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Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP's)
What is an EHCP?
What are EHCP's?
An EHCP is a legal document which describes the special needs and disabilities (SEND) of a young person (from 0 – 25) as well as what help they need in an educational setting to help them make progress and learn. They are for young people who have complex additional or special needs (SEND)and need more help in an educational setting than most children or young people.
These special educational needs may have been identified by the educational setting or other professionals working with the child or young person. EHCP’s are for children and young people who are of compulsory school age and are in an educational setting, up to higher education level (EHCP’s do not apply to young people at university, they have their own support systems in place).
An educational setting can include a school, a maintained nursery or college
Most children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities are supported successfully by the school without the need for additional support – please see SEN Support. However, for some children and young people more support is needed and this is where an EHCP comes in.
Educational settings are responsible for providing support for children with SEND, if the educational setting has gradually increased the amount of support being put in place and carrying out regular reviews to see if progress is being made and can demonstrate that further support is needed – this is called the graduated approach, more information about this can be found in the SEN Support page (opens in a new window) then they, or you can apply for an EHCP.
What is in an EHCP?
An EHCP Contains a number of sections (A - K) , they are designed to make sure that any additional support or provision provided is linked back to the young person's aspirations, taking into account their special needs and specific yearly and longer-term outcomes.
This image might help to explain it:
For example here the young person wants to be an astronaut (aspirations or goals) but they find reading difficult, which you need to be able to do to be an astronaut (needs), so they will be provided with 3 hours literacy support in a small group each week (provision) which will help them to meet the outcome of being able to reading at national average levels at the end of year 6. This can be linked back to wanting to be an astronaut.
This type of approach is called Person Centred Planning, which basically means that the EHCP is a plan that is focused on the young person it is about and needs to think about what that young person actually wants.
This video can help to explain how this works.
This section is all about the views of the young person and the parent/carer. This is quite a long section and has a lot of questions about the young person, including their aspirations. This is also where parents and carers can express their thoughts and tell the young person's story. It is really important to take time to complete this whole section fully.
This is the part where the special educational needs of the young person are described in detail. The information for this section comes from that the reports that that various professionals have written as part of the EHC assessment. This is split up into the following parts:
- A summary of my needs – This is an overview of the young person and includes areas of strength and areas of need but does not go into too much detail.
- Cognition & Learning – for example, where children and young people learn at a slower pace than others their age, have difficulty in understanding parts of the curriculum, have difficulties with organisation and memory skills, or have a specific difficulty affecting one particular part of their learning performance such as in literacy or numeracy.
- Communication and interaction – for example, where children and young people have speech, language and communication difficulties which make it difficult for them to make sense of language or to understand how to communicate effectively and appropriately with others.
- Social, emotional and mental health difficulties – for example, where children and young people have difficulty in managing their relationships with other people, are withdrawn, or if they behave in ways that may hinder their and other children’s learning, or that have an impact on their health and wellbeing.
- Sensory and/or physical needs – for example, children and young people with visual and/or hearing impairments, or a physical need that means they must have additional ongoing support and equipment.
This part contains information about any health needs identified through the EHC assessment which are related to the child or young person's SEN. Some health care needs, such as routine dental health needs, are unlikely to be related.
This part contains information about any social care needs identified through the EHC assessment which relate to the child or young person's SEN or which require provision for a child or young person under 18 under section 2 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970. This will only be completed when social care are involved with the young person.
This section contains the long term outcomes, these are outcomes usually recommended by whoever has been involved in the EHC assessment (such as EP, speech and language therapists etc). They have to be linked to the child or young person's aspirations. It is important that all involved agree on these outcomes.
This part contains all the provision or additional support the child or young person requires in order to meet the agreed outcomes. It will detail exactly what needs to happen, who will do it, how often it will happen and for how long.
This part contains all the provision related to the child or young person's SEN that are being provided by health professionals.
This is where the provision related to the child or young person's SEN that are being provided by Social Care. H1 is for provision which is for any provision child or young person under 18 under section 2 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970. H2 is for any other social care provision. This will only be completed when social care are involved with the young person.
This is where the educational setting where the child or young person is attending is named.
This is where any information about personal budgets or direct payments (see page about personal budgets)
This is split into K1, K2 and K3. It contains information about person details, which professionals from education, health and social care are agreeing to the plan and information about all the documents which have been used to created the EHCP.
What if you don't agree?
The council work hard to include young people's & parents/carers ideas and views in a plan and give opportunities for changes to be made. When a new or Amended EHCP is produced, an opportunity is always provided to consider changes. The LA will send out a Draft EHCP (for new assessments) or a Proposed Amended (for existing EHCP's). This is your opportunity to comment on what is in the plan and suggest changes.
If once an EHCP is written (or finalised) and you or the young people when over 16 if they want to make that decision alone, don't agree, you can appeal about what it says in an EHCP.
The initial step that parents/cares or young people can go through is a process called mediation. This is a carefully managed conversation with parents/carers, the council and other professionals to discuss the disagreement and try to resolve it. This is run by another professional called a mediator who helps to keep the conversation on track.
If you are still not happy with the decision made at mediation, then an appeal can be made to the tribunal. This is more formal process where the disagreement is presented to a tribunal judge to make a decision, however the council will work hard to reach an agreement before it gets to the point of needing the judge to make a decision.
Details of how to raise an appeal will be contained in the letter that the LA sends out with the Final EHCP.
More information about appeals and tribunals can be found in the SEND Tribunal Single Route of Redress National Trial document (opens PDF in new window)
For places that can offer support and advice, please go to “Independent Support and Advice” (opens in a new window).