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Guidance for education settings on making an EHCP request


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Who needs an EHCP?

The majority of children and young people with SEN or disabilities will have their needs met within local mainstream early years settings, schools or colleges (as set out in the information on identification and support in Chapters 5, 6 and 7). Some children and young people may require an EHC needs assessment in order for the local authority to decide whether it is necessary for it to make provision in accordance with an EHC plan. SEND Code of Practice 2015:9.1 – pdf

Relevant legislation: Section 44 of the Children and Families Act 2014 and Regulations 2, 18, 19, 20, and 21 of the SEND Regulations 2014.

EHC plans are for children and young people (age 0-25) who have a special educational need or disability that cannot be met by the support that is already available at their school or college Most children and young people with special educational needs will have help given to them without the need for an EHC Plan. This is called SEN support. The purpose of SEN support is to help children achieve the outcomes or learning objectives that have been set for them.

Diagram illustrating SEN: A Graduated Response to meeting need

SEN Support: early help and the Graduated Response

The graduated approach is a way of meeting need through effective implementation of support before moving a child or young person onto higher levels of support by following the Assess, Plan, Do, Review cycles.

The Devon Graduated Response to SEN support is an electronic tool to support teachers and SENCO’s to identify, assess and record the needs of children and young people requiring special educational provision. It supports the planning and recording of appropriate provision and provides guidance for reviewing progress.

It has been designed to help educational settings meet their duties as outlined in the SEND Code of Practice: 0-25 years.

There are graduated response tools available for EYFS –Key stage 4, and a universal provision checklist. The checklist has been designed to be use as an audit tool for school practice, so that staff can check that they are providing appropriate and purposeful support for pupils at universal level for their area of need.

The Devon Early Help Offer

When a child/young person/family needs something extra, Early Help is the initial response offered by all services in contact with children, young people and families. Early Help is not a designated team – it is the way that EVERYONE works together to support the needs of families.

  • One-minute guides
  • Leaflets
  • Early Help consent form
  • Right for children – Devon’s Early Help IT system
  • Guidance
  • Request for Additional Services
  • Devon’s Outcomes Framework
  • Sharing of Information
  • Contact and support information

Requesting an EHC Needs Assessment

The ‘EHC Hub’ is now available for new requests at

Key points to consider

  • The information within this form maybe shared with a wide range of professionals and education settings. Therefore, please consider if sensitive information should be shared and ensure all information submitted is relevant to the child or young person’s application
  • Any reports attached to the application should have file names which clearly indicate what they are e.g. (SALT report, Current Attainment)
  • Any attachments should be in pdf or word formats please do not upload scanned documents or photos of reports as these are hard to read and difficult to use
  • The assessment process runs throughout the year not just during the academic term, therefore if a submission is made in July you will be expected to make a contribution (or attend a meeting) during the summer holidays

Completing the online form

The information submitted at this stage will be used to pre-populate your advice if an agreement to assess is made. You will still be asked to submit advice at which point you will be able to edit the information if required.


Before completing a request you will need to confirm with the consent with the Parent, Carer, Guardian or Young Person (over 16) to the gathering and sharing of information between the child or young person’s educational setting, health services, social care or other professionals / organisations as necessary to support the EHC assessment and planning process.

You can record any limitations that the above may stipulate in your request.

Details of person requesting an EHCP Assessment

Include all of your professional details so that you can be contacted by phone, e-mail or post. The Hub will send e-mail notifications

Child or young person’s details

Please ensure that all details are entered correctly. It is up to the person entering these details that they are accurate. Information entered inaccurately can lead to delays in processing applications and are a potential data breach.

Child or young person’s main contacts (family and involved professionals)

Please include all those with parental responsibility. Please ensure that all information is accurate and that consent has been sought to share this information.

Details of the child or young person’s current education setting(s)

Please add the details of the current setting and any previous settings for the last five years

Important information about the child or young person

Please include any historical information relevant to the request. Please ensure that any information submitted relates to the child or young person and shouldn’t reference siblings or family unless relevant.

Was the child or young person involved in the discussion that led to this request?

The child should be aware that a request is being made on their behalf, if they have not been please detailing the reason why. If they have shared their views these can be recorded in this section.

