That's what it stands for EHCP! The Education Health Care plan.
When you finally get your tongue around it and the letters in the right order which has taken me some time I can tell you.......it is the document that replaces the old Statement of Special Needs.
I held a support group this week and this subject cropped up so I thought I would write about it. It is still a new document and for parents whose children are newly diagnosed it can be a very confusing piece of paperwork, one of many. I think I'm right in saying that it can put the fear in some parents and carers as it can make a difference to the amount of extra support needed, especially in a mainstream education placement.
The EHC Plan came into circulation on 1st September 2014 and there has been a massive wait for a lot of statement of special needs to be transferred over to the EHCP resulting in a lot of frustrated families and no doubt staff at the local authorities tearing their hair out. This has also led to many young people having to wait to be issued with a plan for the first time, if at all. So it has been a ca'fuffle shall we say (think that's putting it mildly) but I do want to say, there is hope and people out there to help you with this process if you need it so please don't despair yet.
I will put up some links at the end of this post that will provide you with fact sheets, information in greater detail as to what an EHCP looks like and who it is actually for. Basically it is a legal document, issued by your local authority which provides information on :
- a child or young persons special education, health and social care needs.
- the help that will be given to meet those needs. and
- what the young person will be able to achieve as a result of the support.
(EHCP factsheet - Contact a Family)
The process for a EHC Plan is usually started by your child's educational placement (nursery, school, college) and can be available up to 25 years old if the young person still needs more time to finish education or training.
It is a valuable document which involves you as parents/carers and everyone involved in your child's education to have an input into the content which will be included in the plan. It is reviewed on an annual basis to make changes and generally keep it updated. If you are not happy with a decision which has been made about the plan you can appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal within two months of receiving your decision so I do advise, as a fellow parent to pursue it until you are completely happy with the outcome.
The organisation 'Contact a Family' - for families with disabled children have many really useful fact sheets in all areas and they have one for the EHCP. These can be found at: www.cafamily.org.uk and they do have a freephone helpline on 08088083555 open Mon-Fri 9.30am - 5pm.
The National Autistic Society have a factsheet on EHCP's at
www.autism.org.uk If in the Derby area you contact the Derby & District Branch of the NAS by email on firstname.lastname@example.org telephone 07500089571 or send a message through their Facebook page.
Derby City Council also has information at www.derby.gov.uk and search for Special Education Needs and Disabilities - Local Offer.
The Derby City SEND (Special Education Needs and Disabilities) team are available to email at email@example.com Telephone: 01332641414 Text: 07800 005190.
Umbrella are a great charity in Derby who have a team able to help you with your EHCP and they can be contacted For all general enquiries at the
Ronnie MacKeith Centre
Royal Derby Hospital,
Uttoxeter Road, Derby,
Telephone 01332785658. Open Monday – Friday. 9.00am to 3.00pm.
I hope that gives to some helpful advice, the fact sheets are available to print so you can keep them handy for reference.
If you have any experiences regarding EHCP's please leave a comment below.
Thanks for reading and I will catch you tomorrow for 'Pass the Remote' a round up of the tv for the week.
Every Saturday I will be talking about Autism and will review any useful information which may have been highlighted at any support groups in the week.