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What happens during an assessment and how is an Education, Health and Care Plan prepared?

The whole assessment process must take no longer than 20 weeks (except in a few exceptional circumstances) from the Local Authority receiving the request for assessment. If the Panel make a decision to carry out an assessment you will be allocated an SEN Case Officer who will take you through the process from start to finish.

You will be asked to sign a contract form that will give the local authority permission to share information between the people who will be involved in the assessment. The local authority will also explain how the assessment process will work, including how long each stage of the process will take, and also make a list of the people who are already involved in supporting your child.

The SEN Team in conjunction with your child’s school (if they attend school), will then organise a date for the Assessment Planning Meeting. You know your child best and it is very important that you are part of this meeting. At this point, this is the section that will be discussed and your allocated SEN Case Officer will normally be responsible for overseeing this meeting and they will record what everyone says.

What is included in SECTION A of the EHC PLAN?


Information to include

  1.  The view, interests and aspirations of the child and their parents, or of the young person
  • Details about the child or young person’s aspirations and goals for the future (but not details of outcomes to be achieved). When agreeing the aspirations, consideration should be given to the child or young person’s aspirations for paid employment, independent living and community participation
  • Details about play, health, schooling, independence, friendship, further education and future plans including employment(where practical)
  • A summary of how to communicate with the child or young person and engage then in decision-making
  • The child or young person’s history
  • If written in the first person, the plan should be clear whether the child or young person is being quoted directly, or if the views of parents or professionals are being represented


During the Assessment Planning meeting, everyone will decide together who will do what and a list will be made of the reports that will be produced during the rest of the assessment. Everyone who will be writing a report has 6 weeks to do so, but they should share it with you before anyone else.

After 6 weeks, a Support Planning meeting is held. Again you and the professionals supporting your child will get together – this time to share the information that people have gathered during the assessment of your child.

The Support Planning meeting will discuss the short and long term outcomes that you child will work towards-these will be suggested by the people who have completed assessments and recorded by the SEN Case Officer. For each outcome, a list of the support that your child will need to achieve it will be made.

The local authority must send the draft EHC plan (including the appendices containing the advice and information gathered during the EHC needs assessment) to the child’s parent or to the young person and give them at least 15 days to give views and representations on the content. During this period, the local authority must make its officers available for a meeting with the child’s parents or the young person on request if they wish to discuss the content of the draft EHC plan. When the local authority sends the draft EHC plan to the child’s parents of the young person the following apply:

  • The local authority must notify the child’s parent or the young person that during this period they can request that a particular school or other institution, or type of school or other institution be named in the plan. The draft plan must not contain the name of the school, maintained nursery school,post-16 provision or other institution or the type of school or other institution to be attended by the child or young person
  • The local authority must advise the child’s parent or the young person  where they can find information about the schools and colleges that are available for a child or young person to attend, for example through the Local Offer
  • The local authority should seek agreement of any Personal Budget specified in the draft plan (see Paragraph 9.95 onwards for more information) SEND Code of Practice:

You can access impartial information, advice and support through the process by contacting Hartlepool SENDIAS Service.

Telephone: 01429 284876/07776491662

Email to:

Further information about the SENDIAS Service can be found on the website: