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Education, Health and Care (EHC) assessments and plans


An EHC plan can be issued to a child or young person between the ages of 0 and 25 years.

An education, health and care (EHC) plan is for children and young people aged up to 25 who need more support than is available through special educational needs support.

It is a legal document that describes a child or young person's special educational, health and social care needs. It explains the extra help that will be given to meet those needs and how that help will support the child or young person to achieve what they want to in their life. The plan is drawn up by the council after an EHC needs assessment.

Who can request an EHC assessment

  • A parent, or their advocate
  • A young person over the age of 16
  • An early years setting, school or further education college

Others who work with your child can also tell us if they think an assessment is needed (such as your doctor, health visitor or nursery worker). They can help you make a request for an assessment.

You can make a request for an assessment by writing to:

The SEND, Looked After and Vulnerable Groups Casework Team
Children & Young People's Services
Durham County Council
County Hall
Durham
DH1 5UJ

The letter should include your child's name, date of birth, which childcare setting, school or college they attend, and why you feel that an EHC assessment is needed. 

The charity, Contact, has some very useful information on their website which might help you when making a request for an assessment, including templates of request letters and checklists: Contact for families with disabled children - Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs.

How long the assessment takes

The assessment should take a maximum of 20 weeks and could lead to your child getting an EHC plan.

How to request an EHC assessment

For more information on how to request an assessment and how long the assessment will take, see  Icon for pdf A guide for families: Applying for an Education Health Care Assessment (PDF, 1.3mb) .

Pupils moving into County Durham

If your child is moving into County Durham and has an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan, or is undergoing an EHC needs assessment, you should contact the SEND Casework Team for advice. They can be contacted by emailing sencasework@durham.gov.uk or by phoning 03000 265 878.

Contact us
SEND and Inclusion Service
03000 267 800
Our address is:
  • Broom Cottages Primary and Nursery Schoo
  • Ferryhill
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DL17 8AN
01740 657 792
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