Education, Health and Care Plan

An Education, Health and Care Plan is a document which details the education, health and social care needs of a child or young person for whom extra support is needed in their early years setting or school, beyond that which the school or setting can provide.

Group Of Elementary Age Children In Art Class With Teacher

The majority of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities can have their needs met within a mainstream setting without additional resources.  A small minority of children and young people do have needs more complex needs where additional resources are required.  For these children an Education, Health and Care assessment can be requested.  Following this assessment some children and young people will be issued with an Education Health and Care Plan. 

What is an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP)

An Education, Health and Care Plan is a document which details the education, health and social care needs of a child or young person for whom extra support is needed in their early years setting or school, beyond that which the school or setting can provide.

Children with an EHCP will have outside agencies involved in their support, such as Education Psychologists, Local Authority SEND Support Services, and/or  health services and are usually entitled to extra resources in their current school or setting or may require their needs to be met in a specialist provision such as a Resource Base or Special School. 

What does an Education, Health and Care Assessment involve?

If the Local Authority agree to carry out an Education Health and Care assessment then they must seek information and advice on a child or young person’s needs, the provision required to meet those needs, and the outcomes expected to be achieved by the child or young person. This advice must come from a range of different people.  These people include:

  • the child’s parent or the young person;
  • the school or setting the child or young person attends;
  • a health care professional;
  • an educational psychologist;
  • social care;
  • any other person the local authority thinks appropriate;

If a child or young person is hearing impaired and/or visually impaired the educational advice must come from a suitably qualified person (SEN Reg 6(2)).

Can parents or young people ask for advice from a particular person?

A parent or young person can ask the LA to seek advice from anyone within education, health or social care, as long as it is a reasonable request. This can include a speech and language therapist, occupational therapist, physiotherapist or someone from CAMHS/FTB (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services/Forward Thinking Birmingham).

If a parent or young person already has their own advice and reports, these can be submitted as part of their own advice (which the LA must ask for under SEN Reg 6(1)(a)) to ensure that they form part of the assessment process.

How long does the EHCP assessment take?

Local authorities must give their decision in response to any request for an EHC needs assessment within a maximum of 6 weeks from when the request was received or the point at which a child or young person was brought to the local authority’s attention

When local authorities request information as part of the EHC needs assessment process, those supplying the information must respond in a timely manner and within a maximum of 6 weeks from the date of the request

If a local authority decides, following an EHC needs assessment, not to issue an EHC plan, it must inform the child’s parent or the young person within a maximum of 16 weeks from the request for an EHC needs assessment.

The child’s parent or the young person must be given 15 calendar days to consider and provide views on a draft EHC plan and ask for a particular school or other institution to be named in it

The SEND Code of Practice (2015) provides this diagram to demonstrating the timelines for the EHCP assessment process:

Statutory timescales for EHC needs assessment and EHC plan development
How long can a child or young person have an EHCP for?

An EHCP can provide support from birth up to the age of 25 in order to support with further education, training and support into the workplace.  Not all children and young people require the support for this length of time and the appropriateness of the plan should be reviewed annually with the child, young person, their family, the current school or setting and relevant SEND Support Services.

What does an EHCP include?

An EHCP will includes 12 sections of key information including:

A – the views, interests and aspirations of the young person.

B – the child’s or young person’s Special Educational Needs.

C – health needs related to their SEN or to a disability.

D – social care needs related to their SEN or to a disability.

E – planned outcomes for the child or young person.

F – provision for the needs mentioned in Section B.

G – any health provision.

H1 – any social care provision that must be made for a child or young person.

H2 – any other social care provision related to a child’s SEN or to a disability.

I – the name/type of school or setting.

J – details of any personal budget.

K – advice and information from the EHC assessment.

If a young person is in, or beyond Year 9, the EHCP must set out the provision to support the young person in preparing for adulthood and independent living.

How Can Parents, Carers or Young People request an EHCP?

Parents/Carers can contact their Local Authority and ask for an EHC assessment for their child. At this point, the Local Authority will review all evidence and make a decision whether to assess or not. If a decision is made to assess, at the end of that assessment period the LA will decide whether to issue an EHCP.

