Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans.

From 1st September 2014, no more Statements of Special Educational Needs (SEN) will be produced.  They are being replaced with a new document called an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan.  Statements which currently exist will remain valid until March 2018 and will be gradually transferred to EHC Plans in the interim.

Why?

Where a child / young person has special educational needs, the new system aims to put each child / young person and their family at the centre of any discussion about the support they get.

Previously, Statements focused on a child / young person’s special educational needs and didn’t describe other needs including Health and Social Care. This meant there wasn’t always a co-ordinated approach to supporting their needs.

So what’s changing?

It is intended that services will work together across Education, Health and Care. In some exceptional cases, EHC plans can continue until age 25 if the young person has outcomes identified that require them to remain in education or training to complete the outcome. Statements currently finish when a child leaves school (at age 16 or 19).

What’s the Local Offer?

Councils have to publish a Local Offer for Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) which details what services are available to all children with SEND whether they have an EHC plan or not and what families can expect from the services.

It includes information such as Education, Health and Care provision for children, arrangements for assessing children’s needs, travel to and from school, leisure activities and information about support and advice for parents, plus many other sections. You can find the Local Offer at www.wigan.gov.uk/sendlocaloffer

What are Education, Health and Care plans?

EHC plans are legal documents describing a child’s or young person’s needs that are identified as a barrier to learning, what they want to achieve (outcomes) and what they require to meet those needs (provision).

Health professionals, early years settings, schools, colleges/post 16 institutions and Council teams may all be involved in the development of an EHC plan. Parents, children and young people will be at the centre of the process and have much more choice and control over what happens to them.

What are Personal Budgets?

Personal Budgets aim to give more choice and control. Parents, children and young people will be involved in every stage of the process. They will give their views about what they hope to achieve and what support they need. Parents of a child / young person who has an EHC plan will have the right to request a personal budget at each annual review or at the time of transfer from a Statement to an EHC plan.  However not all parents / young people are eligible for a personal budget.  More information is available on the Local Offer.