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SENDIASS: An Introduction to the EHC Process - WNC

SENDIASS: An Introduction to the EHC Process - WNC logo


An Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan) is a legal document which identifies a child or young person’s Special Educational Needs, Social care needs and Health needs. The EHC plan gives information on support needed and outcomes that the child or young person would like to achieve. In order to get an EHC Plan the Local Authority (LA) must carry out an EHC needs assessment.The process will take up to 20 weeks from when the LA receives the request for assessment. 

Requesting an EHC needs assessment

A young person (aged 16-25), parent/carer, education setting or another professional can all request an EHC needs assessment for a child or young person.

The legal test that the LA must apply in considering this request is contained in section 36 (8) of the Children and Families Act 2014 and has two parts.

  • Part one of the test is that the child or young person has or may have special educational needs.
  • Part two of the test is that it may be necessary for special educational provision to be made for the child/young person through the issuing of an EHC plan.

In West Northamptonshire, requests for an EHC needs assessment can be completed online using one of the LA’s online forms.

Further advice and information about the assessment process, including online forms are published on the LA website. For further information on the EHC needs assessment is also provided by (IPSEA) Independent Provider of Special Education Advice.


  • Request for EHC needs assessment received by Local Authority (LA).
  • Within 6 weeks LA decides whether to conduct an assessment.
  • The LA notifies the parent or young person of the decision not to assess in writing and also gives right to appealor
  • LA notifies parent or young person of the decision to go forward with an assessment in writing
  • LA gathers information from parent/carer, young person and professionals
  • By week 16 the LA should notify the parent or young person of their decision whether to issue an EHC Plan.
  • LA  decision not to issue an EHC Plan given in writing and ways forward discussed with the LA and information on right of appeal given.or 
  • LA decision to issue a plan given in writing.
  • Draft plan is then written and sent out to parent or young person
  • On receipt of the draft EHC Plan 15 days given to:
    • Request any changes
    • Name a preferred education setting
    • Request a personal budget
  • LA to consult with preferred education setting before naming in plan within 15 days.
  • Final EHC Plan issued naming education setting in Section I.
  • Right of appeal given regarding content.


  • Brackley Area
  • Corby Area
  • Daventry Area
  • East Northants Area
  • Kettering Area
  • Northampton Area
  • Towcester Area
  • Wellingborough Area
  • North Northamptonshire
  • West Northamptonshire
  • Northamptonshire
Additional languages
Translation and/or Interpreting Available on Request
Age range
Suitable for ages from 0 to 25 years
Referral route
No Referral Needed
For people with
Special Educational Needs or a Disability (SEND)
Eligibility criteria
  • Age Range - School
  • Age Range - Adulthood
  • Age Range - Early Years
  • Special Educational Needs or a Disability (SEND)
Provider category
Specialist Services - For those who require longer-term support


c/o SENDIASS, West Northamptonshire Council, One Angel Square, Angel Street
United Kingdom


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Last updated 10 June 2024