EHC Plans will replace statements of Special Educational Needs (SEN). They will also replace Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDAs) which apply in some post 16 settings.

Currently, beyond the age of 16, children or young people can only have a statement if they are educated in a school. Under the new proposals, children or young people up to the age of 25 can have an EHC Plan, providing they remain in education or training (including apprenticeships).

Young people who are going to university or become employed will not be eligible for an EHC Plan.

Eligibility for an EHC plan

Any child or young person that currently has a statement will have an EHC Plan. Any young person between the ages of 16 and 19 who currently have a LDA may also have an EHC Plan.

The trigger for the new EHC Plan will be education. This means that if a young person has a health or social care need, they will not get an EHC Plan unless these needs impact on their education.

Requesting an EHC Assessment

The following people have the specific right to ask the Local Authority (LA) to conduct an EHC needs assessment for a child or young person aged between 0-25:

  • the child’s parent;
  • a young person over the age of 16 but under the age of 25;
  • a person acting on behalf of a school or post-16 institution (ideally with the knowledge and agreement of the parent or young person where possible);
  • CYP under 19 in youth custodial establishments – or their parent or a professional working with them (being introduced from April 2015).

Other people can bring a child or young person who has, or may have SEN, to the attention of the LA – e.g. foster carers, health and social care professionals, early years practitioners, youth offending teams, probation services, educational professionals from custody placements, school or college staff or family friends.

If you have any questions about submitting a request for assessment please contact the Access Service: