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EHC Plans and SEN File

For an overview of Special Educational Needs and disability, view our ‘What is SEND?’ information page.


The Special Educational Needs (SEN) File

Cornwall Council’s SEN File is designed to support Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs) and other professionals in meeting the needs of children and young people with SEN. It is also a source of information for parents / carers and young people.

The SEN file contains information related to the SEND Code of Practice, Cornwall Council SEND Support Services, forms and guidance, Local Authority strategies and policies, and much more!

View the SEN File


Education, Health and Care (EHC) Assessments and Plans 

The majority of children and young people who have special educational needs, will have their needs met through the additional and different provision provided at SEN Support in their early years setting, school or college.

A small minority of children or young people, who have the most complex needs, may require more intensive specialist help. If a child or young person does not make educational progress despite receiving high quality SEN Support, then an EHC needs assessment might be the next step.

An Education Health and Care plan is for children and young people aged up to 25 who need more support than is available through SEN Support. An individual’s EHC plan identifies their educational, health and social needs and sets out the additional support to meet those needs.

For a young person aged 16-25 years to have an EHC plan they must be in education, apprenticeship or training and require more support than is available at SEN Support.
An EHC plan will be reviewed at least every 12 months .An individual’s progress will be monitored through the SEN Review process and consideration given as to whether an EHC plan should be continued or discontinued . Further information can be found in the SEN review section below.

More information can be found on the Education, Health and Care (EHC) Needs assessement and Plans webpage on the Cornwall Council SEN file.

What is an EHC needs assessment?

An EHC needs assessment, sometimes called a statutory assessment, is a detailed assessment to find out if an EHC plan is necessary to meet a child or young person’s individual needs. The assessment will:

  • identify exactly what a child or young person’s special educational needs are
  • the support they may need in order to learn, progress and achieve

At every stage, the child or young person and their parents is involved and their views and wishes taken into account.

More information can be found in the A Guide for Parent’s about Special educational needs and disability(SEND) in the SEN forms and guidance section of Cornwall’s SEN file

When is an EHC needs assessment necessary?

If child or young person does not make progress despite receiving high quality SEN support, then an EHC needs assessment might be the next step.

More information can be found in the 'SEND Forms and Guidance' section of Cornwall’s SEN file.

Requesting a statutory EHC assessment

Requests for assessments are usually made by the educational setting or school or college, when the family, the educational setting and professionals involved are all agreed that needs of an individual child or young person can no longer be met at SEN Support Professionals or parents can make a request, or the young person in their own right once they are 16 years old.

Decisions about requests for Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessments are made by the Statutory SEN Panel. Additionally, the Statutory SEN Panel, also known as SEN Panel, make decisions about whether or not to issue an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan, following an EHC needs assessment.

 For more information about the role of the SEN Panel, as well as information films that explain who attends the SEN Panel, the decisions that SEN Panel make and how you will find out about an SEN Panel decision, visit the Statutory SEN Panel web page on Cornwall Council’s SEN Panel.

A range of useful guidance about the EHC needs assessment process, including details of how parents children and young people can contribute to the assessment can be found within the SEND Forms and Guidance section of the SEN file.

More information can be found on the Requests for an Education, Health and Care Plan Needs Assessment.

Guidance and forms for  requesting a EHC needs assessment can also be found in the SEND Forms and Guidance section within Cornwall’s SEN file.   

SEN reviews

A SEN Review of an Education, Health and Care Plan should take place at a minimum of at least every 12 months.

SEN reviews are part of the continuous cycle of assess-plan-do-review

A Sen review must :

  • Focus on a child or young person’s progress towards their objectives/outcomes and longer term aspirations, as specified in their Statement of SEN or EHC plan 
  • Consider whether the existing outcomes/objectives ,longer term aspirations and supporting provision remain appropriate 
  • Be undertaken in partnership with the child or young person and their parents 
  • Consider whether the EHC plan should be discontinued

A range of useful guidance about the SEN review process can be found on the SEN Review webpage. Also, details of how parents children and young people can contribute to the review can be found within the SEND Forms and Guidance section of the SEN file.

Transfer of Statements of SEN into Education, Health and Care Plans

A timetable for the SEN review meetings 2016-18 to consider transfer of a Statement of  SEN into an EHC plan 2016-18 can be found within the SEND Forms and Guidance section of the SEN file.

Independent Support:
Independent Supporters are available to support families through the transfer of statements of SEN to EHC plans.  To enquire about this service, contact SENDiass

Mediation and rights of appeal

Mediation is a voluntary process for parents and young people, which can be used if agreement cannot be reached about matters related to EHC plans. It is provided by a trained and accredited mediator who is independent of the local authority and Clinical Commissioning Group.

For more information head to the mediation and rights of appeal page on the gov.uk site.


SEND Tribunal – Single Route of Redress National Trial

The Government are trialling extending the powers of the First-tier Tribunal (SEND), sometimes referred to as the ‘SEND Tribunal’, to make non-binding recommendations about the health and social care aspects of Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans as part of a special educational appeal. The trial will apply to local authority decisions made and EHC plans issued or amended from 3 April 2018 and will run for two years.

Parents and young people have only been able to appeal the educational aspects of EHC plans until now. The national trial will give parents and young people the right to appeal about health and social care issues relating to SEN decisions or contents of a EHC plan via a single route. 

You can find more information about the SEND Tribunal and the Single Route to Redress National Trial on Cornwall Council Mediation and Rights of Appeal webpage.

Key information:

  • You can ask the tribunal to make non-binding recommendations on health and/or social care aspects of EHC plans by following the normal process for bringing an appeal to the Tribunal and tick the box on the form relating to health and/or social care appeal.
  • This trial gives parents and young people the opportunity to raise concerns about an EHC plan in one place.
  • Although the recommendations are non-binding, any reasons for not following them must be set out in detail in writing and sent to the parent/young person and the evaluators.
  • You can request recommendations about health and social care issues without having to receive mediation advice or attend mediation about those issues, provided there is also an education issue about which you are appealing.
  • There will be an independent evaluation of the trial to inform a decision on whether the new tribunal recommendation powers should be continued after the trial. Evaluators are strongly encouraging participation from parents and young people through telephone or online interviews.
  • Parents and young people involved in the trial will receive a letter from the Tribunal explaining more about the evaluation and how their personal data will be stored confidentially and how it will be protected.

Please note: it is only possible for the Tribunal to consider the health and/or social care aspects of the EHC plan where you are already making an appeal in relation to the education aspects of the EHC plan and the education aspects must remain live throughout the appeal.

Further advice on making SEND appeals to the Tribunal is available from the GOV.UK website  and information about the Single Route to Redress National Trial can be found in the trial toolkit of support.

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