When you first start looking for support for your child with additional needs, it can be confusing and difficult. An EHCP can help with this, but it can be a confusing, long and difficult process to follow. This is why we’ve written a simple guide to what an EHCP is and a few simple tips to help you get the support that your child deserves.
Please do get in touch if we can help you with yours!
In today’s post, we’re going to look at what an EHCP actually is.
EHCP stands for Education, Health and Care Plan.
They were introduced in September 2014 to replace statements of Special Educational Needs and Learning Difficulty Assessments for children and young people under the age of 25. The government wanted to help different services work better together to support the individual and to give them more say in how their own care plan is structured.
They are only given to children and young people whose school is not able to meet their needs, meaning that when applying for an EHCP. your child’s school will have to be able to show that they have tried to help your child but they still need additional support.
The plan will explain what your child’s needs are, what their goals are and how all the different organisations can work together to achieve these goals. Because it contains so much personal information that will be shared with different agencies, your child will get a say in what goes in it and what doesn’t.
So what is in an EHCP?
An EHCP will look different with different local authorities. However it will contain:
EHCPs should be reviewed every 12 months at the Annual Review Meeting which should be attended by the education provider, the parents, a member of the SEND team at the council, and any other professionals involved.
Basically, your EHCP will tell you what support your child will receive, when and where. Local authorities will normally pay themselves for any support that your child needs, but may sometimes agree to give you a personal budget so that you can choose the best support for your child and manage the budget directly yourself.
You can request for your child to be sent to a specific school (although the local authority does not automatically have to grant this) and you can even request for additional tuition or mentoring for your child from an organisation like Leading Lights. Your child’s plan will explain what reasonable adjustments schools or colleges need to make, what extra support or therapy your child is entitled to and what kind of school or college can meet their need.
If you disagree with the final version of the EHCP, you can contest this, and in some cases this may progress to a SEND tribunal. The tribunal will be an opportunity for you to challenge the recommendations and outcomes of the EHCP, for more information on this we would recommend having a read of IPSEA’s guide.
The main things that you will need to consider will be: what does my child want to achieve and how best could they be helped to achieve this?