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Decision-making for EHC plans

If an EHC needs assessment has been agreed and completed, the next decision is about whether an EHC plan is necessary.


Decision from Nottinghamshire Local Offer on Vimeo.

How is a decision made?

After the EHC needs assessment has taken place, the case and all the evidence received is taken to another EHC Panel. This is called the ‘Stage 2 Panel’. 

The panel members reads all the information and reports gathered during the EHC needs assessment process. They ask and discuss:

  • What are the child/young person’s special educational needs?
  • Is the current special educational provision working?
  • Is the child/young person not making enough progress (and so needs something different or extra to help)?
  • Is the child/young person moving to, or have they recently moved to, a new school?
  • Does the child/young person need something different or extra, and if so:
    • can this reasonably be provided from within the resources normally available to mainstream settings?


  • is this provision only available with an EHC plan?

The Local Authority then decides if it is necessary for the special educational provision to be made in accordance with an EHC plan.

Following the Stage 2 Panel, the family will receive a letter informing them of the decision. If this is a ‘Yes to Plan’ decision, then the CW will draft the plan and the process will continue. If it is a ‘No to Plan’ decision, then the process will stop and the CW will no longer be involved. Information will be provided in the letter as to the best way forward for the family and school.

What happens if the decision is that an EHC Plan is not required?

If following assessment the panel decide that a statutory EHC Plan is not needed copies of the reports will be provided to the family and education setting, It is important that the reports are discussed with the educational setting. We suggest that you contact the educational setting to arrange a meeting to share the reports with the education staff.  You may decide to use the pre-set date which was set aside for the ‘Next Steps’ meeting with school and involved professionals. Please be aware that the Assessment Officer will not be attending, as following the completed EHC needs assessment their role has now ended. At the meeting you can decide together how the current support matches the recommendations in the reports. It may be that during the discussion you identify further steps to be taken to ensure that advice from professionals is used in supporting your child or young person.

How do I appeal a decision?

When Local Authorities make certain decisions about the education and/or training of a child or young person with special educational needs and/or a disability (SEND), there is a right of appeal to the First-tier Tribunal. This includes:

  • Decisions about whether to carry out  an EHC needs assessment
  • Local Authority decisions about Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans

For further information on how to appeal a decision to the First Tier Tribunal please click on the following link: Disagreements and Complaints

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