What is an EHCP?
EHCP stands for Education, Health and Care Plan
Education, Health and Care Plans have replaced Statements of Special Educational Needs and Learning Difficulty Assessments. The Plan is put together by professionals in education, health and social care to make sure children with SEND have a package of support to help them through to adulthood (until they are 25).
Special educational needs and provision covers four broad areas.
- communication and interaction
- cognition and learning
- social, emotional and mental health difficulties
- sensory and/or physical
Your child may need more specialist help where their school is unable to meet their needs using a graduated response and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) support available through the local offer.
This may mean that Worcestershire County Council carries out a needs assessment called an Education Health and Care Assessment or EHC assessment with your child. During the EHC assessment the Council will expect to see evidence of the action taken by the school as part of the graduated response of SEN support.
This EHC assessment would then be turned into an Education, Health and Care Plan.
Watch a video explaining more about EHC Plans
How can having an EHCP help my child?
- it can allow the school to apply for funding. This can make it possible for them to arrange a teaching assistant to support your child in class, pay for visits from external support professionals, extra equipment, or other things that the school couldn’t access before the plan was put in place.
- if you want your child or young person to go to a special school an EHCP makes it possible for you to apply for a place.
- an EHCP can often give your child priority when they have siblings already at the school. The school will make the decision based on whether they can meet your child or young person's needs, but it does sometimes reduce some of the usual hassle over catchment areas.
- if your child or young person is moving from one school or college to another, being able to bring the EHCP with them saves a lot of explaining and gives a much better chance of getting consistent support.
- interestingly, many child-friendly places such as zoos and theme parks will allow one adult to go in free as a ‘carer’ if you can prove the child is disabled. An EHCP is one of the documents they’ll accept as a proof of disability .
How long does the EHC plan process take?
The whole EHC plan process should be completed within 20 weeks - this is the point that an assessment is requested for a child or young person, to the EHC plan being completed (if the young person is eligible for a plan). The flowchart below is taken from the SEND Code of Practice and gives more detail about the whole EHC plan process and the different timescales for each stage.