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Education, health and care plans in North Somerset and how to request one

What is an education, health and care plan?

It's a legal document that describes a child or young person's special educational, health and social care needs, the extra help that will be given to meet those needs and how that will support the child or young person to achieve what they want in their life.

When is an education, health and care needs assessment needed?

The majority of children and young people with special educational needs or a disability will have their needs met within their local mainstream early years settings, schools or college through what is known as ‘SEN support’.

Where, despite the educational setting having taken action to identify, assess and meet the SEN of the child or young person, the child or young person has not made the expected progress, consideration should be given to requesting an education, health and care needs assessment of SEND.

Our Assessment Guidance

You can download a PDF version of our guidance here. Please note that we are currently reviewing and updating our guidance document and assessment criteria to ensure that it keeps pace with changes in the law and SEN Code of Practice. If you wish to discuss the criteria, please contact the team.

Who can request an education health and care needs assessment?

An assessment of a child or young person aged 0-25 can be requested by the following people:

  • the child’s parent
  • a young person over the age of 16 but under the age of 25
  • a person acting on behalf of a school or post-16 institution  
  • any other person who thinks an education, health and care needs assessment may be necessary, for example a foster carer, health or social care professional or early years practitioner
  • a child or young person under 19 in a youth custodial establishment

A request for an education, health and care needs assessment should always be made with the knowledge and, wherever possible, with the agreement of the child’s parent or the young person themselves.

Requests for an education, health and care needs assessment should be made in writing to the local authority at the following address:

SEN Casework, Education Inclusion Service, Town Hall, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1UJ

How will the decision be made about whether an education, health and care needs assessment will go ahead?

In order to make the decision about whether an education, health and care needs assessment of SEND should be agreed, the local authority will:

  • write to the parents or young person to gain their consent for the assessment to go ahead if agreed
  • request basic information from the parents or young person about the strengths and difficulties
  • request basic information from the educational setting about the child or young person’s strengths and needs, progress and SEN support put in place so far
  • ask professionals within Social Care, Education Inclusion Service and Health for any evidence of their involvement

The decision about whether an education, health and care needs assessment should be agreed will be made by a panel consisting of professionals across all of the service areas.

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