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Requesting an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment

A short, animated video has been produced by the Council for Disabled Children to help explain the EHCP process and its important relationship with the Person-Centred Connection.

An Introduction to Staffordshire’s Education Health and Care (EHC) Hub

Image of EHC Hub website log in page

The EHC Hub is a new digital approach to creating and maintaining Education, Health and Care Plans. It puts families, children and young people at the heart of the process. The EHC Hub enables collaboration and transparency with all professionals involved.

The EHC Hub provides a secure platform for everyone involved in the:

  • EHC needs assessment and
  • Review process.

It enables everyone to:

  • submit their advice
  • see the contributions of others and
  • to work towards positive outcomes for our children and young people.

For families it offers:

  • a level of involvement
  • co-production and
  • transparency

For the Local Authority it provides:

  • a welcome level of cohesion, and
  • help in collaborating with and managing the input of all partners.


For the contributing practitioners it offers:

  • a streamlined process for engaging with each case and for seeing the whole picture.

The EHC Hub provides:

  • secure information sharing
  • workflows that keep the process on track, and
  • everyone fully informed at every stage.

Who can request an Education Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessment?

Requests to carry out an EHC needs assessment can be made by:

  • education settings, after talking to you first
  • parents and carers
  • young people over the age of 16 but under the age of 25

It is a good idea to talk to your education setting first, before requesting an assessment.  Most requests are made by the young person’s educational provider

If you would like some support to make your request, please contact SENDIASS.  SENDIASS provide impartial information advice and support.

How can I request an education, health and care needs assessment?

All new education health and care needs assessment requests will be processed through Staffordshire’s EHC Hub.  More information on the key features of the EHC Hub and Parent User Guides can be found below.

  

Parents, carers and young people can request an assessment by: 

If you do not wish to use the EHC Hub:

For further advice please contact the Single Point of Access on 0300 111 8007 (option 2, then option 4).

Can anyone help me to request an assessment?

Practitioners can request an assessment by:

  • registering on the EHC Hub and adding a new request.  More information for practitioners on requesting an assessment, required forms and video guides.

The EHC Hub creates and maintains Education, Health and Care Plans via a digital approach. It helps to put families, children and young people at the heart of the process. It enables:

  • transparency on the progress of the assessment, and
  • greater collaboration between professionals and families. 

This means that as a parent or carer you will be able to:

  • submit your views online
  • see what advice has been requested and when it is received
  • follow the progress of your child or young person's assessment in real time.  

The EHC Hub offers a high level of confidentiality. Access to engage in an assessment is by invitation only.

What are the key features of the EHC Hub?

Image of EHC Hub website login page
  • Young people and families will be able to submit their views online and upload additional information. This includes photographs and images that are important to the child or young person.

  • Practitioners will be able to submit information and advice online. This will avoid any unnecessary delays with the delivery of paper-based reports.

  • Young people and families will be able to view who has been asked for information and advice. They can let us know if someone has recently become involved.

  • Young people and families will be able to view information and advice at the same time as we receive it.

  • Correspondence will be held on the EHC Hub so decisions are shared immediately.

  • Re-enforcing and encouraging co-production of the EHC plan.

EHC Hub - User Guide for parents, carers, guardians and young people.

Parent guide

This is a guide for parents, carers, guardians and young people on using the EHC Hub. It covers:

  • requesting a needs assessment,
  • the assessment process,
  • an EHC Plan,
  • reviews,
  • contributing along the way, and more.
Parents Guide

In addition, a number of shorter user guides have been produced.  PDF versions, with screenshots of the process, are available in our download section.

Hub Guidance - Account Registration
Hub Guidance - Managing My Account
Hub Guidance - Parents and Carers Requesting an EHC Needs Assessment
Hub Guidance - Parent and Carers contributing advice towards an EHC Needs Assessment
EHC Hub - Parent Carer Frequently Asked Questions

How do you decide whether to carry out an education, health and care needs assessment?

What the Children and Family Act says:

“The local authority must secure an EHC needs assessment for the child or young person if, after having regard to any views expressed and evidence submitted under subsection (7), the authority is of the opinion that —

(a) the child or young person has or may have special educational needs, and

(b) it may be necessary for special educational provision to be made for the child or young person in accordance with an EHC plan.

(Children and Families Act 2014 (Part 3, 36(8)) 

Requests for EHC needs assessments will be considered by a multi-professional panel.  The panel consists of representatives across the education, health and care sectors. 

Decisions are made based on a combination of factors including:

  • The severity and complexity of need (threshold).
     
  • The relevant and purposeful action taken to address the needs (process).
     
  • The resources deployed to support the child or young person.
     
  • The progress made.

More detailed information about the decision making process can be found on the Education Health and Care Needs Assessments: Guidance for referrers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities 0-25 years.

When will a decision be made?

A decision will normally be made within six weeks of receiving the request.

What happens if the request is agreed?

A SEND Keyworker will contact you following the decision to agree to assess.

What if the request for an assessment is refused?

 Parents, carers and young people over 16 may appeal to the first-tier SEND tribunal.

We will provide feedback collected during the process, which you and the education provider may find useful.

What if I disagree with the decision not to assess?

Full details of how to appeal are provided within your decision letter. This also contains information about how you can contact the local authority to discuss decisions.

Parents and young people are encouraged to contact the local authority in the first instance to discuss a refusal to assess. You may also contact the SENDIASS - Staffordshire Family Partnership for further advice and support and for information on mediation. Details of all these services are contained within your decision letter.