moving to, or have they recently moved to, a new school?
- Does the child/young person need something additional and different and, if so:
- can this reasonably be provided from within the resources normally available to mainstream settings?
- is this provision only available with an EHC plan?
The Local Authority then decides if it is necessary for the special educational provision to be made in accordance with an EHC plan.
Once the decision as to whether to issue an EHCP has been made the LA will inform parents of its decision.
If the decision is to issue an EHCP the Assessment Officer will complete a draft EHC Plan and this will be taken to Provision Panel for approval. The panel considers
- Whether the Local Authority should issue a EHC Plan for your child
- What the EHC Plan should provide.
A draft plan should be issued within 16 weeks of the initial request.
If the decision is made not to issue and EHC plan, the Assessment Officer will contact you to explain why the Local Authority has decided not to issue the plan. You will also receive this in writing. In place of an EHCP the Local Authority will produce an SEN Support Plan
The SEN Support Plan will detail how young people without an EHCP will still receive the support they need in their mainstream nursery, school or college through the funding that is allocated to the setting to support children and young people with SEND. We suggest that you contact the educational setting to arrange a meeting to share the assessment reports with the education staff. At the meeting you can decide together how the current support matches the recommendations in the reports. It may be that during the discussion you identify further steps to be taken to ensure that advice from professionals is used in supporting your child, young person.
If you are not happy with the decision then you then you will have 2 months to consider mediation. This mediation step must be undertaken before you can make an appeal to the SEND Tribunal. You will receive details of how to do this in all communications from the LA. Alternatively, you can ask Sandwell SENDIASS for advice and support.
The fact that the Local Authority has declined to issue an EHCP does not preclude you from submitting a further assessment request in the future should you feel that your child is not making sufficient progress or that the provision needed to support that progress is not available.