The Children and Family Act 2014 brought in a new way to support children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) for local authorities, schools and support services.

This website presents the findings from a small-scale qualitative study commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE) to examine user satisfaction with the Education, Health and Care Assessment and Planning process (EHCP) for children and young people with SEND. The study was undertaken by ASK Research from May to December 2015 – one year into the national implementation of the new EHC process.

ASK Research is an independent research organisation. The team for this project was Amy Skipp, Gav Cross, Vicky Hopwood and Clarissa White, who all have a strong interest and experience in services for CYP with SEND.

About this site

This site provides real-life examples of what it is like to go through the EHC process from the perspective of children, families and young people who are going, or have gone, through it. It also discusses ways for services to get feedback on their local delivery.

Working alongside practitioners we have outlined some of the practice that parents identified as leading to a more positive experience of the process and some of the ways services might change based on what was seen as more or less helpful for families.

We don’t claim to have all the answers. We have developed this website as a vehicle to share emerging practice and encourage reflection and development of local service provision, based on a relatively small sample. We have provided details of approaches and resources children, families, young people and practitioners have told us about. We hope they prove a useful starting point for practitioners as they seek to collect feedback and develop the EHCP journey for families in their areas.

We are very grateful to the Local Authority staff and families and young people who took part in this important project.


We interviewed 77 parents and 15 young people with SEND in depth about their experiences, and held workshops with over 120 professionals from 4 Local Authority (LA) areas.

The aims of the project were to:

  • Map the user (children, young people and families) experience of the EHCP and determine factors leading to satisfaction with the new service in their local area; and
  • Explore the extent to which the approaches employed to capture user feedback in the course of the study could help local areas and others (including parent groups) capture user satisfaction and make improvements to their service delivery.

More detail about the methods for this project can be found here

As more practice emerges which leads to increased satisfaction for service users and better outcomes for CYP with SEND these will be shared through this site.

Terms and Conditions

We provide links to other sites only for convenience. We are not responsible for the availability or content of these external sites, nor do we endorse, warrant or guarantee the products, services or information described or offered at these other sites.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information supplied, the DfE and ASK Research cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Neither are we prescribing any practice or specific actions to be taken. Unless otherwise indicated, opinions expressed are those of research participants and do not necessarily represent the views of the DfE or ASK Research.

The DfE is the owner of the intellectual property rights, or is entitled to make use of the intellectual property rights, in the images, texts, designs and other content or elements on this website. Commercial use or publication of material on this website is strictly prohibited. Material on this site may be copied for non-commercial research and educational purposes on the condition that the DfE is acknowledged as the source of the material, any copyright indications are also copied and no modifications are made to the material. If you do wish to reproduce any of the material on our website in modified form for non-commercial purposes please contact us so that we can approve any modifications that you propose to make.