Before an Annual review meeting of an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
Information taken from the Special Educational needs and disability code of practice 0-25 years, January 2015 (SENDCoP) and the SEND regulations 2014
Once an EHCP has been finalised it should be used to actively monitor children and young people’s progress towards their outcomes and aspirations.
It is the Local Authorities (LA) duty to review an EHCP, the LA can require some types of educational provision to arrange and hold a review, these include:
- LA Maintained nurseries and schools
- Academies, Free Schools including those delivering alternative provision.
- Pupil Referral Units (Short Stay Schools)
- Non-maintained special schools and those approved by the Department of Education, called the section 41 list.
The plan must be reviewed within a year from the date of the first final EHCP and thereafter within 12 months from the last review.
For children aged 0 to 5 the LA should consider reviewing at least every 3 to 6 months.
Before the review meeting children, young people and parents will be asked their views about your child/young person’s education. This is your opportunity to record any concerns you may have and discuss what has gone well. Also to make comments about the EHCP and future outcomes and anything which has changed since the last review or final plan.
The summer edition of our newsletter will look at the Review Meeting. For information now please go to our website and read the booklet, Reviewing an EHCP, you can also contact us by phone or email for further information and advice.
Reading through an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
We hear of many parents/carers who are so relieved to have a draft EHCP for their child or young person (yp) that they agree to the content without having had a thorough read. An EHCP is a legal document, and it is important that it is correct and describes your child/yp clearly. It must describe what the ‘needs’ of your child/yp are, what provision they need, and what the agreed outcomes are for your child/yp.
Each local authority can develop their own layout for their EHCP - but legally they must contain a number of separate sections. For further information, read our EHCP booklet available on our website. You can also find IPSEA’s EHCP Check List at www.ipsea.org.uk.
When you receive the draft EHCP it will not name a school in Section I. This is because an EHCP must be written about the child/yp’s needs and not written to meet the needs of the school/setting.
All special educational needs (SEN), provision and outcomes must be specified in an EHCP. The use of vague words should be avoided such as “regular”, “access to” or “opportunities for”. This means it should be clear who has to do what, when and how often (it will not name a specific person but should state the job role, training needed etc.).
Going through the reports:
With the draft EHCP you will have received all the reports/evidence collected during the assessment. We recommend that you photocopy your EHCP and the reports single sided and then go through each report with two highlighter pens.
In one colour highlight all your child/yp’s special educational needs – ‘needs’ are the difficulties that your child has – not their diagnosis, but how the diagnosis affects their education;
An example of a need: Pupil X has ADHD (diagnosis), - Pupil X finds it hard to stay focused in a noisy, busy classroom, and is easily distracted (special educational need).
Then go through all the reports again, in another colour pen, highlight all the provision that the professionals have identified they need (the support that is needed to support the SEN);
An Example of provision: Pupil X needs to have a separate desk with a screen to minimise the classroom distraction. He will have a high level of classroom support to prompt him to stay on task.
Going through the EHCP
Once you have gone through all the reports, repeat this process with the ECHP.
- All the ‘special educational needs’ that you have highlighted in the professional reports/evidence will need to be written into Section B.
- All the SEN provision that you have highlighted in the professional reports/evidence will need to be written into Section F.
- Health Care needs will need to be written into Section C.
- Health Care provision will need to be written into Section G
- Social care needs will need to be written into sections D
- Social care provision will need to be written into section H1 and H2
- Any needs and provision that trains or educates your child or young person are educational needs and provisions, and must be in section B and F as above e.g. Speech & Language Needs and Therapy would normally be considered educational needs and provision.
The needs (sections B,C and D) and the provisions (section F, G and H) and the outcomes (section E) should lead to the type of educational setting named in section I (placement).
If you are not happy with the content of the EHCP please contact your EHCP Co-ordinator and/or you can contact us to discuss.
This is not an easy process and if you would like support checking your EHCP then call us on 01603 704070
Norfolk SEND Partnership Update
We have had a busy start to the year and are happy to have recruited 2 new members to our team. We have our Tribunal Workshop coming upon 28th February,please see front page for more details. We are coming to the end of our latest Independent Partnership Supporter volunteer training (IPS) and welcome the successful cohort to our service. For more information please contact us on 01603 704070.
First Tier SEND Tribunal update:
Robert Goodwill MP Minister of State for Children and Families has announced that the First Tier Tribunal (SEND tribunal) will be starting a new national two year trial in March 2018. This trial will expand the powers of the SEND Tribunal to enable it to make non-binding recommendations on the health and social care aspects of Education, Health and Care (EHCP) alongside the binding decisions on the educational aspects.
In a previous trial (the SEND Tribunal ran a very limited trial involving just 17 of the 152 Local Authorities in 2016) it was successful in bringing about better joint working between education, health and social care services. Nearly all the recommendations were followed in the trial.
The department of education has stated that ‘While the First-tier Tribunal's recommendations are non-binding for health and social care partners, we would generally expect that recommendations are followed. If recommendations are not followed, families would be able to complain to an Ombudsman or in exceptional circumstances, seek to have the decision judicially reviewed.’
Robert Goodwill believes this will reinforce the person-centred nature of the Children and Families Act 2014 by enabling the Tribunal to take a more holistic view of the child or young person’s needs. Regulations will set out the new duties on all Local Authorities and health commissioners.