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An Education, Health and Care Plan is a legal document that replaces Statement of SEN and Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDA's).

The EHC sets out:

  • A young person's needs
  • What should happen to meet these needs
  • Suitable educational placements
  • The needs and hopes of a child or young person.  An EHC plan will continue into further education and training, and for some young people, up to the age of 25.

Who can request an assessment?

An EHC assessment would be considered if a child or young person has a significant learning difficulty.  In most cases, the Headteacher or SENCO (SEN Co-ordinator) for your child's childcare setting, school or college will request an EHC assessment.  This can be made at any time from birth to the age of 25.

You can talk to any professional who supports your child about the assessment and if they agree that an assessment is needed, they should help you make a request for an assessment.

A parent, or young person over the age of 16, can also make a request for an assessment by writing to: The SEND Team, Centre of Excellence for Teaching and Training, Brierton Lane, Hartlepool, TS25 4BY.

In your letter you should include your child's name, date of birth, which childcare/education setting they attend and why you feel that an EHC assessment is needed.

How long is the EHC assessment process?

The assessment should take a maximum of 20 weeks.

When does the council decide to conduct an EHC assessment?

The Local Authority will conduct the EHC assessment when they consider that it may be necessary for special education to be made for a child or young person through an EHC plan.  This is likely to be when the special education required cannot be reasonably provided within the resource normally available to mainstream early years providers, schools and post 16 intuitions.

The assessment is sometimes called a 'single assessment'.  The assessment brings together all existing relevant information about a child.  If further assessments are required the SEN Officer allocated to the family will arrange for this to happen.

Other details

Related Links:

Transferring Statements and Learning Difficulties Assessments to EHC plans

Help for children with an identified special educational need without an EHC plan:

Hartlepool Information, Advice and Support Service

SEND Code of Practice

SEN Guide for Parents

Single Route of Redress National Trial

Mediate leaflet

Other Providers of Support

Independent Parental Special Educational Needs Advice - IPSEA

For parents who wish to appeal against the decision about their child in relation to Education, Health and Care Plan Statutory Assessment, this is supported via an independent body named IPSEA.  To obtain more information you can visit their website if you wish to receive general advice or tribunal help you can call: 01799 582 030 to book an appointment, alternatively you can email IPSEA:

Hartlepool Information, Advice and Support Service

Hartlepool Information, Advice and Support Services can provide you with confidential and impartial support in relation to your child with regards to Special Educational Needs and Disability.

To find out more about the service and what we offer visit our website or contact Tracy Liveras on 01429 284876 or email:

If you have trouble accessing any of the school links, please contact the Children's Hub on 01429 284284.