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Education Health and Care Plans

What is an EHCP?

An EHCP is a document that describes a child or young person’s special educational, health and social needs, the support they need and the outcomes they would like to achieve.

An EHCP can only be issued after a child or young person has gone through an Education Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment.

EHCP annual review resource for children and young people

Amy, a member of the Council for Disabled Children's Youth advisory group FLARE, has created an incredible resource to support children and young people who have an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP).  The resource explains to children and young people what an EHCP annual review is, who should be invited, how to prepare for it and how children and young people can get their views, experiences and opinions across.  It's so important that children and young people understand that they should share their views in which ever way is most comfortable for them.  Children and young people have the right to be involved in their EHCP annual reviews and this resource will provide support and guidance on the different ways thay they can be involved in their annual reviews.  

You can download the resource from the Council for Disabled Children's website  

Who might need and EHCP ?

Not all children with special educational needs (SEN) will need an EHCP; lots of children will be supported by schools at SEN Support. SEN Support is a system in schools to put in place provision to help a child make progress, possibly with support from other services such as the Learning Support Service, Educational Psychologist or Speech and Language Therapist.

EHCPs are for children and young people whose SEN need more help than would normally be provided in their school or setting. At this point an education, health and care needs assessment can be requested.

Although the Plan can include Heath and Social Care needs, a child will not get a plan if they only have health or social care needs that do not affect their education.

When should a request for assessment be made?

The majority of children and young people with SEN can have their needs met through the resources normally available in their education setting and / or community.

The local offer will enable families and practitioners to find out what is available locally and further afield and should help everyone to make the most of many services and opportunities that are available without the need to have an EHCP.

Where provision cannot be reasonably provided through services and resources that are normally available, it may be necessary to request and EHC needs assessment.

It is definitely helpful to speak to the child’s school or setting, or a professional working with the child, before making a request. These people will know the child well, and whether or not their needs can be met through normally available resources, and will be able to help the family decide is a request for an assessment is needed.

Sometimes families may find it helpful to talk to the Salford Independent Advice and Support Service (SIASS) or other voluntary support services when a request for an EHC Needs assessment is being considered


Who can make a request for EHC needs assessment?

Families and young people aged 16 and over can apply for an EHC needs assessment. Schools and settings (early years and post-16) and other professionals can also request an assessment, but they can only do this with the knowledge and agreement of the parent(s) or young person.

It is always advisable to speak to the school or setting before making a request for an EHC needs assessment, as they can request an assessment, or provide information to support a request made by a parent or young person. It really helps the decision making process to know why people think an assessment is needed, and to have good information about the journey of the child so far, how they are currently being supported and the things that are helping them to make progress.

How is a decision made about doing an EHC needs assessment?

The Children and Families Act (2014) states thatA child or young person has special educational needs if he or she has a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.’ (section 20)

and

‘The local authority must secure an EHC needs assessment for the child or young person if, after having regard to any views expressed and evidence submitted under subsection 7, the authority is of the opinion that— (a) the child or young person has or may have special educational needs, and (b) it may be necessary for special educational provision to be made for the  child or young person in accordance with an EHC plan’ (section 36(8))

To help us make a decision there is a panel of people who consider EHC needs assessments. They follow the advice of the SEND Code of Practice (2015) and take into account:

·         evidence of academic attainment and progress,

·         the nature and extend of a child / young person’s SEN,

·         evidence of what the school / setting has already put in place to support the child / young person,

·         evidence that if progress has been made it is only due to the intervention and support that has been put in place, and e

·         evidence from other professionals (Doctors, Speech and Language Therapists, Educational Psychologists) about physical, emotional and social development.

The panel also consider whether or not a child / young person’s difficulties are having an effect on their emotional wellbeing.

The panel also considers whether the provision required to meet the identified needs of a child or young person can be reasonably provided from within the normally available resources, or whether it may be necessary for the LA to make provision in accordance with an EHCP.

How long does the process take?

The whole process should be completed within 20 weeks from the date of the application for a needs assessment.

What does an EHCP look like?

Education Health and Care Plans are split into sections A-K.

These include:

  • interests and aspirations of the child and their family
  • what they need support with
  • specific outcomes for them to achieve
  • what education support they will get
  • any health or social care support they may need.

 It will also name a school or setting that a child should attend.

What happens after an EHCP is issued?

If a plan is written, it must be reviewed every 6 months for a child aged under 5, or once a year for those above 5. This is done through the Annual Review process.

The plan will stay in place until it is no longer needed.

EHCP annual review resource for children and young people

Amy, a member of the Council for Disabled Children's Youth advisory group FLARE, has created an incredible resource to support children and young people who have an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP).  The resource explains to children and young people what an EHCP annual review is, who should be invited, how to prepare for it and how children and young people can get their views, experiences and opinions across.  It's so important that children and young people understand that they should share their views in whichever way is most comfortable for them.  Children and young people have the right to be involved in their EHCP annual reviews and this resource will provide support and guidance on the different ways they they can be involved in their annual reviews.  

You can download the resource from the Council for Disabled Children's website  

Who can I talk to about an EHCP?

You can talk to the SENCO in your child’s school or setting and they will be able to talk to you about any SEN concerns you have.

You can also contact SIASS who can support you with the EHC needs assessment process

Once a request has been made, you can also contact the SEN team who oversee the assessment and plan writing process.