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Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) information questions and answers...

An Education Health and Care (EHC) plan is a legal document that describes a child or young person's special educational, health and social care needs.

It explains the extra help that will be given to meet those needs and how that help will support the child or young person to achieve what they want to in their life. An EHC plan is drawn up by a local authority after an EHC needs assessment.

The Council for Disabled Children have made this video that explains more...

 

These plans replace the previous system where support was described in a statement of special educational needs.

The government has made it clear that they expect more or less the same children to get EHC Plans as got Statements of SEN under the old system. The legal test for whether you need an EHCP is the same as it was for a Statement of SEN.

Edward Timpson served as Minister of State for Vulnerable Children and Families at the Department for Education from July 2016 until June 2017. Robert Goodwill was appointed Minister of State at the Department for Education on 12 June 2017.

Minister Edward Timpson’s letter and YouTube video for parents explaining a bit more.

An EHC plan can be issued to a child or young person between the ages of 0 and 25 years although this will not be the case for all young people with SEND.

All local authorities are required to publish their arrangements for transfering statements and learning difficulty assessments over to education health and care plans.

SEND Local Transition Plan Arrangements for Transfer of Statements of Special Educational Needs (SSEN) and Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDA) to Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP)

On this page you can also find some frequently asked questions and answers.

You can find useful factsheets and documents in the download section of this page that will help you understand more about the EHC process and help you think about how to have your child or young person's views and opinions included in throughout their plan.

Page last updated 13/07/17

What is an Education, Health and Care plan?

An EHC plan is a legal document that describes a child or young person's special educational, health and social care needs. It explains the extra help that will be given to meet those needs and how that help will support the child or young person to achieve what they want to in their life.

It should:

  • State the views, interests and aspirations (wishes) of the parents and child or young person
  • Describe the child or young person’s special educational needs and any health and social care needs
  • Specify the provision required to meet those needs
  • State how services will work together to meet the child or young person’s needs and support the achievement of the agreed outcomes that have been agreed together.
  • The plan should have short, medium and long term outcomes.

What does an Education Health and Care Plan look like?

You can find Hackney's EHC plan template in the download section of this page.

If you are a professional working with a family, child or young person and you feel an application for an EHC plan is needed you can find further guidance and forms on the following page.

Parents and carers may view this information too if they wish...

Resources page for SENCOs, SEND professionals and others

You will be given the EHC plan paperwork if your application / request is accepted.

The way an EHC plan looks is decided locally.

Hackney's EHC planning team have worked with parents and reviewed the origional Hackney Plan Template. Changes have been made in reponse to parents views. 

Hackney now has 2 versions of an EHC plan.

  •  0 - 13 year old's template 
  • 14 - 19+ year old's template 

The 13 sections that must be in a plan are below. Each section relates to specific information from specific services or people. Parents and young people fill out section A and can add to section K but are involved throughout.  

A: The views, interests and aspirations (wishes) of your child.
B: Special educational needs (SEN).
C: Health needs related to SEN.
D: Social care needs related to SEN.
E: Outcomes (goals) - how the extra help will benefit your child
F: Special educational provision (support).
G: Health provision.
H: Social care provision. (H1 and H2)
I: Placement - type and name of school or other institution.
J: Personal budget arrangements.
K: Advice and information - a list of the information gathered during the EHC needs assessment.  


You can see a completed example of a Hackney EHC plan in the download section on this page. 


Good News Story about Hackney's EHC Plans

Hackney have taken part in a peer review of the local EHC Plan as part of the SEND Region Group for London.

Hackney received some really good feedback about the plan layout, content and quality. This is what other London areas said they liked:

  • Hackney's EHC plan is really child centred and gives clear person centred information from the child, parents and other professionals perspectives for part A and the use of photos and pictures of the child’s interests and likes supports this. 
  • the use of part B for strengths as well as needs that were bullet pointed made them really clear.


Overall the Hackney EHC Plan appeared to be the best example of a family friendly EHC Plan.

The London pathfinder website will share Local Authority examples for everyone to share good practice across areas on the London wiki website.

