In this section you will find out about EHC plans.
If you feel that your child may have special educational needs and may need extra support, talk to your child’s class teacher or their principal.
They will arrange for your child to be assessed to find out what their needs are. This will help them to arrange appropriate support for your child, known as SEN support.
Often your child’s school or setting will be able to meet their special needs and will offer them a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum throughout their education. They’ll offer your child special educational provision, which can involve additional support or learning in different ways to other children of their age in the school or setting.
The setting will ask you for your views when they’re planning, monitoring and reviewing your child’s educational needs.
If a child or young person has special educational needs, (SEN) they may need an Education, Health and Care Plan. This is a legal document which states the support that a child/young person needs to make good progress in their education and achieve their aspirational outcomes.
Before children and young people are given an Education, Health and Care Plan, they will already have been receiving support, known as SEN Support, from their school or setting.
In the case of very young children who aren't yet in an educational setting, early support will usually have been provided by a range of agencies working closely with the family.
If your child continues to struggle, the setting will ask us to assess your child to determine what more can be done to help them. This assessment is called an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment.
An Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment can be requested by a parent, young person, teacher or anyone else concerned about the child's SEN. From the point of assessment, the process should take no longer than 20 weeks.
Step One - Identifying
The identification step is when it is known or suspected by the Local Authority that a child/ young person has special educational needs and/or a disability (SEND) and they decide whether or not to conduct an assessment.
Step Two - Assessing
An EHC Needs Assessment seeks advice and information from key professionals regarding a child/young persons education, health and care needs. From the evidence gathered the Local Authority then decide if they will issue an EHC Plan.
Step Three - Planning
The planning stage involves taking all of the information from the assessment and, where this finds that more support is needed, putting this into a plan.
Step Four - Actioning
This step is when the plan is put into action and the support is carried out.
Step Five - Reviewing
This stage involves the annual checking of progress in the EHCP and children, families, young people and professionals continuing to adapt the plan as things change.
This process has to be completed within 20 weeks.
How to Apply for an EHC Needs Assessment – Information for Schools
SENCOs should ensure a detailed application which highlights a child or young person’s needs, provision and impact against progress. More information submitted at this stage will ensure a robust decision can be made.
EHC applications should include
- Detailed Needs Analysis and how the parents’ views have informed the setting’s understanding of the child’s needs
- Historical information about child’s developmental milestones and rate of progress;
- Current information about the nature, extent and context of the child’s SEN;
- Action already being taken by the setting to meet each of the child’s SEN;
- Where progress has been made, it has only been as the result of much additional intervention and support over and above that which is usually provided;
- Details of child’s physical, emotional and social development and health needs,
- Impact of evidence from clinicians and other health professionals and actions to meet recommendations
- How QFT has been embedded into classroom, details of modified activities and routines and any reasonable adjustments which have been made.
- All professional reports should be from within the last 12 months where advice is still active and ongoing.
Applications must be completed with detailed evidence to support the request. If insufficient evidence is presented, the decision groups may request a deferment while school submit additional information. Parents must be shown the completed application in its entirety along with any evidence being used. The parents must sign to say they have seen the application and its contents.
How to Apply for an EHC Needs Assessment – Information for Parents
There is a separate form provided for this. Parents and child must complete and submit this with the application. There is no limit to how much parents can submit.
Including a Young Person’s Views
In the application submitted by schools or by parents/carers, there should be a recorded discussion in most applicable way, of the child or young person’s needs, the help and support and what more they need. The EHC team have produced a suitable template but schools are welcome to present this in a format appropriate to the child/young person’s age, stage of development and preferred communication method. Submit all as attachments with the application.
Following the Decision to Assess at the EHC Portal Group (PG), an EHC Coordinator will be allocated to the family. They will contact the family and child/ young person to explain the process and collect their views. They will also contact school to arrange a meeting where additional information will be gathered.
