What is an EHCP?

EHCP stands for Education, Health and Care Plan.

An EHCP is usually issued for those CYP who have the most complex needs and require different agencies to work together to achieve the targets for the CYP.

 The EHCP is a document that details a CYP's strengths and difficulties and, crucially, details the support that Education, Health and Care providers MUST give to the child.  It is a legal document which means that it is maintained by the Local Authority and Education, Health and Care must have due regard to it when planning provision.

An EHCP is required for all admissions to specialist settings although most CYP with an EHCP can have their needs met in a mainstream setting. 

What is the process to obtain an EHCP?

There are two ways to obtain an EHCP: parents can request an assessment from the LA themselves or, more usually, the school applies with the full knowledge and permission of the parent. 

To apply, the school must fill in a form that asks for an EHCP assessment.  The form is extremely detailed and needs to be supplemented by the school's evidence of the graduated approach.  It also includes attainment, progress and attendance data as well as any outside agency reports.  Best practice is that this is completed with the parents / carers and the CYP (if appropriate). 

Once the LA have received this form, they have six weeks to decide whether the CYP needs an assessment for an EHCP. 

If the decision is that the CYP does need an assessment, an educational psychologist will come and meet the child to assess their strengths and difficulties.  The educational psychologist will also meet the parents / carers.

If the assessment shows that an EHCP is required, a DRAFT plan will be issued within 20 weeks from the first application.  The draft is checked by all parties and, when finally agreed, the EHCP is issued. 

An EHCP comes with funding to ensure that school can finance the provision detailed.  This is known as banding; the most complex needs will require a higher band, therefore more funding. Funding is a complicated area. If you wish to know more about funding, please ask the SENDCo, headteacher or the School Improvement Lead for Inclusion.

What happens when an EHCP has been issued?

Once an EHCP has been issued, Education, Health and Care must provide what is detailed in the plan. 

The EHCP contains long term targets and these will be worked towards using smaller steps and detailing the progress using an individual education / support plan. 

At least annually, the EHCP needs to be reviewed.  This is known as the Annual Review or ASR / AR.  All parties involved with the education, health and care of the CYP meet with the CYP and go through what has worked well, what needs further work and any changes to the EHCP that are required, including whether it is still needed.  Some CYP will have made so much progress that the best course of action is for the EHCP to cease. The CYP is ALWAYS the centre of these conversations, even if not physically present. 

During the ASR, discussion can be held about the setting type and whether it remains appropriate.  Most CYP with an EHCP are able to thrive in a mainstream setting, however, the parent / carer / CYP has the right to request a placement at a specialist setting if they think that this is the most appropriate place for the needs of the CYP. 

I work with a CYP with an EHCP, what should I do?

All teachers / leaders / teaching assistants are teachers of SEND.  

The MOST beneficial thing that you can do is to get to know the CYP and build a relationship with them.