Education, Health & Care Plan

Useful Information Coronavirus COVID-19

We have put together some helpful information and support that you may find helpful during the current Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic

These can be accessed on the dedicated page for Help and Information: Coronavirus COVID-19

Joint Ministerial Letter 30.4.2020 EHC Plan temporary changes and HBC Update

To all children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), their parents/carers and families, and others who support them

Halton Borough Council’s update

We are committed to continue to support the EHC Plan process, however, not all the assessment advice will be immediately available.Assessments for an EHC Plan may look different as these are not currently being undertaken face to face. We have moved to do this work by telephone or video calls where possible. Our decision-making panels will still take place but this work will be done remotely. We will continue to review these necessary changes.

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EHCP Policy & Guidance

This explains the different Health pathways for Education, Health & Care Plans

It includes ‘Exemplars’ for identifying needs, health provision and age-appropriate outcomes for ADHD Health, Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome and Epilepsy

EHCP Policy & Guidance October 2019

SEND Privacy Notice

Halton Borough Council Services for Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) collect and hold information about you in order to carry out its duties under the Children and Families Act 2014 in relation to statutory assessment processes and the ongoing monitoring of children and young people who have education, health and care plans.  Further details can be found in the Privacy Notice below.

SEND Privacy Notice

Education, Health & Care (EHC) Plan

What is an EHC Plan
  • It is a person-centred plan that puts you (children, young people and families) at the centre of the assessment and planning process making sure your views are heard and understood to increase your choice and control
  • Young people and families worked with us to co-produce the design of the plan
  • From September 2014 all Halton children and young people who have significant special educational needs and meet specific criteria within a graduated response, may undergo an Education Health and Care (EHC) Assessment, which could lead to an EHC Plan.
  • An EHC plan replaces the Statements of SEN and Learning Disability Assessments, it is a personalised plan to meet the needs and outcomes for each child or young person.  Including what they think is important and what they want to achieve now and the future.
  • Person Centred Planning Approaches
  • EHC Plan Disclaimer

 The EHC Plan:

  • will be clear about how much things cost and have agreed timescales to make sure that it is updated
  • will be reviewed annually by the school/setting and the process is described under the heading EHC Assessment Process, Annual Reviews, Personal Budgets and Young People in Custody, you’ll see a drop-down box below titled ‘Annual Review – EHC Plans & SEN Statements’
  • might go with your child or the young person if they change services or schools and when they leave school to go to college, work-related training or an apprenticeship
  • will cease when the education or training outcomes detailed in the Education, Health and Care Plan have been achieved
  • will not put children and young people at a disadvantage, it will meet the statutory obligations required under current legislation, including a right of appeal
Who is it for?

Children and young people aged 0-25 years who have complex and severe special educational needs and disabilities where an assessment of education, health and social care needs has been agreed by a multi-agency group of professionals

Guidance says EHC plan should be issued when the local authority considers the special educational needs of the child cannot be reasonably provided by a mainstream early years provider, school and/or post 16 institution

EHC Plan Exemplar Guide & Checklist

The Exemplar document is to support the development of skills in writing good quality Education Health and Care (EHC) Plans

EHCP Exemplar EHC Plans – Examples of Good Practice

The EHC Plan Checklist provides a helpful explanation of the different sections that are contained within an EHC Plan

IPSEA EHC Plan Checklist

Making Decisions?

This Council for Disabled Children have produced a decision making toolkit  as a practical guide to support social workers, health professionals, school,college staff, parents/carers, families and anyone working directly with children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

It is designed to be used in partnership with young people to support them to make their own decisions and to participate as fully as possible in decisions made on their behalf.

A template is included for use with those young person that lack capacity to help professionals to go through a best interests decision making process based on the best interests checklist in the Mental Capacity Act 2005 code of practice.

Planning Live

This was a 2-day workshop which the local authority hosted to allow several young people, their families and the different multi-agency professionals involved in the process to come together and review the EHC Plans.

The Video Clip below was produced from the day by the young people involved


Outcomes Toolkit

Planning Ahead

Outcomes Toolkit can help planning ahead what you want to do at different ages

Young People in Custody

SEND Youth Custody Legal Framework

Further supporting information is available from the Council for Disabled Children


EHC Plan Assessment Flowchart-Timetable

The EHC Plan Flowchart outlines the process over the 20-week timescale

Assessment Process Explained

An Assessment Co-ordinator will work together with you and your child or the young person and the other people involved:

  • to say what’s working, what’s not and what you think needs to change
  • gather information from the other people involved
  • arrange a meeting for you all to agree the outcomes and how you think they can best be met
  • to make the right decisions for you as a family

The whole process takes a maximum of 20 weeks during this period all the people involved will meet to decide what support you might be eligible for which will help meet the agreed outcomes

Assessment Team

Team email is [email protected]