At the meeting the parent/carer should confirm any other professionals they would like to be contacted for advice and guidance. The EHC Coordinator will use this information to create an ‘assessment booklet’. This shows all the advice as it arrives. The coordinator will send this booklet back to parents as many times as the parent request to show the gathering of information. We call this the ‘ping pong’ stage!
The case is submitted to the Outcomes and Resources Group by the allocated coordinator from the EHC Team. The group will examine and discuss the information then decide whether an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is appropriate or not. Parents and School are informed of the outcome of the meeting by letter and guides. If appropriate, an EHC Coordinator will meet the parents and school to explain the reasons for not issuing an EHCP.
If the Outcomes and Resources Group agree to issue an EHC plan, the EHC coordinator will begin to collate all the information onto an EHC plan. The will contact parents and schools with drafts to get feedback and fill in any missing gaps or information. This can happen as many times as is needed in order to create a plan that fits the child’s needs, outcomes and provision.
At 16 weeks, the parents will receive a ‘draft EHC plan’. They have 15 days to make any final representations. The EHC is sent to school for a further 15-day consultation, for the head teacher and governors to agree they can meet the needs outlined on the EHC plan. The final EHC plan will be sent to parents. If they don’t agree to the plan, the EHC coordinator will make changes where possible but if not, the parents have rights to mediation and tribunal. School cannot contest the EHC contents once parents have agreed and should not encourage or ask parents to instigate a tribunal on their behalf. The Local Authority will consider the parents preference for school along with local qualifying school and consider representations made by the school before naming it on a plan.
Annual reviews are carried out yearly and focus on the child or young person’s progress towards achieving the outcomes specified in the EHC Plan.
The review MUST also consider whether the outcomes and supporting targets remain appropriate.
- Gather and assess information so that it can be used by Early Years settings, schools, colleges or other providers to support the child/young person’s progress and their access to teaching and learning
- Review the special educational provision made for the child or young person and its effectiveness in ensuring access to teaching and learning and good progress
- Review the health and social care provision made for the child or young person and its effectiveness in ensuring good progress towards the outcomes
- Consider the continuing appropriateness of the EHC Plan in the light of the child or young person’s progress during the previous year or changed circumstances and whether changes are required including changes to outcomes, enhanced provision, changes of educational placement, or whether the EHC Plan should be ceased to maintained
- Review any short-term steps to achieve targets set by the Early Years provider, school, college or other setting
- Set new steps to achieve and the provision required.
It is the educational establishment’s responsibility to facilitate the Annual Review. It is important that:
- Dates for reviews are planned well in advance and it is recommended that the process of gathering information should start at least 6 weeks before the date of the review.
- Sufficient time will be allowed to complete the review meeting
- The review meeting MUST be completed at least 4 weeks prior to the anniversary of the issue of a plan.
- If the child is under 5 years old the reviews should be held every 6 month.
Annual Review Paperwork
The EHC Team have listened to feedback regarding the existing Annual Review paperwork and recognise that it was too dense and no longer coherent to the new, ‘white’ plans. We have therefore worked with our team of Inclusion SENCOs to redesign the paperwork, which is the Annual Review Section 1 and Annual Review Section 2 , please see links.
Personal Budgets for children and young people with an EHC plan
A personal budget is an amount of money we believe will deliver elements of the provision agreed within an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.
There are a number of ways in which a Personal Budget can be managed. These include:-
- By you as the child’s parents
- By the LA, school or college
- By a third party
- A combination of all the above
Please note that you do not have to have a personal budget and you or your child will not be disadvantaged by not having a personal budget.
Personal budgets can be requested when agreeing the EHC plan or at any statutory review meeting of an existing EHC plan.
If you choose to request a personal budget the level of the budget and the provision it will fund will be agreed with you. The outcomes the Personal Budget is expected to support your child to achieve will also be agreed with you. You will be given an idea of the level of funding that is likely to be required to meet the provision stated in the draft EHC plan.
Personal budgets can be used to fund elements of special educational, health and care provision.
A personal budget may be used for the following provision:-
Special Educational Provision. Please contact the SEN Team on 01226 773966 for further information.
