EHC plans stage one - pre-assessment

Pre-assessment works out if an education, health and care (EHC) assessment is needed.

The education providers (typically school), parents/carers or other professionals working with a child or young person make a request for an assessment to the statutory assessment team.

The young person can make the request themselves if they are 16 years old or older.

The EHC panel reviews the request to decide if the request meets the criteria for an assessment. If it does, a plan coordinator is appointed, who contacts the parents (or the young person) to explain what is going to happen.

Education, Health and Care Plan Panel (EHCP Panel) – Terms of reference (July 2024) 

What happens in stage one for parents or carers?

Parents/carers will already have had discussions with their child’s education provider and any other professionals working with their child to prepare for the request for an EHC assessment.

The EHC panel might decide that the request doesn’t meet the criteria for an EHC plan. If this happens, the child’s parents/carers and the School will receive a letter detailing next steps.

Parents/carers can appeal against the EHC panels decision if the panel decides that the request doesn’t meet the criteria. However, parents must consider formal mediation before they can make an appeal.

Parents/carers will meet the plan coordinator if the EHC panel agrees for the child or young person to have an EHC assessment.

What happens in stage one for professionals?

The education providers and any other professionals must make sure that they have discussed any emerging issues with the child’s parents or carers.

All documentation must be carefully completed and submitted. This means that the parents/carers and child/young person only have to tell their story once.