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What do I need to know as a teacher?

Education, Health and Care Plans

Most children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) have their needs met in a mainstream school with SEN Support. Where a child has complex or severe needs, they may benefit from an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This outlines a child or young person’s education, health and social care needs and the support that must be provided in a single, legal document. A child must have special educational needs to be eligible for an EHCP.

If a child’s school is unable to meet their needs, or they require a more intensive level of specialist support that cannot be met from the resources in the school, the child’s parents or school can approach the Local Authority for an EHC Needs Assessment. During this process the Local Authority must consider the views and wishes of the child or young person and their parents, and provide the information and support necessary to enable them to participate fully in decisions.

Once the Local Authority receives a request for an EHC Needs Assessment they have up to 6 weeks to decide whether to carry one out. In this time the school and parents should be contacted for information to help them make that decision.

If an assessment is carried out, the child and parents should be fully involved. Teachers and other professionals who work with the child such as educational psychologists etc. should also be consulted.

The Local Authority has 20 weeks from the request for the EHC Needs Assessment to issue the final plan.

If a plan is agreed the child’s parents can request a Personal Budget. This is an amount of money the Local Authority has identified to meet some of the needs in the plan. The parents can be involved in choosing and arranging a part of the provision to meet their child’s needs. If the learner is over the age of 16, they have the right to request a Personal Budget themselves.

The EHCP must be reviewed by the school working with the child/young person and their parents at least once every 12 months.