Education, Health & Care Plans (EHCP)
At Valuing Minds, we work with families and schools at all stages of the EHCP process.
Our experience tells us that Local Authorities all interpret the EHCP process in different ways. We work with you to get the best possible outcome for the young person involved. This may include:
- carrying out an initial fact-finding session to see if the EHCP process should be initiated – or to challenge the refusal of a Local Authority to carry out an assessment
- carrying out a detailed assessment during the process
- working with the school or college to plan, implement and review the support
- helping conduct child or young person-centred annual or transition reviews
- supporting parents who wish to challenge the outcome
If you would like to know more or need help navigating your way through the process, please contact us.
What is an EHCP?
In legislation introduced under the Children and Families Act (2014), Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP) were introduced as a way of ensuring that children and young people with significant Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) had their needs identified and support given to meet these needs. Until this point, children who needed significant additional support were given a Statement of Special Educational Needs, following a detailed assessment process.
The EHCP process is as follows:
Not every young person needs an EHCP. Some may develop a need for one, some may benefit from one to such a great extent they can thrive without one. Working to our core values, we will always explain how we come to decisions to ensure young people are given the best possible support where it’s needed.
Types of Special Educational Need and Disability
These come under 4 main headings:
- Communication and interaction, including Speech language and communication difficulties and Autistic Spectrum Disorder
- Cognition and learning, encompassing difficulty in acquiring basic literacy/numeracy skills or understanding concepts etc., severe learning difficulties, profound and multiple learning difficulties and specific learning difficulty
- Social, mental and emotional health, for example, emotional and social developmental difficulties and recognised disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), attachment disorder etc
- Sensory and physical needs, such as visual or hearing impairment, multi-sensory impairment and physical disability
These needs and disabilities present in a different way in every young person we work with. How these needs affect their families, education and options for the future are all unique.
Some key things to note:
We have tried to make this explanation as clear as possible. We’re always happy to answer any questions you may have.
- Parents, schools or young people over 16 can initiate the process. Other professionals can bring the child or young person to the attention of the Local Education Authority if concerned.
- Not all children and young people identified as needing additional support because of complex needs will require an EHCP; the Local Education Authority will usually make a judgement based on the information provided by the parents, school and any other involved agencies.
- Even if the local authority decides that a (statutory) assessment is needed to understand the child or young person’s needs better, this may not always result in the development of an EHCP.
- An EHCP, if produced, will specify the type and amount of support a child or young person should receive to meet their needs, as well as short and long-term goals.
- Children and young people with EHCPs must have an annual review attended by all interested parties to consider the child’s progress, needs, goal and future aspirations.
What is meant by Special Educational Needs and Disabilities?
According to the Children and Families Act (2014),
- A 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.
- A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she —
- has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
- has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.
- A child under compulsory school age has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she is likely to be within subsection (2) when of compulsory school age (or would be likely, if no special educational provision were made).
- A child or young person does not have a learning difficulty or disability solely because the language (or form of language) in which he or she is or will be taught is different from a language (or form of language) which is or has been spoken at home.
We’d suggest you get in touch to see if we can help. We often hear from parents who are told by schools that their child is ‘fine’, that EHCPs are not worth the hassle of going through the process, that a Local Authority ‘always’ refuses support for a particular condition/diagnosis and who have experienced challenges with the system.
Even if an EHCP is not the final outcome, we can often help with providing a diagnosis, access to practical solutions (for school and home) and an increased understanding of the young person involved. These in themselves, can be the foundations for a happier, more confident and better supported young person.