One of the major changes introduced by the Children and Families Act 2014 is the replacement of the current Statement system with new Education, Health and Care Plans (EHC Plan). EHC Plans will be extended to young people aged 25 to support young people into adulthood.
What is an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan?
An EHC Plan looks at all the needs that a child or young person has within education, health and care.
How is the EHC Plan Developed?
Professionals and the family together consider what outcomes they would like to see for the child or young person. This plan identifies what is needed to achieve those outcomes.
Who will have an EHC Plan?
The Department for Education has stated that a child or young person who currently has a Statement of SEN will have an EHC Plan. EHC Plans will be issued when the special educational needs of a child cannot be reasonably provided for with resources normally available to mainstream, early year’s provision, school and post 16 institutions.
Requesting an EHC Needs Assessment
If you are concerned that your child’s Special Educational Needs (SEN) are not being met through SEN support then the first step would be to discuss your concerns with your child’s school or setting.
All schools have a special needs coordinator (SENCo) who can discuss your concerns with you, including whether or not a referral for an EHC plan is needed. Parents or young people themselves can request an EHC needs assessment, the request does not have to come from a professional or school setting. However information from those who know your child, in particular their school will be sought.
You can make a request to the local SEN team by completing the assessment request form in the downloads section. If you would like further information please call: 020 8708 8210 and they will be able to give you information about the process.
What is in place for children and young people without an EHC Plan?
SEN Support will be the support available in school for children and young people who have special educational needs but do not have EHC Plans.
SEN support replaces School Action/School Action Plus (in schools) and Early Years Action/Early Years Action Plus (in early years settings).
SEN support can take many forms. This could include:
- a special learning programme for your child
- extra help from a teacher or a learning support assistant
- working with your child in a small group
- supporting your child with physical or personal care difficulties, such as eating, getting around school safely, toileting or dressing
What are the benefits of an EHC Plan?
- On the EHC Pathway schools are able to consider a child’s or young person’s needs across education, health and care.
- Parents/carers may have a key worker to help them through the process.
- The views of young people and families about an individual’s needs and their hopes for the future are a key aspect of the process.
- A Personal Budget may be available to families to choose how to support the child or young person.
- The time taken to produce an EHC Plan is 20 weeks.