The first stage of the EHC plan is requesting for an EHC needs Assessment. This is done by writing a letter to request an assessment.
The Information Advice and Support team are able to help you complete the letter if you wish. The letter is sent to Southwark SEN department: Special Educational Needs, Southwark Children’s and Adults’ Services, 4th Floor, PO Box 64529, London, SE1P 5LX or email letter to SEN@southwark.gov.uk
Once the request is made Southwark Council must make a decision and communicate with the parent or the young person within 6 weeks of receiving the initial request. They will decide whether the EHC plan is necessary. The LA must take into consideration the following:
- Evidence of the child or young person academic rate of progress
- Information about the nature, extent and context of the child or young person SEN
- Evidence of the action already being taken by the school to meet their needs
- Evidence of your child’s physical, social and Emotional development and health needs
- If your child is over 18 years, whether remaining in education or training would help them to progress and help them make a successful transition to adult life
If the Local Authority declines the request for an EHC assessment the parent or young person has the right to appeal. You can also access Southwark's Local Offer to find alternative support.
If an EHC assessment is agreed professionals working with you and your family will submit reports. The professionals could be:
- A SENCO from your Childs School (Special Educational Needs Coordinator)
- Educational Psychologist
- Social Worker (If already involved)
Once the reports are completed by the professionals the information is compiled together and the case goes to a panel meeting where the decision is made whether the child will receive the EHC Plan.
If the decision is agreed the SEND team will meet with parent / young person to co produce a draft Educational Health Care plan and send it to the parent or young person. This will give them an opportunity to make any requests or comments to add to there EHC plan (express school preference). A final EHC plan is produced. Parents / young person has the right to appeal at this stage.
If they decide that EHC plan is not necessary the child, young person, school or post 16 training provider are notified and reasons are given for the decision made. This stage of the process should take a maximum of 16 weeks from the initial request and once again local authority must inform the parent or young person the right to appeal and the time limit to complete it in.
The EHC plan is reviewed every year