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What is an EHCP?
An Education, Health and Care Plan, known as an EHCP, is a legal document which includes the details of a child’s Special Educational Needs (SEN) and the support that they may need at school. An EHCP also includes information in relation to their social care and health needs.
The majority of children and young people with SEN and disabilities will have their needs met by provisions available within school. However, for those with complex needs that cannot be met by the support put in place by school, an EHC needs assessment may be required.
How do I get my child an EHCP?
As explained, the majority of children with SEN will be supported through usual school provisions and adaptations. For any child to be put forward for an EHC needs assessment, several stages of support and advice must be completed. The process is as follows:
The Statutory Assessment Team at the Local Authority will consider applications according to their own criteria. It is only a small number of children who are successful in being awarded an EHCP.
My child has successfully gained an EHCP - what happens now?
When a child is assessed as requiring an EHCP, the Statutory Assessment Team will collate assessments and inputs from family and professionals to put together a document that states the desired outcomes for the child. The class teacher, in conjunction with the SENDCo, will put in place support for the child, with a focus being on the EHCP outcomes. This sometimes means that the child will need alternative provisions for part of the day or will be completing different learning opportunities.
What about EHCP funding?
As part of the needs assessment, the Statutory Assessment Team will decide on a funding amount to be allocated. The first £6,000 of any funding amount comes from the school's own budget. Anything above this is given in installments over the year.
As a school, we must look at what provisions are possible within the funding limits, that will have the most impact on the child's progress towards their EHCP outcomes. This can range from ensuring there is an additional adult available to support in a lesson or activity, access to interventions either in small groups or 1:1, access to our alternative provision resources, training for staff to better support and so on.
We no longer follow the model of a child having a 1:1 adult, as this has been highlighted as not best practice for supporting complex needs children. Instead, LCPS creates a team around the child, so that we can make the most of our staff's skill set and create a more well-rounded approach.
It is worth highlighting that it is not a guarantee that an EHCP will be given a funding budget. We are increasingly seeing EHCPs awarded in Cambridgeshire with partial or no funding. This in itself is a challenge that all schools are facing.