What is an EHCP?
An EHCP (Education and Health Care Plan) enables a child to take priority for admission to a mainstream school over other applicants, and it allows that child to be considered for schools where you are out of catchment or even in another borough. It can provide for additional funding from the local authority to support the child’s needs, beyond that which a school must supply out of its own budget. It is usually vital to have an EHCP to gain entry to a special school.
Who needs an EHCP?
An EHCP covers a child up to the age of 25. It ensures support at a college of Further Education, or a specialist placement at a further Education College. However, it does not cover universities.
“Getting an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP) for your child is not a quick process or indeed a straightforward one. It involves following a specific set of legal procedures and tests and putting together evidence from educational, medical, social care and other professionals to develop a picture of your child and the help they require.”https://senexperts.co.uk/
The application process for an EHCP is more in depth than an IEP and would require an assessment by the local authority. Either the school can apply for this or you can as a parent. You will need proof of your child’s needs from as many professional involved in your child’s education and health care needs as possible. The IEP could form part of this evidence package required by the Local Authority. However, the Local Authority could turn the request down as it is seen that your child is already receiving support through the IEP.
What information is in an EHCP?
There is no set format to how the EHCP is set out. The appearance of the document will differ from one local education authority to another. However, it must contain the following sections labelled A-K:
A Views of both the child and the parents this could include your child’s interests and how they feel they are getting on at school, as well as parental views on your child’s academic, social and emotional progress and any aspirations you have for their future. This is particularly important once your child approached 16 years old and transitions into further education. This may be at your child’s school or another educational setting.
B Special Educational Needs, such as cognition and learning, communication and interaction, sensory and /or physical needs, social emotional and mental health difficulties, health needs, social care needs (if applicable).
C Health Needs (such as vision, speech and language, fine and gross developmental delay, G tube fed, medications)
D Social Care Needs (if applicable)
E Special Educational Needs Outcomes This is what the local authority expects/hopes the child will achieve and by when (e.g., end of a key stage of phase transfer to a different school or college.)
F Special Educational Provision (this will be what objectives are to be met, the provisions (support)to be provided to meet those objectives and who will provide the provisions as well as how these needs and objectives will be monitored.
G Health Provision (e.g. include any medical diagnosis and what needs your child has. G-tube feeds, medication, AFO (ankle-foot orthoses), hand splints and specialist footwear. If a wheelchair user, then need trained members of staff to ensure the safe hoisting and transition between specialist equipment such as wheelchair and standing frame. As well as to and from the floor)
H Social Care Provision
I Placement A school or college will need to be named on the EHCP.
J Personal Budget provides flexibility in the usage and arrangement of any direct payments for education, health and social care