Has the parent(s) or carer(s) been involved in the discussions that led to this request?

The parents/ carers should be aware that a request is being made on their behalf, if they have not been please detailing the reason why. If they have shared their views these can be recorded in this section

Identified special educational needs (SEN)

For each category of need please detail for the child or young person their:

  • Strengths
  • Needs
  • What has already been put in place
  • What has the effect been of strategies already put in place

The following must be included

When attaching a document please save the file name making it clear what the document is and when is was created e.g SALT Report DEC 2020

Supporting documents

  1. Medical forms (if appropriate)
  2. Attendance Data for at least the last 2 academic years
  3. Attainment Data for at least the last 2 academic years showing less than expected progress ~ Please complete and attach the relevant form: EYFS; Primary; Secondary; Post 16
  4. Current support in place please complete and attach this form
  5. A piece of the child/young person’s work (date) of which they are particularly proud. Please include a brief explanation of how the work was completed
  6. A piece of unaided writing (dated) which demonstrates the NC or P level at which the child /young person is working. For a young child this may be a drawing
  7. Assess, plan, do, review information, such as reviewed IEPs or provision map with evaluations (over the last 12 months)
  8. Most recent record of involvement from external agencies/ professionals e.g. BST, SEND Service, REACH, SALT, EP, OT, Physiotherapy, CAMHS
  9. Most recent reports obtained from external agencies/ professionals e.g. BST, SEND Service, REACH, SALT, EP, OT, Physiotherapy, CAMHS
  10. Current Early Support Plan (if applicable)

Submitting an EHC Needs Assessment

Once completed an assessment will no longer be visible in your caseload until has been checked and assigned to your setting by the SEN 0-25 Team. This is normally within 2 working days.

What happens while I’m waiting for an EHC Needs Assessment or Plan?

  • The child or young person remains on roll at school/college.
  • Any alternative provision should be organised by the school.
  • Schools should continue to:
    • put in targeted support
    • work with professionals, e.g. SEN Advisers and Educational Psychologists
    • implement advice from professionals
    • follow the Graduated Response and ensure a robust assess, plan, do review cycle is implemented
  • If a part time timetable is agreed, parents must agree and Annexe R must be completed.
  • Parents are still responsible for their child or young person’s attendance.

Decision on whether to carry out an EHC Needs Assessment

Local authorities must give their decision in response to any request for an EHC needs assessment within a maximum of 6 weeks from when the request was received or the point at which a child or young person was brought to the local authority’s attention.

We use this threshold document (Key facts about EHC needs assessment) and guidance from the SEND Code of Practice to consider:

  • the child or young person’s academic attainment and rate of progress
  • the nature, extent and context of their Special Educational Needs (SEN)
  • what the school or provider has done to meet the child or young person’s SEN
  • the child or young person’s physical, emotional and social development and health needs
    and what has been done to meet these by other agencies

Access the decision

If you are unable to see the case when you log in, please make sure you have ticked the option to view closed cases.

Step by step guidance to accessing a decision through the EHC Hub

On the top bar click decision. You will then be able to view the decision and a reason for the decision. You can also download a letter which contains further information

Contributing towards an assessment

Step by step guidance to contributing towards an EHC Assessment

Once the EHC assessment process is complete, we will consider all of the advice gathered to make a decision on whether to issue an Education, Health & Care Plan (EHCP) or not.

If a plan is required, it will advise as below

Compiling plan

The EHC Plan is currently being drafted. You will be notified once the draft plan is available to view. In the meantime, you can view all of the advice contribution on the assessment page.

Draft plan

Following our decision to issue an EHCP, we will prepare a draft version of the plan for the Family or Young Person to view and provide comments on. They will have 15 days to record and submit their comments to us. We will then consider their feedback before issuing the final version of the EHCP.


For most assessments, you will be consulted as to whether your setting can meet the needs of the child or young person.

The following guidance is provided to support you to navigate the EHC Hub and complete your response to the consultation.

Consult guidance for Settings

Review and system support

          Guidance for review   Cover of EHCP Reviews Guidance document







System support

Email: or Telephone: 01392 380434 (option 2)

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