Educational Health Care Plan – EHCP
Some children need more help at school. These can be due to a variety of reasons – educational, emotional, health and behavioural.
Obtaining an EHCP can seem like a long process, and even after all the assessments, local authorities can say a child does not need an EHCP.
Here’s an over view of the process.
The Statutory Assessment Process
Once you or the school have asked for a statutory assessment, the LEA must decide within six weeks whether or not to carry it out. They will consult you, the school and other health professionals before making their decision.
The LEA will write to say whether they are going to carry out an assessment and if so, they will:
say how they will carry it out and the timescales;
give you the name of a contact at the LEA ; and
ask you to give your reasons and provide evidence for why your child should be assessed. (You have at least 29 days to do this.)
If the LEA refuse to do an assessment, they should tell you:
why not; and
how your child’s needs can be otherwise met.
If this is case, talk to the school about extra help that could be arranged without an assessment.
Or you can appeal against the LEA’s decision through the Special Educational Needs Tribunal.
You can also contact the Special Educational Needs and Disability Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) for independent advice and support. (We provide contact details at the end of this information sheet.)
The LEA assessment
If the LEA agree to do the assessment, they will ask various people to give their views on your child. They usually ask for advice from:
your child’s school;
an educational psychologist;
social services (if they know your child); and
anyone else they think is appropriate.
You will also be asked for your views, and they may also talk to your child.
You can also suggest any other groups or professionals you know may be helpful, for example, your child’s cardiac liaison nurse or a dyslexia expert.
A statement of SEN
Once they have done the assessment, the LEA will decide whether or not to make a statement of SEN within 12 weeks.
If they decide not to make a statement, the LEA will explain how they think your child’s needs should be met. If you disagree with the LEA’s decision, you can appeal to the Special Education Needs Tribunal, or use the disagreement resolution service.
How the statement is put into practice
At first, the LEA will send a draft statement describing your child’s needs and the measures needed to tackle them. It is important to check if the statement:
lists all of your child’s needs and difficulties;
lists everything your child needs;
gives details of any special equipment your child needs; and
is easily understood.
If you are unhappy with anything written in the statement, you should speak to your named contact at the LEA as soon as possible.
You can also get advice from the Special Educational Needs & Disability Information, Advice and Support Service – SENDIASS, IPSEA (see contact details at the end), or appeal to the SEN Tribunal.
The LEA will review your child’s EHCP annually, checking your child’s progress and making sure the EHC Plan continues to meet their needs. If your child is 0-5 years, the EHCP will be reviewed every six months.
Building a partnership with the school
Forming a strong partnership with the school is central to getting the right support for your child. By creating a close relationship with the school, you can work together to help them plan appropriate support or other activities for your child.
It is important to give the school as much information about your child’s heart condition as possible. You can also ask your child’s cardiac liaison nurse (CLN) to speak to the school. CLNs are trained to advise teachers on meeting your child’s needs and are also normally able to reassure them about any concerns they have.
For support with getting a statement, you may want to ask the head teacher or other relevant professionals to write a letter that supports your application. You can also get advice from IPSEA (Independent Panel for Special Education Advice) on 0800 0184016.
Moving up to secondary school
Your child’s primary school will send any documents related to your child’s special educational needs, including their EHC Plan, if they have one, to the secondary school directly.