Shine news

Education Update June 2019

12th June 2019


A few Shine families have asked questions about Individual Healthcare Plans, which some Local Authorities offer to children and young people who have significant health needs but do not appear to have cognitive difficulties or mental health needs. Here is Shine’s information about IHPs.

The Individual Healthcare Plan (IHP)

Individual Healthcare Plans were introduced to the Children and Families Act (CAFA) in 2014. The CAFA Code of Practice (CoP) has an additional section about supporting pupils at school with medical conditions, which is occasionally used by schools in some regions.

The Department for Education (DfE) has a guide for supporting pupils at school with medical conditions. 

There are templates for an IHP on the DfE website and links to other resources too on the government website.

A young child can not have an IHP in pre-school, but they can once they begin school aged 5. A school, headteacher and governors usually make contact with the local health authority or Clinical Commissioning Group to put together an IHP, so it could be said that an IHP relies on the goodwill of the school.

  • An IHP is non-statutory and non-binding. A CCG cannot be held to account if they do not provide what is in the IHP.
  • An Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is statutorily binding.
  • Some Local Authorities in England are offering a range of alternatives to an EHC Plan, such as a ‘My Plan’ or an IHP. Families have to wait until a child makes “less than expected progress” in their learning before an EHCP is offered for the Education element, which outlines 4 broad areas of need:
    1. Language and Communication
    2. Learning and Cognition
    3. Social Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH)
    4. Sensory and Physical Needs.

If a child is turned down for an Education Health and Care Assessment because their learning and development are typical for their age, then the LA should set out reasons in writing to the parents as to why the EHC Assessment request has been refused. If an EHCP is not appropriate at this time then the child needs to be supported through SEN Support at school, using the graduated cycle of:

  • Assess
  • Plan
  • Do
  • Review.

A Local Authority may adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach and the ruling last year from one first tier Tribunal stated that a Local Authority cannot ‘future-proof’ a child by putting measures in place until such time as a child starts to make ‘less than expected progress’. This ruling, now case law, may affect the outcome of an Education Health and Care Assessment of a child with spina bifida or hydrocephalus.


Dates for your Diary

As the end of this school year approaches, many schools are already preparing for their new classes. With this in mind, Shine is organising some summer seminars in July to help school staff prepare for new pupils with hydrocephalus.


These twilight sessions were piloted by Shine in October 2018 and are now being extended around England. These FREE seminars from 4pm to 7pm are for teachers, SEN teams and parents and carers in partnership for school staff to prepare for the arrival of pupils with hydrocephalus in their new classes in September.

There will be information and advice about:

  • causes, treatments and effects of hydrocephalus
  • parent’s perspective
  • sensory, working memory, executive functioning and behaviour differences
  • guidance on classroom strategies
  • duties of schools when teaching children with hydrocephalus.

Speakers include hydrocephalus nurses from local children’s hospitals, Shine education staff, Shine parent members and Irwin Mitchell education advisers.

  • Monday 8th July at Irwin Mitchell offices in Crawley/Gatwick
  • Wednesday 10th July at Irwin Mitchell offices in Leeds NEW!
  • Monday 15th July at Irwin Mitchell offices in Birmingham

To book your place call 01733 555988 or email

Please note: there are very few places left for the Birmingham event so early booking is advised.


  • Get Involved & Shine! An Inclusive Fun & Free Activity Day

Shine welcome members, families and friends to the University of Bedfordshire, Polhill Avenue, Bedford MK41 9EA on Sunday 7th July from 11am to 3pm.

Book your FREE place via EventBrite or call 01733 555988. Find out more.


  • The Children’s Trust National Paediatric Brain Injury Conference

On Friday 6th September at The Royal Society of Medicine, London.

To register your interest email


Thanks to Jo and to everyone else for their contributions to the latest Education Update.

If you’d like to share information or advice about Education with Shine staff, members and interested professionals in the next Education Update then contact Jan via

All contributions are gratefully received and if not shared next month then they’re sure to be added to new education materials currently in production.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this Update is accurate at the time of publishing. The information provided does not constitute legal or professional advice and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher.

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