An Education and Health Care plan (EHCP) is the document which replaces Statements of SEN and Learning Difficulties Assessments for children and young people with special educational needs.
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EHCP – The basics
EHCPs are for children and young people aged up to 25 who need more support than is available through special educational needs support.
EHCPs identify educational, health and social needs and set out the additional support to meet those needs.
An EHCP is created via 3 steps:
- Your local authority will create a draft EHCP plan and send you a copy.
You will be invited to contribute to this via a Family Conversation Record Form that you will be sent, enabling you to give a picture of your child’s life, and give details of the agencies and services that work with you and your child. Tips for parents/carers completing the Family Conversation Record.
- You have 15 days to comment, including if you want to ask that your child goes to a specialist needs school or specialist college.
- Your local authority has 20 weeks from the date of the assessment to give you the final EHCP plan.
An EHCP can only be issued after a child or young person has gone through the process of EHC needs assessment. At the end of that process, the local authority has to make a decision, either to issue an EHCP or not.
Disagreeing with a decision
You can challenge your local authority about:
- their decision to not carry out an assessment
- their decision to not create an EHCP
- the special educational support in the EHCP
- the school named in the EHCP
If you can’t resolve the problem with your local authority, you can appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Tribunal.
You may be able to get a personal budget for your child if they have an EHCP or have been told that they need one.
It allows you to have a say in how to spend the money on support for your child.
There are 3 ways you can use your personal budget. You can have:
- direct payments made into your account – you buy and manage services yourself
- an arrangement with your local authority or school where they hold the money for you but you still decide how to spend it (sometimes called ‘notional arrangements’)
- third-party arrangements – you choose someone else to manage the money for you
You can have a combination of all 3 options.
Independent support for children of all ages
Independent supporters can help you and your child through the new SEN assessment process, including:
- replacing a statement of special educational needs with a new EHCP
- moving a child from a learning difficulty assessment (LDA) to an EHCP
Please note that, as an organisation run by volunteers, we are unable to check and update this information as often as we might like, so it might be out of date. We suggest that you check the above websites for the most up-to-date info.
If you would like face-to-face information on EHCPs then please let us know. We would be happy to invite specialists to come and give advice and information at Saturday Club.
Last updated: 14 May 2018.