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3. Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP)

What is it?

This is the plan and assessment that has replaced the statutory special educational needs assessment and statement.

This means that the education, health and care services will work together with the family to agree a straightforward plan for child’s development from birth to 25 years of age.

The plan will be reviewed regularly to reflect changing needs and will clearly state who is responsible for provisions.
  

What changed?

The assessment pathway and plan focuses on the outcomes the child or young person seeks to achieve across education, health and care. It will enable them to achieve at school and college and to make a successful transition to adulthood.

EHC plans set out how services will work together to meet the child or young person’s needs and supports those outcomes. The co-ordinated assessment and planning process puts the child and their parents or the young person at the centre of decision making.

This system is available for all children and young people from birth to the age of 25.
  

How does the assessment work?

The following key points are outlined within the SEND Code of Practice:

  • The views of children, young people and their families must be sought.
     
  • Disruption to the family should be minimised. This includes avoiding multiple assessments and appointments. There should also be a 'tell us once' approach so that families do not have to repeat the same information to different professionals.
     
  • Families should be provided with impartial information, advice and support. In the case of young people over the age of 16, a separate service of impartial information, advice and support should be available to them but it is expected that families still (with the young person's consent) play a significant role.
     
  • The assessment process should be carried out in a ‘timely’ manner and it should not take longer than 20 weeks to issue an Education, Health and Care Plan.
     

Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment (EHCNA): Criteria for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities 0 - 25 years

This guidance is for the people who are making decisions on behalf of the local authority and anyone intending to make a request to the local authority for an EHCNA that may lead to an education, health and care plan.

This includes:

  • Parents and carers of children and young people under the age of 16.
     
  • Young people over the age of 16 but under 25.
     
  • Staff acting on behalf of education settings (nurseries, schools and colleges).
     
  • Local Authority (LA) practitioners (including education and social care staff).
     
  • Health practitioners (including paediatricians, therapists and CAMHS staff).
     
  • Children and young people under 19 in youth custodial establishments, their parents, or professionals working with them.

This guidance seeks to help parents/carers, children and young people, and professionals to understand the circumstances when it may be necessary for the local authority to carry out an EHCNA.

It contains details about the factors that are taken into account and the thresholds which inform decisions. It also contains practical information about how to make a request for an EHCNA.

We do not apply a ‘blanket’ policy to any particular groups of children or young people or certain types of need. All cases are considered in line with this guidance and in accordance with the SEN Code of Practice.

What will an education, health and care plan look like?

The SEN Code of Practice outlines the following key characteristics of the plan:

  • Plans should be focused on the outcomes an individual child is expected to achieve.
     
  • Any targets must be specific and set out what support is needed to achieve those outcomes.
     
  • Plans should be clear, concise and positive.
     
  • It should reflect the views of the child or young person.
     

Staffordshire's education, health and care plan

A copy of Staffordshire's Education, Health and Care Plan together with further guidance and information is available below.

Staffordshire's transfer plan

The legal test of when a child or young person requires an EHC plan remains the same as that for a statement under the Education Act 1996.

It is expected that all children and young people who have a statement and who would have continued to have one under the previous system, will be transferred to an EHC plan. No child or young person will lose their statement and not have it replaced with an EHC plan simply because the system has changed.

Similarly, local authorities have undertaken Learning and Development Agreements (LDAs) for young people either because they had a statement at school or because, in the opinion of the local authority, they are likely to need additional support as part of their future education or training and would benefit from a LDA to identify their learning needs and the provision required to meet those needs. Young people who are currently receiving support as a result of an LDA and remain in further education or training during the transition period, who request and need an EHC plan, must be issued with one.

A transfer plan was created at the beginning of the SEND reforms. This has been continuously reviewed and updated to ensure that all statements are transferred to an EHC plan.

See below for the latest transfer strategy update:

Assessment and annual review paperwork

It is a requirement of the Code of Practice, that all statements (other than for those for children under 2) must be reviewed at least annually.

Once a year everyone involved gets together. This includes:

  • The pupil
  • The parents
  • The local authority
  • The school
  • All the professionals involved

They consider both the progress the pupil has made over the previous 12 months. They also see whether any amendments need to be made to the description of a pupil's needs or to the special education provision specified in the statement.

The annual review should be carried out within 12 months of either the final statement or the previous review.

Upon completion of the annual review, the school must provide the local authority with the completed paperwork below within 10 school days, or the end of term, whichever is earlier.

Education, health and care plan annual reviews

Statements annual reviews

Locality offices

SEND assessment and planning service (EHC)

This service is responsible for the assessment of pupil's aged 0-25 with complex special educational needs who may require an Educational, Health and Care plan (EHCP).

The service writes and maintains EHCPs and is responsible for reviewing the EHCP on at least an annual basis.

The service is also responsible for determining levels of high need provision and specialist placement.

Karen Levell
Head of SEND Assessment and Planning Service (EHC)
Tipping Street
Stafford
ST16 2DH 
Phone: 01785 278905
Email: karen.levell@staffordshire.gov.uk

Ruth Bowen
Acting Principal Advisor, Tribunal and Access
Phone: 01283 881290
Email: ruth.bowen@staffordshire.gov.uk

Debbie Nye
EHCP Transfer Manager 
Phone: 01785 276302
Email: debbie.nye@staffordshire.gov.uk

Lichfield and Cannock Locality Office
The Old Library
Bird Street
Lichfield
WS13 6PN 
Phone: 01543 512050
Fax: 01543 512051

Newcastle and Moorlands Locality Office 
Seabridge Centre
Ash Way Off
Seabridge Lane
Newcastle-under-Lyme
Staffs
ST5 3UB 
Phone: 01782 297524
Fax: 01782 297523

Stafford and South Staffs Locality Office 
The Kingston Centre
Fairway
Stafford
ST16 3TW 
Phone: 01785 356854
Fax: 01785 356940

East Staffs and Tamworth Locality Office  
Burton Resource and Development Centre
Grange Street
Burton-on-Trent
DE14 2ER 
Phone: 01283 239755
Fax: 01283 239084

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