Education, health and care plans

The assessment process

In most cases, a relevant professional will refer children and young people for an EHC assessment. This could be their nursery, school or college, a doctor, an educational psychologist or a health visitor. Parents can also request an assessment from Brent’s Special Educational Needs Assessment Service (SENAS) if they feel their child is not making sufficient progress. Young people over the age of 16 can also self refer.

In most cases, a relevant professional will refer children and young people for an EHC assessment. This could be their nursery, school or college, a doctor, an educational psychologist or a health visitor. Parents can also request an assessment from Brent’s Special Educational Needs Assessment Service (SENAS) if they feel their child is not making sufficient progress. Young people over the age of 16 can also self refer.

The whole process should be completed within 20 weeks and goes through these stages:

Week 0-6

  • Referral
  • Evidence gathering
  • Progress to needs assessment or notification not to proceed issued (feedback provided with right to appeal)

By end of week 6

  • Professional advice requested and considered
  • Decision to issue an EHC plan or notification not to proceed issued (feedback provided with right to appeal)

By end of week 16

  • Draft EHC plan consultation (chance to consider views on the draft plan and request a particular school or other institution to be named in the plan)
  • Issue final EHC plan (with right to appeal

Week 20

If a draft EHC plan is issued you will have 15 calendar days to consider and provide views on your child’s draft EHC plan and ask for a particular school or other institution to be named in their final EHC plan.

Exceptions that can prolong the process beyond the 20-week timescale

  • The child or young person missing appointments with a professional who the authority has requested advice from
  • The child or young person is absent from the area for a period of at least four weeks
  • Exceptional personal circumstances affect the child or his/her parent, or the young person
  • The educational institution is closed for at least four weeks, which may delay the submission of information

Brent SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) offers help and advice to families who are going through the EHC process, including: 

  • Explaining how the statutory assessment process works and guiding you through the process
  • Ensuring your views, needs and wishes are included in the assessment
  • Attending meetings with you for support
  • Ensuring you fully understand everything and can fully participate in the EHC assessment process
  • Supporting you in drafting letters and any other supporting paperwork
  • Signposting or referring you to other support or specialist services if required 
  • Ensuring you know how to access Brent’s Local Offer