Devon’s Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Local Offer

Request an EHC Needs Assessment

If you think your child needs additional support, you should speak to their teacher or the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) at their school, college or education setting first. They will be able to talk to you more about your child’s areas of need and the targeted support required to meet these and achieve the best outcomes.

However, if your child still isn’t making good progress even with this additional support, an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessment may be necessary.

What is an EHC Needs Assessment?

Most children and young people with SEND have their needs met in their local school or college through a graduated response. Some who have long-term complex needs and/or disabilities may need an EHC Needs Assessment for further support arranged by us.

An EHC Needs Assessment is a joint assessment from professionals who are or may need to be, involved with a child or young person to provide advice about specific provision to meet their needs.

An EHC Needs Assessment may result in an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), but, when it doesn’t, the information gathered during the assessment process can still be used to help inform the SEN support which your child’s school, college or setting provides.

What is an EHCP?

An EHCP is for young people aged 25 or under who are in education or training and need additional support to the SEN support provided by their school or education setting. It sets out a child or young person’s education, health and care needs and the extra support required to meet them.

We have produced a useful document that explains what’s in an EHCP.

When a young person reaches the age of 16, we can work directly with them on their EHCP, however, the process can still include their family.

EHCPs are not required or issued to access university (higher education), but they can be used to inform the other support available at the university.

How do I request an EHC Needs Assessment?

An EHC Needs Assessment can be requested independently by the child or young person, their parents or carers, or other people who know them. This is usually done in partnership with their school, college or setting and in discussion with the SENCo.

Request an assessment through the EHC Hub

One of the ways you can request an EHC Needs Assessment is by completing the online form on the EHC Hub website.

Once you have submitted an application you should receive an invite to join the EHC Hub. If this has not been received within two working days, please check your junk/spam mail and then contact the SEN 0-25 Team.

Help with the EHC Hub form

It’s okay if you can’t complete a section of the form, just complete the sections that you can. We may still ask you for a lot of the information on the form to inform our decision-making.

If you need help filling in the form, you can contact DiAS.

How do I register on the EHC Hub?

We have produced a step-by-step guide for registering on the EHC Hub.

By registering on the hub, you will be notified when:

  • a decision is made about the assessment
  • a draft plan is issued (with the option to comment)
  • the final plan is issued

You will also be able to view all the advice submitted as part of the assessment.

System support

If you need any support using the EHC Hub, please get in touch. You can email the team at educationsystems@devon.gov.uk or call on 01392 380434 (option 2). Phone lines will be open weekdays from 10 am to 12 pm and 2 pm to 4 pm.

Other ways to submit a request

You don’t have to complete the online form on the EHC Hub, it just helps us gather all the information we need.

You can also submit a request by:

  • posting to SEN 0-25 Team, Room L102, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4QD
  • emailing specialeducation@devon.gov.uk
  • phoning 01392 380434 (option 1). Phone lines will be open 10 am to 12 pm and 2 pm to 4 pm, Monday to Friday.

How to contribute to an assessment

We think it is important to work with children, young people and their parents and carers as partners in the assessment process. Your views are a key part of the process and they should be taken into account.

Watch this video about how to contribute to an assessment.

If you need help and advice about how to contribute, you can also contact DiAS.

What makes a good EHCP?

Professionals across education, health and care have worked alongside the co-chairs of the Devon Parent Carer Forum to agree on a common set of standards about what an EHCP should be.

This has been informed by the thoughts of parents gathered through the forum and gives us a common set of principles that we are all agreeing to work with and use.

Further information

We have produced a useful guide to explain what different professionals’ roles and responsibilities are in relation to SEND.