Personal health budget - Continuing Health Care Criteria is applied to determine eligibility for a personalised health budget. The decision support tool (DST) will help with this assessment. For more information please contact an appropriate health officer e.g. health visitor, school nurse, designated clinical officer etc.
Short Breaks – the criteria is based on short breaks eligibility criteria. Please contact your social worker or the Disabled Children’s Team on 01226 774050 for further information.
Following a request for a personal budget based on the EHC plan, the final amouny of funding and the provision to be funded will be made by one of our multi-agency Panels.
The members of the panel include education, health and social care representatives and one of our joint commissioners (who commissions services for children and young people with SEN and disabilities).
The criteria for agreeing the special educational provision element of Personal Budgets are being reviewed and will be published once the review is complete.
The EHC Team
The EHC Team keeps children, young people and their families at the centre of everything we do. We believe in genuine coproduction which allows families to take the lead and design their own EHC process that fits with their individual circumstances and supports in achieving the best outcomes. We treat everyone as individuals and listen to what’s important for them and to them. We look to child led aspirations and family future planning to understand how we can support children and young people to achieve their goals.
We understand the confusion and complexity surrounding SEND and EHC. We believe in a ‘share it once’ policy and aim to reduce bureaucracy to share information sensitively and effectively. We coordinate the crucial information from families and other professionals to support the child or young person.
Transparency and fairness of the service is crucial to us. We have adapted all our process so that schools, families and other service users understand the steps we’re taking and why we’re taking them. By being transparent and fair we aim that everyone involved with the EHC Service receives an equitable service no matter where you are based or who you are dealing with. Our processes are redesigned to be robust so that everyone can understand the decision or outcomes and why it was made.
Who We Are
The EHC Service works within two age phases split across three geographical regions based on a young person’s home postcode, not educational setting.
Phase 1 supports children and their families from 0 to 14 years; phase 2 supports young people and their families from 14 to 25 years.
- Phase 1 is for children aged from 0 to 14 years. This includes planning for starting school and key transitions between EYFS, key stage 1 and into secondary planning for key stage 3.
- From the year 8 Annual Review, the child is passed on to the phase 2 coordinators who work from 14 – 25 years. This allows for focused discussions around preparation for adulthood and long-term outcome planning.
Each CYP has a dedicated phased EHC coordinator who will act as a guide throughout the EHC processes and support the family to achieve best outcomes. However you can contact any member of the EHC Service for support.
If your child has a statement of special educational needs or an EHCP the authority has a particular responsibility to ensure the support set out in the statement or plan is being provided. We will investigate your complaint and review the provision and support in place for your child, and particularly whether or not it reflects what is in your child’s statement or education, health and care plan.
1: The first step is to talk to the school’s or setting’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO)
2: If you feel your concern or complaint has not been resolved you can then follow the school’s formal complaints procedure. You will usually have to put your complaint in writing to the school. If you are not happy with how the head teacher or staff at the school have dealt with your complaint, the next step will be to take your complaint to the governors of the school, or to the trust of the school where the school is an academy. The specific steps of the complaints process for your child’s school will be set out in the school’s own complaints policy, which you should be able to find on the school website. All schools are required to have a complaints procedure.
For more detailed information 'Complaints about schools'. Click on the link below:
If you have followed the school’s complaints procedure and you are still concerned about the SEN support your child is getting, you can complain to the local authority.
Click on the link below. The link will take you directly to the Compliments, Complaints and suggestions online form:
When the local authority receives a complaint about SEN support the next steps will depend on whether or not your child has a statement of special educational needs / Education, Health and Care Plan.
You can appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal if you disagree with a decision your local authority has made about an education, health and care (EHC) plan.
There is a set process to follow. You can find out about it by clicking here.
If you have any further questions about the EHC process you can contact the team directly on 01226 773966
If you prefer you can look online at EHCP Journeys
This website shows the EHC process from the perspective of families, You can find out what parents experience at each step: identifying, assessing, planning, actioning and reviewing.