Statutory Assessment Education Health and Care Plans

A Statutory Assessment is a process where information is collected from the school and all professionals involved with a child or young person which will enable the Local Authority (LA) to gain a clear picture of their education health and care needs.

Please find below an at a glance flow diagram presenting the 20-week procedure of an EHC Assessment:

 Plymouth EHC at a glance flowchart [105KB]

Please find below a more in-depth breakdown of the Four stages of an EHC Assessment:

 4-Stage Guide to EHC Pathway [156KB]

Where can I find advice and support around the process of Statutory Assessment?

Plymouth Parent Partnership is a support service for all parents and carers in the Plymouth area. They can provide you with impartial and confidential information and support.

Where can I find more information about the new government legislation?

The government has published a code of practice for organisations who work with and support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

 SEN Code of Practice [1.9MB]


The 0 to 25 SEND Statutory Assessment Team coordinate the statutory support for children and young people with special educational needs (SEN).

Most children and young people with special educational needs can have their needs effectively met within the resources that are available in mainstream schools/settings or colleges.

In a very small number of cases the Local Authority will agree to initiate an assessment of a child or young person's education needs. This is to determine whether or not they need the additional support of a legal document that sets out what their needs are and how these will be supported.

From September 2014 this will include their health and care needs as new government legislation will replace Statements of Special Educational Needs with Education Health and Care Plans (EHC).

There are 1,583 children and young people with Statements of SEN in Plymouth and approximately 300 young people with Learning Disability Assessments. Plymouth is aiming to transfer children and young people as quickly as possible, at a pace that is achievable. We want to deliver an effective new system while maintaining high quality arrangements for those continuing with Statements of SEN.

The transfer from a Statement or Learning Disability Assessment to having an EHCP will be a gradual process. This is to make sure that it can be managed within the Government’s designated timescale. All current Statements of Special Educational Needs (SEN) will be transferred to an EHC Plan by 1st April 2018. The DfE have also indicated that by 1st September 2016 an EHCP should be in place for young people if they need one for children moving from one phase of their education to another, for example moving from primary to secondary education. Young people in further education and training who receive provision as a result of a Learning Disability Assessment (LDA) (section 139a/Moving On Plan), if they are continuing in further education or training beyond that date, will have the LDA converted to an EHCP where appropriate.

You can find out more about the transfer of current statements of education need to an EHC plan in the Plymouth's Local Plan document.

 Plymouth's Local Plan

If your child already has a Statement or EHC Plan (or is currently undergoing Statutory Assessment) please call our team who will be happy to discuss arrangements with you.

As well as SEN details about your child, we need the following information:

  • The date you'll arrive in Plymouth

  • Your new address

  • Family details

  • Name of previous Local Authority (and contact details if possible)

If your child is currently in a special school or provision then you should be aware that an equivalent in Plymouth cannot be guaranteed for your child and this would have to go through panel.

You'll need to get in touch with our School Admissions Team to discuss preferences for your child's new school. Please be sure to notify them that your child has SEN and whether they were previously in a mainstream or special school setting. Following that, if you still wish your child to be considered for a specialist placement you should contact the SEN team who will explain the panel procedure for this type of admission.

  • SEN Team call 01752 307409 or email 
  • Primary School Admissions: 01752 307170 
  • Secondary School Admissions: 01752 307467

All parents want to feel confident that their child is happy and well-provided for at school. If your child has a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education Health and Care Plan, you will probably have already got to know the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) at your child's school and he or she should be your first point of contact if you feel things are not right.

You should arrange to meet with the SENCO to talk things through and can request that a Local Authority officer from the SEN Team attends if you think this might be necessary.

If matters cannot easily be resolved, you may wish to make a formal complaint through the school's complaints procedure. This will then be dealt with by the Headteacher and a member of the school's governing body.

For many reasons, including the disruption to a child's education, it is better that children do not move school other than for normal primary/secondary transfers, if this can be avoided and so making an effort to resolve the problem is always the most preferable thing to do.

If, however, you feel that a move is the best way forward, you should think carefully about which school you wish to apply to and whether you will be able to get your child to that school easily if it is some distance from your home as you will be responsible for any transport costs and arrangements. You should then make an appointment to meet with the SENCO at the school of your choice and discuss with him/her how the school can meet your child's needs. It is helpful if you take a copy of your child's Statement or EHC Plan to this meeting.

Once you have decided, you will need to fill in an online School Admissions form and will be asked if your child has a Statement/EHC Plan. The application will then be passed to the SEN Team who have, by law, to consult with the school you have chosen to see if they are able to admit your child. The school has 15 working days to consider the request and let the Local Authority know what its decision is. The school should not refuse your request unless it feels it is:

  • unsuitable for the age, ability aptitude or SEN of your child or

  • the attendance of your child would be incompatible with the efficient education of others or the efficient use of resources.

The SEN Team will then contact you to inform you of the school's response and to try to help sort out any issues that might arise. It is important that you bear in mind the time that the above procedures will take and you should not withdraw your child from his or her existing school before you have a place in another as this could make you liable to involvement by the Education Welfare Service who will follow up any non-attendance issues.