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EHC Plans FAQs

Is my child eligible?

An Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan is for children and young people aged up to 25 who need more support than is available through special educational needs support.

Not all children and young people with special educational needs will require an EHC Plan to meet their specific needs. Schools have a duty to identify children with SEN and put support in place for them. For further information on SEN support in schools please click on the following link: SEN Support

If after a child/young person has been receiving a high level of ‘SEN Support’ and is still not making satisfactory progress, the Local Authority may be asked to complete an EHC needs assessment. This assessment is undertaken when it may be necessary for a child/young person to have support which is only available with an EHC Plan.

Either the school or you as parent can request an EHC needs assessment. It is asked that, wherever possible, a request for an EHC needs assessment is made by both the school and parent together. This helps the LA make a decision as quickly as possible based on all the available information.

The new EHC pathway has replaced the former statutory assessment and statement process. For further information on Education, Health and Care Plans including the assessment process and how to apply please click on the following link: EHC Plans

Does my child need an EHC Plan to meet their special educational needs?

Not necessarily. All mainstream schools in Nottinghamshire are expected to provide support to pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and/or Disabilities from the resources delegated to them as part of their school budget. In order to support a child with SEN, schools sometimes need to access funding to buy additional resources or to increase their staffing. Nottinghamshire has systems of funding for its schools so that the additional needs of children with SEN can be met quickly.

To find out more about special educational needs support and funding for special educational needs please click on the following link: SEN Support

Have EHC Plans replaced Statements of Special Educational Need?

Yes. The Children and Families Act 2014 brought in new reforms for special educational needs including transferring Statements of Special Educational Need to Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans from the 1st September 2014. Statements remain valid until converted into EHC Plans. The deadline in law for all statements to be transferred was 1st April 2018.

Does an EHC Plan have the same legal status as a Statement of Special Educational Need?

The Children and Families Act 2014 made EHC plans statutory from 1 September 2014. EHC Plans have the same legal status as Statements of Special Educational Need and cover the age range 0 to 25.

How can a mainstream school obtain funding without an EHC Plan?

All mainstream schools in Nottinghamshire are expected to provide support to pupils with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities from the resources delegated to them as part of their school budget, up to a figure of £6,000. For children and young people whose needs exceed that level of funding, schools are able to apply for additional funding.

In order to support a child with SEN, schools sometimes need to access funding to buy additional resources or to increase their staffing. Nottinghamshire has systems of funding for its schools so that the additional needs of children with SEN can be met quickly.

Headteachers and governors are responsible for deciding how their school funding is spent in order to ensure that children’s needs are met. Additional funding from outside the school which has been given for a particular child must be spent supporting that child.

School settings can:

  • fund additional support from the school budget
  • request Additional Family Needs (AFN) funding, which is held by the  ‘Family of Schools’. All decisions about AFN funding are agreed using specific criteria. This is called ‘moderation’
  • request High Level Needs (HLN) funding from the Local Authority, if the ‘Family of Schools’ agree that the child’s level of need is particularly.

Schools in Nottinghamshire work in groups called ‘Families of schools’. The schools work together to share expertise and continue to develop their professional skills in working with and supporting children with SEN. This is all available at ‘SEN support’ and without an Education Health and Care plan.

High Needs Funding for Nottinghamshire Mainstream Schools

 

What are the advantages of an EHC Plan?

Some of the advantages of having an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan are:

  • Schools are able to consider a child’s or young person’s needs across education, health and care.
  • The views of young people and families about an individual’s needs and their hopes for the future are a key aspect of the process.
  • The EHC Plan will set out what provision is required to meet the child’s educational needs. If this is not provided as set out in the EHCP, there is a legal remedy that can be pursued against the Local Authority, which has a legal duty to ensure it is provided.
  • A Personal Budget may be available to families to choose how to support the child or young person.

 

How do I apply?

You will need to follow Nottinghamshire's Education, Health and Care Plan Pathway. Number 2 on the pathway explains the referral process in detail: Requesting a Statutory Education, Health and Care Assessment 

Please Note: As part of the "graduated approach", which are the steps that schools have taken to support children and young people with SEND you should also look at your Local Offer for services that could offer support to meet your child or young person's needs, which is number 1 on the EHC Plan Pathway. To view the pathway please click on the following link: EHC Plans

How long does an application take?

The Local Authority must notify the parent or young person of their decision whether or not they will issue a plan within a maximum of 16 weeks from the request for assessment.

If the LA decides to issue an EHC Plan, it will first send out a draft plan for the parent or young person to review and comment on. It should then send the final EHC Plan to the parent or young person within 20 weeks from the date the assessment was requested.

How do I appeal if I disagree with a decision?

There are processes available to address disagreements and complaints around EHC needs assessments and EHC Plans including Local Authority decisions. For further information on these processes including Mediation and the First Tier Trubunal please click on the following link: Disagreements and Complaints

You can also refer to the document on Local Authority decisions about EHC Plans by clicking on the icon below:

When can I appeal a decision?

If the Local Authority decides not to issue an EHC plan, it must tell the parent or young person within 16 weeks of the date the request for an assessment was made. The parent or young person can then appeal this decision.

You also can also appeal if a Local Authority:

  • issues or amends an EHC Plan but you disagree with any or all of Section B (special educational needs), Section F (special educational provision) or Section I (placement);
  • decides not to amend an EHC Plan after an annual review
  • decides to cease to maintain the EHC Plan at any point

If you cannot resolve the problem with the Local Authority you can appeal to to the First Tier Tribunal.

It is important to note that before taking a case to tribunal you must consider mediation. This does not mean that mediation is compulsory, but it must be considered. The exception is if you are appealing only about the school or college placement, or where no school or college is named and you are appealing about that fact.

For further information on how to appeal a decision to the First Tier Tribunal and mediation please click on the following link: Disagreements and Complaints 

 

What is an annual review?

The annual review is the statutory process of looking at the needs and provision specified in an EHC Plan, and deciding whether these need to change.

EHC Plans must be reviewed at least annually and it is usually the education placement that will arrange & facilitate these. Reviews should be carried out using person-centered planning principles and must focus on the child or young person’s progress towards achieving the outcomes specified in the EHC plan, from year 9 onwards attention should be paid to the Preparing For Adulthood outcomes.

For further information on reviews please click on number 7 of Nottinghamshire's EHC Plan pathway: Review

Where can I get further information, advice and support?

ASK US Nottinghamshire offer free impartial and confidential information, advice and support for parents/carrers of children/young people with special educational needs and disabilities. They can offer telephone support also face to face support can be arranged if appropriate e.g. help with completing certain forms, writing letters and attending school meetings.

Their helpline operates Mon, Weds & Fri 9:00 - 13:00. Tues & Thurs 13:00 - 17:00

Tel: 0800 121 7772 or email: enquiries@asknotts.org.uk

 

The IPSEA website contains a range of information, advice and guidance on EHC Plans. To access this please click on the following link: IPSEA

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