From September 2014 Education Health Care Plans were being rolled out over a 2-3 year period to replace Statements.
A Statement is a document which sets out a child’s SEN and any additional help that the child should receive. The aim of the Statement was to make sure that the child gets the right support to enable them to make progress in school.
So now everyone should have moved over from a Statement to an EHCP and those who are applying will be applying for an EHCP.
Here are 5 things you need to know about EHCP’s!
What is an EHCP?
An Education, Health and Care plan describes your child’s special educational needs (SEN) and the help they will get to meet them. An EHCP also includes any health and care provision that is needed. EHCPs are for children and young people who need more support than their school or other settings can provide.
Who is an EHCP for?
The educational health and care plan is for children and young people between the ages of 0 – 25, who have special educational needs (SENs) and/or disabilities. Your child’s needs will be assessed by education, health and social care professionals to see if you should have a plan.
How Do I Get An EHCP?
If your school is supportive and knowledgeable about special needs, they may start off the process for you. You can talk to your child’s school, college or nursery about eligibility for an assessment. Your school’s special educational needs coordinator should be able to help. But you can request one yourself, by contacting your local authority’s special educational needs department and requesting an assessment for an EHCP.
How long does it take to get an EHCP?
After you have applied to the local authority for an assessment, they must reply with a decision within six weeks.
Following an agreement for assessment, the local authority will gather information from parents, education professionals, therapists and doctors involved in your child’s care. They should then produce a draft EHCP. You should get the opportunity to comment and requests amendments to this draft
The whole process lasts around 20 weeks.
Know Your Rights
Lots of families get turned away at the 6-week point. You should move straight onto appeal. According to The Good Schools Guide more than 90% of families that appeal their case win.
Most of the reasons that the local authority give for their reason for rejecting an assessment will not stand up in law.
Some Of The Reasons Given For Rejection Assessments Are:
- The school must spend at least £6000 first on support
- They will only assess if your child is behind other children their age
- They will only assess children with a diagnosis
- They will only assess children once a certain amount of evidence has been gathered
- They will not assess without a psychologists report
- The Child is coping in the current setting
The only criteria you have to meet for an EHCP assessment is that you suspect that your child has special needs and that you suspect that your child needs extra support in school.
We hope these 5 things you need to know about EHCP’s have helped you become more clear about the process.
The change from Statement to EHCP was supposed to improve communication between health and education services. However, in many cases, this has not happened.
If you think your child has special needs that require extra support in school you should apply for an education health care plan. If your school are unsupportive go directly to your local authority. Be prepared to appeal the first decision.
You can get help and support from your local Sendiass team.