Who can get an EHC plan?

Most children and young people with special educational needs/disability (SEND) will not need an EHC plan.

SEN support at their nursery, school or college will provide the extra help they need.

A small number of children or young people need more support than is normally available in mainstream settings.

These people may need an EHC plan:

  • Children who despite support are still making significantly less than expected progress at school and it is thought the cause could be SEND.  
  • Young people aged 19 - 25 who because of SEND need more time to finish their education or training.
  • A child or young people who has acquired SEND through illness or accident or has an existing condition that requires increasing support as they get older.

When they consider whether an EHC needs assessment is necessary, the local authority considers whether relevant and purposeful action to identify, assess and meet the SEN of the child or young person has already been taken.

The local authority will consider information and evidence that shows:

  • The child or young person’s academic attainment / developmental milestones / rate of progress is less than expected.   
  • The nature of the child/young person’s difficulties
  • How significant these difficulties are,
  • Actions already taken to support the child or young person.
  • That progress has only been made as the result of additional intervention and support over and above that which is usually provided for other children/young people of a similar age.

If you are a professional working with a family, child or young person and you feel an application for an EHC plan is required you can find guidance and forms for professionals on the following page...

Resources page for SENCOs and other SEND professionals

How can I request an EHC plan?

You can make a request by filling out one of the forms in downloads section of this page.  I

t is a good idea to include existing reports and evidence or examples that support your concerns and reason for the request.

These should also include your opinions and observations and those of your child which can be added to as the process continues.  

Templates can be found in the download section and on the following page...

Resources page for SENCOs and other SEND professionals


The following people have the right to ask a local authority to conduct an education, health and care needs assessment:

  • A child or young person’s parent
  • A young person aged 16 - 24
  • A person acting on behalf of a school or post-16 institution (with the knowledge and agreement of the parent or young person where possible)

What can I do next?

Download the form from from this page, fill it in and send it back to the Education, Health and Care Planning Team.  

Find other helpful advice and documents in the download section of this or Resources page for SENCOs, SEND professionals and others

What happens once my request is received?

You will need to give specific information on what is important and helpful to your child.

See...

Person Centred Planning

Resources page for SENCOs and other SEND professionals

There are three times throughout the process where the request will go to a panel who will review the information and decide if it should proceed to the next stage.

Education Health and Care 20 week assessment process

Stage One: weeks 0-6

  • An assessment request is received by HLT with any existing evidence.
  • The request and evidence are considered by a SEN panel and matched to eligibility criteria.
  • A decision is reached about whether to assess or not.
  • Parents or Young person informed of decision by SEN team.

NO means there is a right of appeal. See mediation appeals. YES proceed to stage two.

Stage Two: weeks 7-16

  • SEN team seek further advice from professionals
  • Family Child or Young person are helped to discuss and prepare their views, wishes and feelings and section A and B of the plan explained.
  • Using all the information gathered a working draft plan is produced and shared and developed at a multi-agency meeting with parents and child or young person.
  • Draft produced and sent for comment.
  • SEN Panel review all information gathered so far and agree whether a plan is appropriate.
  • Parents or Young person informed of decision by SEN team.

NO then right of appeal exists. See mediation and appeals. Yes proceed to stage Three

Stage Three: weeks 16-20

  • Parents name preferred nursery, education or skills setting who are then consulted.
  • Personal Budgets discussed if appropriate.
  • Final Plan issued
  • Support put in place if happy.

You have a right of appeal within two months if you are not not happy with a decision of the final plan.

Find out more: 

What is Mediation?

What is a Tribunal?

Who can help me with requesting an EHC plan?

There are a range of people who can help you with an EHC plan request.

Some people may also be able to have support from a keyworker at their child's school or setting.

Hackney SENDIAGS (SEND Information, Advice and Guidance Service) have lots of useful guides, factsheets and leaflets available from the highlighted link above.

Or contact: Education, Health and Care Planning Team 

What happens if I don’t get an Education Health and Care Plan?

It is important to realise that a no to and EHC plan is not a no to support.

