What Is It and Why Is It Important to Know About in Your Parental Journey When Supporting a Child With SEND
EHCP stands for Educational Health and Care Plan. When discussing this overwhelming topic, the acronym seems to be the easiest part of it to understand… But beyond that? Not as straightforward.
At SO, HE CARES, we are dedicated to making these processes as approachable and understandable as possible for parents. So, my lovely readers, today I will be breaking down what an EHC plan actually is, why it’s useful in your parental journey when supporting a child with SEND, how it works and how SO, HE CARES can help with the process.
I promise to make this comprehensive guide as succinct as I can.
The blog will cover the following questions:
- What is an EHC plan?
- Why is it useful?
- What are the steps required for an EHC plan?
- Who is involved in the assessment and EHC plan provision process?
- How can SO, HE CARES help?
What is an EHC plan?
An EHC plan is a legal document that forms a plan for parents and children with special educational needs and disabilities to help achieve the goals and ambitions of the child or young person aged up to 25.
EHCPs have replaced statements of special educational needs. The plan specifically outlines ways the Local Authority (LA) has a duty to provide ongoing aid that helps SEND children with their educational, training, health and social care journey.
This duty of care was placed under Section 25 of the Children and Families Act 2014, which can be found online in the SEND Code of Conduct – It’s a lengthy document, but contains some brilliant information you might find useful to know.
Why is it useful?
EHC plans are forward-looking documents that help raise aspirations and outline the provision required to meet assessed needs to support the child or young person in achieving their ambitions.
Although parents of children with SEND are likely to receive support from the LA and the NHS, this legally binding plan ensures that the child or young person has legitimate rights to having ongoing provisions to work towards these common goals.
These plans also provide information on how services will be delivered in order to reach the common goal of the child or young person, making it a practical process to actually achieve these ambitions.
What are the steps required for an EHC plan?
If you believe your child needs to obtain an individual Educational Health and Care Plan, it’s best to start off by checking the requirements with your Local Authority’s Local Official Website and request them to carry out a needs assessment. This assessment can also be requested by doctors, health visitors, teachers and family friends.
For the assessment, you will be required to provide:
- Any reports from your child’s school, nursery, or childminder
- Doctors’ assessments of your child
- A letter from you about your child’s needs
The LA will let you know whether an EHC plan will be made for your child within 16 weeks. If accepted, the LA will draft out an EHC plan for you to comment on and request anything specific before being provided with a final EHC plan. If denied, there are opportunities for you to challenge their decision.
More information on this process can be found on the gov.uk site.
Who is involved in the assessment and EHC plan provision process?
The involvement of bodies in this process varies depending on the individual situation, but here’s an overall list of the people involved in the process of obtaining and maintaining an EHC plan.
- Headteachers and principals
- Governing bodies
- School and college staff
- Special educational needs (SEN) co-ordinators
- Early years providers
- Other education settings
- Local authorities
- Health and social services staff
How can SO, HE CARES help?
We know that all the breakdowns of EHCPs in the world can’t cancel out how overwhelming this process can be for parents.
That’s where we come in. Our EHCP advocates help parents work with their local authorities. We have services and resources dedicated to guiding you every step of the way – from the needs assessment to the curation and refinement of the plan to providing aid and materials for the review meetings once an EHC plan is in place.
Contact us through our website now and let us know how we can be of service to you!