Coronavirus (COVID 19) Information
We're working hard to keep the EHC plan process moving. Assessments for an EHC plan may look different as it becomes more difficult to do our work face to face. We may need to do more by telephone or video calls where possible. Our decision-making panels are moving to online meetings. We'll continue to review this.
A short animated video has been produced by Independent Support, with support from the Department for Education, on the Education health and Care Plan (EHCP) and the Person Centred Connection.
An Introduction to Staffordshire’s Education Health and Care (EHC) Hub
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 and 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 processes. It enables everyone to submit their advice, see the contributions of others and all work towards positive outcomes for our children and young people.
- For families it offers a level of involvement, co-production and transparency unavailable until now.
- For the Local Authority it provides a welcome level of cohesion and assistance in collaborating with and managing the input of all partners across Education, Health and Care.
- 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 and workflows that keep the process on track and everyone fully informed at every stage. It captures all the advantages of a brand new digital approach including integration with the online Local Offer. It will be used for new assessments and for Reviews of existing Plans.
A number of user guides have been produced. PDF versions, with screenshots of the process, are available in our download section.
What are the key features of the EHC Hub?
- Young people and families will be able to submit their views online and upload additional information, including photographs and images that are important to the child or young person
- Practitioners will be able to submit information and advice online avoiding 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 and can let the Local Authority know if someone has recently become involved
- Young people and families will be able to view information and advice at the same time as the Local Authority receives it
- Correspondence between the Local Authority and the young person and family will be held on the EHC Hub so decisions are shared immediately
- Re-enforcing and encouraging co-production of the EHC plan.
Who can request a needs assessment?
Parents or carers and young people over 16 are able to request an education, health and care needs assessment via the EHC Hub. Most parents or carers or young people over 16 usually talk to the school or early years setting, or post-16 provider, before asking for an assessment. Most requests are made by the young person’s educational provider.
How can I request an education, health and care needs assessment?
As from September 2019 all new education health and care needs assessment requests will be processed through Staffordshire’s EHC Hub.
The EHC Hub is a digital approach to creating and maintaining Education, Health and Care plans, that helps to put families, children and young people at the heart of the process. It enables transparency regarding 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 and access to engage in an assessment is by invitation only.
Parents, carers and young people can request an assessment by:
- visiting the Staffordshire EHC Hub. Use the "Request a Needs Assessment" button and follow the on screen guidance. More detailed Hub guidance for parents and carers requesting a needs assessment. A PDF version of the Hub Guidance is available in our download section. This includes screenshots of the process. See our EHC Hub Parent Carer Frequently Asked Questionsfor more information on Education Health and Care needs assessments requested on the EHC Hub.
If you do not wish to use the EHC Hub:
- complete the request form and email to firstname.lastname@example.org. A PDF and Word version of the request form is available in our download section. The EHC Hub will manage your application but we will post all correspondence.
For further advice please contact the Single Point of Access on 0300 111 8007 (option 2).
Independent Information Advice and Support
- SENDIASS - Staffordshire Family Partnership
This service can help parents, carers and young people to make a request.
They can be contacted by:
Phone: 01785 356 921
Website: SENDIASS Family Partnership Service
- Children and Young People's Advocacy
Change, Grow, Live (CGL) provide a specialist children and young people's advocacy service.
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.
How do you decide whether to carry out an education, health and care needs assesment?
Requests for assessments will be considered by a multi-professional panel chaired by a senior officer from the SEND assessment and planning service.
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.
For detailed information, see the criteria document.
Cases will go forward for assessment where there is clear evidence that:
- Parents/carers and the child or young person have been fully involved and genuinely engaged in the process.
- The criteria are met in one or more areas of need.
- Action taken by the educational provider has been purposeful, relevant and sustained over a period of time (at least two cycles).
- Considerable additional funding is required which exceeds the nationally prescribed threshold (£6,000), and the level of special educational provision required cannot be sustained without additional resourcing.
When will a decision be made?
A decision will normally be made within six weeks of receiving the request.
Parents or carers will be contacted by a SEND keyworker following the decision to agree to assess.
What if the request for an assessment is refused?
In circumstances where an assessment is refused, parents/carers and young people over 16 may appeal to the first-tier SEND tribunal.
The local authority will provide feedback collected during the process of considering whether an assessment is necessary, including evidence from professionals, which the parent, young person, early years provider, school or post-16 institution 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.