Schools have a range of funding and support available for students that can start at minimal help and increase to fairly intense.

See also...

SEN Support 

What does the Local Authority expect schools to do.

Most children and young people have their needs met within local mainstream settings and do not have an EHC plan.

The reason the local authority didn’t feel an EHC plan was necessary should be clearly stated in writing. You must request this if they have not provided you with a letter as you cannot proceed to mediation and tribunal without a decision letter. 

The first point it could be a NO is at the 6 week assessment stage.

The second possible NO is at the 16 week stage.

After an assessment has taken place, copies of any assessment reports should be sent to you as these may help you and the school understand and meet your child or young person's needs more effectively.

You have a right of appeal if you disagree with the reason this decision was made.

Mediation must be consider by you as part of the changes to the law. 

Mediation in Hackney is provided by KIDS.

A certificate will be issued to evidence you have considered this and a mediation session can be arranged to try to reach an agreement.

If you decide mediation is not for you, you can proceed to SEND tribunal to have the decision reviewed at a higher level but in order to do this you will need a mediation certificate which will be issued by the mediation service after they have spoken to you.

EHC Plan transfers from Statements and Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDA)

Local authorities have been given a few years to gradually transfer Statements of SEN to EHC plans. This should be completed by 2018.

Hackney Learning Trust's Education Health and Care Plan Team will contact you the time stated for transfer in the transfer timetable. 

SEND Local Transition Plan Arrangements for Transfer of Statements of Special Educational Needs (SSEN) and Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDA) to Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP)

Young people with LDA’s will be prioritised (but must request a transfer) as they have greater protections from an EHC plan.  They may be eligible as they may need longer than others to complete their education or training because of their identified needs.

This is a good guide to help young people and their parents prepare for transition reviews and EHC plan review meetings....

Preparing for Adulthood supportive planning tool

The government has made it clear that they expect more or less the same children to get EHC Plans as got Statements under the old system. The legal test for whether you need an EHCP is the same as it was for a Statement. 

  • The transfer process begins with a transition review a bit like an annual review
  • The 20 week assessment may be more straightforward because of the existing advice and information from the Statement or LDA.
  • New professional advice and information should be sought if the existing information is more than 18 months old.

If you would like to request an Education Health and Care Plan assessment you can download the forms from this page.

You can get help with transfers and transfer requests is from Independent Supporters and others.

If you are turned down for a transfer and are not happy you can appeal the decision.

See below for articles telling you more about this process...

What is mediation?

    What is a tribunal?

    Templates, guides and documents available to download....

    Hackney templates, guides and information available in the download section of this page:

    • Hackney Learning Trust EHC plan - completed example - South Team
    • Hackney Learning Trust - EHCP team -Information for parents and carers about
    • Hackney Learning Trust - EHCP team - Transfer Reviews - guidance for parents and carers
    • Hackney EHC needs assessment - Parental request form
    • Hackney EHC needs assessment – Young Person’s request form
    • Hackney SEND Local Transition Plan Arrangements for Transfer of Statements of Special Educational Needs (SSEN)
    • and Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDA) to Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP)
    • Hackney Learning Trust - Education Health and Care assessments - Guidance Criteria
    • Hackney EHC needs assessment – Professionals request form 2016 / 2017
    • EHC assessment and timeline flow chart
    • Hackney EHC Plan template 0-13
    • Hackney EHC Plan  template 14-19 plus Preparing for Adulthood  

     


    Council for Disabled Children information:

    • Council for Disabled Children - factsheet # 4 - The EHC assessment
    • Council for Disabled Children - factsheet # 5 - The EHC Plan
    • Council for Disabled Children - factsheet # 15 - SEN Support Early Years
    • Council for Disabled Children - factsheet # 16 - SEN Support Schools
    • Council for Disabled Children - template letter - request for an EHC needs assessment
    • Council for Disabled Children - EHC Plans examples of good practice

     


    National information:

    • Cerebra - EHCP toolkit for parents, carers and young people – 2016

    Further useful information...

    Support for families experiencing domestic violence...

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