Eileen Picton Lead for Assessment & Provision [email protected] 0151 511 7461
Chris Harrison Assessment Co-ordinator [email protected] 0151 511 7305
Suzanne Sothern Assessment Co-ordinator [email protected] 0151 511 7961
Mark Baker Assessment Co-ordinator [email protected] 0151 511 6739
Catherine McCudden Assessment Co-ordinator [email protected] 0151 511 8419
Philip Ball Assessment Co-ordinator [email protected] 0151 511 7117
Susan Paine Assessment Co-ordinator [email protected] 0151 511 7191
Specialist Teachers
Ami McNamee Lead for Specialist Teaching Advisory and Autism [email protected] 0151 511 8571
Judith Hughes Specialist Teacher Cognition & Learning [email protected] 0151 511 6955

Julie Metcalf


Lyndsey Hignett


Lisa Mart

Lead Teacher of the Deaf and Teacher for Visual Impairment


Specialist Teacher Hearing Impaired


Specialist Teacher Hearing Impaired

[email protected]


[email protected]


[email protected]

0151 511 7065


0151 511 7449


0151 511 6169

Cre Dyas SEND Inclusion Outreach  [email protected] 0151 511 6086
Stacey Holleran Acting Lead for Specialist Teaching Advisory [email protected] 0151 511 6061


Forms, Supplementary Information & Reviews

Need to submit the Named Child Referral Form?
Application Instructions
All About Me Forms by Parents/Carers and Child/Young Person

An Assessment Co-ordinator will meet with Parents/Carers and the Child/Young Person to complete the All About Me documents for your views and provide information about your family life

Supplementary Information - Schools/Setting

Submit with ALL EHC Plan Assessment Requests

Pupil’s Voice Templates

One Page Profiles

EHC Plan Annual Review by School/Setting
SEND Support Plan & Review Forms
SEND Code of Practice Guidance for Professionals

SEND Code of Practice & Guides You can subscribe to alerts via the .gov website

Disagreement Resolution

What happens if the local authority decides that an EHC plan is not necessary?

If  it is decided that an EHC plan is not necessary the local authority must give the reasons for its decision and inform the parents, young person, early years provider, school or post 16 institution currently attended and the health service.

This must take place within 16 weeks of the initial request or of the child or young person having been brought to the authority’s attention.

The local authority must also tell the parents or young person about:

  • their right to appeal to the SENDIST Tribunal against the decision
  • the appeal deadlines
  • Halton SENDIASS
  • details of the disagreement resolution services.

It is likely that the information gathered during the assessment will have identified how the school, college or other provider can meet the child or young person’s needs from within their available resources through an early years, school or college based support plan.


Halton SENDIASS Tel: 0151 511 7733 or email [email protected]

Mediation Services

KIDS SEND Mediation helps parents or young people resolve disagreements about Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessments and Plans, as well as other issues.

Parents and young people can use mediation before making an appeal to the SEND Tribunal. Mediation is very successful and means you may not have to go to Tribunal. But if you are not happy with the outcome of mediation, you can still make an appeal to the Tribunal.

What we do:

  • All our work is free of charge. The service is for children and young people age 0 to 25 and their parents. Mediation is quick and informal and often helps resolve disagreements so that you do not have to go to Tribunal.
  • We give Mediation Information and Advice (MIAS). We arrange Mediation and disagreement resolution between parents and the local authority, as well as the school or college. Health and Social Services can also be involved.
  • Mediation meetings are usually face-to-face. The impartial mediator helps everybody prepare for the meeting and makes sure that everybody’s voice is heard. Mediation meetings take place somewhere near you and within 30 days of your request.
  • At the end of the Mediation meeting, the mediator helps parties put their agreements in writing. The agreement is signed and a copy given to everybody. This forms a Contract between the parties.

KIDS have a big team of mediators who are very experienced and have nationally recognised mediator accreditations. They are all specialist SEND mediators.

KIDS Guidance, Forms & Information

Independent Support

Independent Support provides time limited help to work with you throughout the assessment period for an EHC Plan.

Independent Support Explained 


These are most commonly made on behalf of a child or young person by their parent, carer or a representative. However, children and young people can make comments and complaints in their own right.

Further information, advice or support is available through Halton SENDIASS for free confidential and impartial support 0151 511 7733  [email protected]

We have produced a range of Factsheets covering the different routes available – Factsheets

Single Route of Redress – National Trial

In line with Schedule 2 of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 all local areas in England are required to publish details in their Local Offer for ‘notifying parents and young people of their right to appeal a decision of the local authority to the Tribunal’ and this includes their extended rights as part of the single route of redress national trial. The following information on the national trial, to supplement the information that must already be published on the right to appeal a decision of the local authority, has been included below to support local authorities in fulfilling this duty.

What is the National Trial?

The Government are 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 National Trial. The trial will apply to decisions made or EHC Plans issued/amended from 3 April 2018 and will run until August 2020, when a decision will be made on its continuation.