If you would like more information about this process and your baby or young child is yet to attend a setting, you can talk to other professionals involved. If your child or young person attends a school or setting you should talk to the SENCo or Head Teacher or one of the agencies who are involved in supporting your child or young persons. In addition, any parent/carer can talk to one of our Parent Link Advisors.  You can speak to a Parent Link Officer on 0121 303 8461 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday or you can email them at Parentlinkservice@birmingham.gov.uk

Should you wish to make a request for an EHC Assessment these documents may also help:

Parental request for an EHC Assessment

Guidance to support completing a parental request for an EHC Assessment

Young Person’s request for an EHC Assessment

Guidance to support completing a young person’s request for an EHC Assessment

What happens if I am unhappy with a decision made by the Local Authority?

Challenging decisions about support for children with SEND

Most disagreements about special educational provision can be sorted out by talking with the education setting, professionals who work with the child or the Local Authority. You will have been given the name of a link professional who can help you or alternatively you can contact our Parent Link Service

If you need any help with this you can contact the Birmingham SENDIASS service which offers impartial information and advice to parents/carers and young people 

It can sometimes be difficult to reach agreement so local authorities must make arrangements for both disagreement resolution and mediation services. These services are available to children with SEND and their parents or carers. The services are free and confidential and are independent of the Local Authority and Clinical Commissioning Group.

Disagreement resolution and mediation

If you’re not happy about the support your child or young person with SEND receives, you can challenge it.

You can sort out most issues by talking to:

  • your child’s school
  • your child’s setting
  • your local council

If you still can’t sort the issues, using disagreement resolution or mediation can help.

Mediators work with everyone involved to try and sort the issue. 

These services are:

  • voluntary and independent
  • free and confidential 
  • quick and informal

Both parents and young people (over 16 years old) with SEND can use these services. 

Disagreement resolution

These sessions can help with issues about:

  • how a school, setting or the local council are carrying out their duties
  • what help a school or setting offers
  • health or social care provision

Health or social care provision includes what is given:

  • during an education, health and care (EHC) needs assessment
  • during a re-assessment
  • once the EHC plan is in place

You can use this service even if the child or young person doesn’t have an EHC plan. 

Mediation

The mediation service is for when you have concerns about an EHC plan.

You can use it when there has been a decision:

  • not to carry out an EHC needs assessment
  • not to carry out an EHC needs re-assessment
  • not to draw up an EHC plan after an assessment
  • not to amend an EHC plan after an annual review or re-assessment
  • to cease an EHC plan

Mediation also helps with issues around:

  • the parts of the EHC plan that describe the child or young person’s SEN
  • the provision set out in the EHC plan

Mediation takes place within 30 days and at a time and place that works for you.

Who do I contact if I want to participate in Mediation?

In Birmingham we work with three mediation companies

SEN Mediator

 

www.senmediator.co.uk

charles@senmediator.co.uk

 

07856 534777

0121 452 5010

Prime Resolution

 

www.prime-resolution.co.uk

marilyn@prime-resolution.co.uk

 

01952 303 038

 

KIDS

 

www.kids.org.uk/mediation-info senmediation@kids.org.uk

 

03330 062 835

 

Appeal to the SEND tribunal

Parents and young people can also register an appeal about anything relating to EHC plans. These appeals go to the special educational needs and disability (SEND) tribunal. This is an independent, first-tier tribunal. 

You have 2 months from a decision to register an appeal.

You must contact a mediator before registering an appeal (see above). They will provide information about mediation. You can choose whether you wish to use mediation or not. The mediator will give you a certificate. This shows that you have contacted them so you can register your appeal. 

Sometimes you don’t need a certificate to register an appeal.

This is where the appeal is about you not being happy:

  • with the name of the school or setting on the EHC plan
  • with the type of school or setting
  • that no school or other institution is named
  • with the health and social care elements of the EHC plan

A booklet, ‘Special Educational Needs: How to Appeal’, can be obtained from the Tribunal and their contact details are as follows:

HM Courts & Tribunals Service

Special Educational Needs & Disability Tribunal

1st Floor, Darlington Magistrates’ Court

Parkgate, Darlington

DL1 1RU

Telephone:      01325 289 350

Email:              sendistqueries@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk

Website:          http://www.justice.gov.uk/tribunals/send

SEND tribunal: national trial

Find out about the SEND tribunal national trial.

This trial gives you the opportunity to make an appeal to the SEND tribunal, not only about special educational needs and provision, but also about making recommendations to the local authority about the child or young person’s health needs and provision and/or social care needs and provision.