Education, Health and Care Plan Guide

A step-by-step guide explaining the timeline of an Education, Health and Care Plan for a child with a neurological condition (for families in England).

An Education Health and Care Plan is a formal legal document, which describes your child’s educational, health and social care needs and sets out the provision required to meet those needs and to achieve agreed long-term outcomes.

Remember to keep a record of the important dates in the process and the names of the people you are in contact with, in case you need to refer to them in particular.

The EHCP process is in stages, which can take up to five months from the time your local authority is asked for an EHCP to the point when the EHC Plan is ready to begin.

If the LA makes a decision in the process that you don’t agree with you can appeal at certain points, which can add to the time taken to complete the EHC Plan.

Who can help?

You can have independent support from a range of providers giving support for EHCP referrals:

Week 1-4

The LA gets the request for an EHCP needs assessment. This can come from you, your child if they are over 16 or from their nursery, school or college.

See IPSEA website for an example of a model letter from parents.

 

If the request comes from your child’s nursery, school or college, there may be less of a delay so speak to them first and see if they will start the process.

When the LA gets the request they will get in touch with you to introduce themselves and then arrange a meeting to discuss the process.

The LA decides whether your child needs an EHCP needs assessment and gives you their decision at the first meeting.

A helpful checklist of what you can say to outline your child’s Special Educational Needs is on Contact for Families website.

Decision to Assess

NO

If the LA doesn’t think an EHCP assessment would be right for your child they will explain why.

You can appeal against this decision if you think that your child has complex educational, health and social care needs.

YES

If the LA thinks that your child should have an EHCP Needs Assessment then you will need more information about your child from the following people:

  • An educational psychologist
  • A community or consultant paediatrician
  • A social worker
  • Specialist teacher
  • Any other professionals that work with your child, such as
    • Portage worker
    • Speech and language therapist
    • Hydrocephalus nurse
    • Physiotherapist
    • Occupational therapist
    • Continence adviser
    • Epilepsy nurse
  • You can ask for independent reports from different professionals if you wish

TIPS:

Remember to make a list of professionals contacted and their contact details.

If you think it would be useful, you can ask the LA to collect information from professionals who are not currently involved with your child’s education, health or social care.

You can ask professionals to send you their draft reports before they submit them to the LA. This allows you to check that the reports contain enough detailed information.

Week 5-8

Everyone who has been asked for information about your case must reply within six weeks. It is important that you keep all the appointments relating to your assessment because it could delay the process if you don’t.

Writing Section A

You and your child will be asked to write Section A of the EHC Plan, often called All About Me.

In Section A you can put in your own information about your child, outlining their strengths and your concerns.

Keep in mind the particular difficulties your child faces due to hydrocephalus and/or spina bifida.

See Council for Disabled Children examples of good practice.

Week 9-12

The LA writes a draft EHCP using the information provided in the written reports.

There will be an EHCP Assessment Meeting in week 12 to discuss the draft EHCP and make sure it’s ready to present to the SEN Panel.

You can ask for further reports on your child’s additional needs that you think have not been covered. For example: your child’s neurological condition may have an impact on their concentration, memory or learning, which will need addressing.

Week 13-16

The EHC Draft Plan is presented to the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Panel and they will decide whether to go ahead with it or not.

The LA will write to you by week 16 to let you know the decision.

If YES

If the SEND Panel agrees to go ahead a copy of the proposed plan will be sent to you.

You have 15 days to read it and let the LA know if you are happy with it, or if you would like any changes to be made.

If you want more time, you can respond to let the LA know you have received the Draft EHCP and ask for more time to make a more considered response.

There will also be a consultation with the school about being named on the EHC Draft Plan. The school also has 15 days to respond.

If NO

If the Panel doesn’t agree to issue the EHCP the LA will send you a non-statutory plan and your child’s nursery, school or college will use this to guide the SEN Support they provide.

You have the Right to Appeal at this point.

Week 17-20

You will get the details of the final EHCP by Week 20 and the support the LA has arranged in the EHC Plan will be put in place to help your child from that point onwards.

Once the EHCP has been issued, the Local Authority must secure the special educational provision outlined in the Plan.

The NHS Clinical Commissioning Group must arrange the health provision.

If you are unhappy with the content of the EHC Plan you have TWO Months to Appeal to the SEND Tribunal.

TIPS ON READING THE FINAL EHC PLAN

  • Is the EHC Plan clear, concise and easy to read?
  • Does the Plan include your views and your child’s views?
  • Are your child’s Education, Health and Social Care Needs detailed clearly?
  • Are the Outcomes linked to Aspirations and broken down into smaller steps?
  • Is the description of the Education, Health and Social Care Provision specific, stating who, what, how often, how long and for what purpose the provision is made?
  • Is the Provision relevant and linked to Outcomes?
  • Is there Provision for each Special Need outlined in Section B?

Useful Links for Information and Advice about the Education Health and Care Plan Process

Further Advice

For any further advice or if you have any concerns about your child's development please do contact your health visitor, or contact Shine’s health team on 01733 555988 or click here to email us.

Our office hours are Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. We aim to respond to all enquiries as quickly as possible!

 
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