To date, you have only been able to appeal the educational aspects of EHC Plans.  The trial gives you new rights to request recommendations about the health and social care needs and provision specified in EHC Plans, in addition to the educational aspects, when making a SEND appeal.  This gives you the opportunity to raise all your concerns about an EHC Plan in one place.

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 aspect must remain live throughout the appeal.

What does this mean for parents and young people?

If you are unhappy with a decision not to issue an EHC Plan, or with the special educational content or placement in the Plan, you can make an appeal to the SEND Tribunal.  This National Trial now gives you the opportunity to also request recommendations about the health and social care content of the Plan at the same time. This will mean the Tribunal will take a more holistic, person-centred view of the needs of the child or young person. 

This does not prevent you also complaining about other aspects of your disagreement through other complaint procedures.  You should seek advice about the different routes available, including from Halton SENDIASS (Information Advice and Support Service).

If the SEND Tribunal makes a recommendation about health or social care elements of an EHC Plan, this is non-binding. The local authority and/or health commissioner is generally expected to follow such recommendations, but they are not legally binding. Where they are not followed, the reasons for not following them must be explained and set-out in writing to you and to the Department for Education through the evaluators.

If they are not followed, you can complain to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) or Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) or seek to have the decision judicially reviewed. Further information on the roles of these bodies can be found on their websites.

When can a parent or young person request recommendations about the health and social care elements of an EHC Plan?

You can request the Tribunal makes recommendations about the health and/or social care aspects of EHC Plans as part of an appeal relating to:

  • the description of the child/young person’s special educational needs in an EHC Plan
  • the special educational provision specified in an EHC Plan
  • the school or other educational institution named in an EHC Plan
  • a decision by the local authority not to issue an EHC Plan
  • a decision by the local authority not to carry out a re-assessment for a child/young person who has an EHC Plan
  • a decision by the local authority not to amend an EHC Plan following a review or re-assessment
  • a decision by the local authority to cease to maintain an EHC Plan
What does this mean for local areas?

The Trial places responsibility on local authority SEND teams to:

  1. Inform parents and young people of their new rights through decision letters and the Local Offer
  2. Provide evidence to the Tribunal from the health and social care bodies in response to any issues raised within the timeframe set by the Tribunal, seeking permission to bring additional witnesses to the hearing as necessary
  3. If a recommendation has been made, send the health and social care response letters to the evaluators at [email protected].

It also places responsibility on health and social care commissioners to:

  1. Respond to any request for information and evidence within the timeframe set by the Tribunal
  2. Send a witness to attend the hearing as required
  3. Respond to the parent/young person and the LA SEND team within 5 weeks of a recommendation being made, setting out the steps they have decided to take or giving reasons why they are not going to follow the recommendation.
How can a parent or young person request a health or social care recommendation?

If you wish to appeal against a local authority decision on any of the grounds above and want to request that the Tribunal considers your concerns about the health and /or social care aspects of the EHC Plan, you should follow the normal process for bringing an appeal to the Tribunal and tick the box on the form relating to a health and/or social care appeal. Advice on making SEND appeals to the Tribunal and the appeal form is available on the GOV.UK website and further guidance can be found in the trial toolkit of support.

Taking part in the evaluation of the National Trial

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. The evaluation will run alongside the trial, from January 2018 to March 2021.

It is important that the evaluation is based on robust evidence, and the evaluators are therefore strongly encouraging participation from parents and young people. This could include taking part in a telephone or online interview just after the appeal hearing (or when the appeal process has been completed, if earlier), and then a follow-up interview 6 months later. These interviews will help the evaluators to gather the views of parents and young people on the appeal process, as well as identify how recommendations have been implemented and what the (early) impact has been. 

Parents and young people that take part 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.

As a parent or young person, do I have to consider mediation as part of the National Trial?

Before you can register an appeal with the Tribunal, you must contact a mediation adviser within two months of the LA decision you wish to appeal and consider whether mediation might be a way to resolve your disagreement with the LA. If you want to appeal only about the school or other institution named in the EHC Plan you do not have to contact a mediation adviser.

You can go to mediation about the health and social care elements of an EHC Plan, but this is not compulsory. 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.

Once a mediation adviser has been contacted, or once you have taken part in mediation, you will be issued with a certificate.  This will be necessary if you are still unhappy and wish to progress to an appeal with the Tribunal. An appeal to the Tribunal must usually be made within two months of the decision about which the appeal is being made or one month following the issuing of the mediation certificate, whichever is the later.

If mediation resolves the educational issues, you will not be able to appeal to the Tribunal on any health and/or social care aspects of the EHC Plan.  However, mediation provides an opportunity for us to resolve disagreements and it can be completed more quickly than an appeal.  It does not affect your right to make an educational appeal, and some aspects of the disagreement can go to appeal even when other aspects are resolved.