An Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is for children and young people 0 - 25 who need more help than is normally available through special educational needs support (SEN Support) in an education or training setting.
Find out about requesting an EHCP, the assessment process and resolving disagreements.
Nurseries, schools and colleges should identify and support children and young people with SEN and/or disabilities.
Children and young people in mainstream settings may be supported from within the school or other setting’s own resources. This means they receive special educational provision (additional help or support) but they do not have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This additional support is called SEN Support.
If your child is receiving SEN support, the school should draw up an SEN support plan, involving you and your child, focusing on the outcomes your child needs and wants to achieve and detailing how the school will help them to achieve these.
The SEND Code of Practice says that schools should use a 'graduated approach', or four-part cycle (Assess, Plan, Do and, Review) to support your child with SEN. This means that the SENCO and teaching staff should:
Analyse your child's difficulties.
Identify the extra support your child needs. The school can ask specialist support services, for example, educational psychology (EP), or speech and language therapy (SALT) to carry out assessments and provide support if necessary.
Put the support in place.
Regularly check how well it is working so that they can change the amount or kind of support if they need to.
Where, despite the educational setting having taken action to identify and meet the child or young person's needs, the child or young person is still not making expected progress, the educational setting should consider requesting an Education, Health and Care needs assessment. If the educational setting can show that the child or young person has or may have SEN, and that they may need support through an EHC plan (because the school cannot provide the support they need), the local authority (LA) must agree to carry out an EHC needs assessment. (The parents/carers or young person are also entitled to make such a request.)
EHCP is a legal binding document that identifies educational, health and social care needs and sets out the additional support to meet those needs.
An EHCP can only be issued after a child or young person has gone through the process of an EHC needs assessment.
It’s prepared in partnership with parents/carers and young people, professionals working across education, health and social care specialist services.
The special educational provision described in an EHC plan must be provided by the child or young person’s local authority (“LA”). This means an EHC plan can give a child or young person extra educational support. It can also give parents and young people more choice about which school or other setting the child or young person can attend. The EHCP is reviewed annually.
EHCPs are focused on:
Helping children and young people into school and through school
Preparing young people for adulthood
A local authority must conduct an assessment of education, health and care needs when it considers that it may be necessary for special educational provision to be made for the child or young person in accordance with an EHC plan.
You can ask Southwark Council to carry out an assessment if you think your child needs an EHC plan.
A young person can request an assessment themselves if they’re aged 16 to 25.
A request can also be made by anyone else who thinks an assessment may be necessary, including doctors, health visitors, social workers and schools.
The Local Authority will tell you in writing within 6 weeks of making the request if the evidence suggests that an EHC assessment is necessary.
When conducting an EHC needs assessment, the LA must seek advice from a range of people across education, health and social care. This may include the educational setting, Educational Psychologist, CAMHS and/or Social Worker. This may mean an appointment is arranged for your child/young person to be seen by a professional who will conduct an assessment and write a report for the Local Authority outlining your child's/young persons needs and providing recommendations for support.
The Local Authority must decide whether it is necessary to issue an EHC plan for the child or young person based on the evidence it has gathered as part of the EHC needs assessment.
You can get help with this from the SIAS team by dropping in to see us, emailing or calling.