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Education Health & Care Plan (EHCP)

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What is an EHCP?

EHCP is short for Education, Health and Care Plan it is a helpful guide for professionals who are supporting your child. This might be in school, at a leisure activity group or club, or as they move into work. 

Think of it as a team effort involving parents, teachers, and other professionals.

This plan talks about everything – what the child is good at, what they might find tricky, and how everyone can come together to make things smoother for the child.

Watch this video to find out more about the process


How to ask for an EHCP Assesment

Do you feel that your child needs extra help in school, or in an early years setting?

It's a good idea to talk to their teacher or the school's special educational needs coordinator (SENCO). Every early years setting will have a SENCO, and if you use a childminder they would be the SENCO.


Getting a bit more help.
The school may start with some informal support to see if it helps. In Barnsley, we call this SEN support. This could mean different teaching methods or extra help within the classroom. If this support doesn't seem enough, and you feel that your child isn't making progress, you or the professional can request an assessment for an EHCP


Requesting an EHCP Assessment:
You may feel confident to request an EHCP assessment yourself or ask a professional to do it. In Barnsley, this is done through the EHCP Hub. Read more about this further down. 

What is the EHC hub?

The EHCP Hub is an online platform used by Barnsley Council, parents and professionals.

It works on a computer, phone or tablet.

The EHCP Hub can be accessed from any device with an internet connection.

You'll create a secure user account.

Everyone involved in the EHCP process, such as parents, teachers, and professionals, has an account and can upload useful documents like medical reports, diagnosis letters, copies of school

You can even upload, videos and photos

The system allows you to uploads, photos and videos, which will help professionals to understand your child's needs and what they can do.

Messaging and keeping you up to date:

Users can communicate within the platform, you can log in at any time and see what's been upload and what reports may be outstanding.

Progress Tracking:

The EHCP Hub tracks the progress of the application. Keeping everyone up to date with the application.

Notifications:

You get notifications, letting you know when sections need completing and what documents are needed.

The EHCP Hub makes the EHCP application process, more efficient, transparent, and user-friendly for all parties involved.

What happens after the request for assessment is submitted?

The EHCP team will get a notification to say that a new case has been submitted and they'll link you with an Assistant Coordinator.


Soon after, you'll get a call from the Assistant Coordinator. It's not just for confirming details – they'll talk you through the next steps, you'll get an automated email confirming you have 'an active case' on the hub.

Follow the link in the email and add your email address. Create a password that suits you. There's an extra security step. You can choose to do this with a QR code or a text message. The Assistant Coordinator guide you through it.

Now, you've got access to the EHCP Hub, your virtual space where you can see all progress happening. don't forget to update your profile picture with a photo of your child.

How long will it take to get an EHCP?

Once the application is received the whole process will take a maximum of 20 weeks.


Week 1
The application is received by the EHC Assistant Coordinators. They will review the information and may ask for further information to help them really understand the needs. They will then take the application to the weekly multi-agency panel to make a decision. Panel members are key SEND professionals from education, health and care. 


By Week 6
The panel will have met to decide if they agree to carry out the Needs Assessment.


Weeks 6-16
If a decision is made to carry out the Needs Assessment, an EHC Coordinator will give you a call to introduce themselves, be aware this may be a new person, up to now you will have been speaking to an assistant co-ordinator. 
They will coordinate the needs assessment. If you log into the EHCP hub, at this point you will be able to see how things are moving forward.


By Week 16
The EHC Coordinator will have collected all the information needed for the panel who will decide if an EHC Plan is needed or if the school can continue to meet your child’s without one. Your EHC Coordinator will share the decision with you and explain the next steps.


By Week 18
If agreed, you will get an EHCP. Your Co-ordinator will share a draft version with so you can talk through the plan, and make any changes to it. You will also talk about which school most suitable for your child. Your voice will be considered as part of this process. It's ok if you don't agree with what's in the plan, you can discuss it with your co-ordinator, and you can get mediation if this is difficult. The EHC Coordinator can explain this process and what to do next.


By Week 20
The final EHC plan is given to you. It will name the school/setting that your child is either already at or needs to attend. The EHCP is looked at every year, this is called the annual review.

What happens at the annual review?

Once a year, a meeting is arranged by the local authority, early years setting, school, or college to discuss your child's progress. You, your child, and any professionals involved will be invited. They must give you two weeks' notice and share any relevant information with you beforehand.

During the meeting
You'll talk about how well your child is doing and whether the plan still fits their needs.
You and your child will get a chance to share your thoughts, it's a chance to celebrate achievements and milestones and look at what's worked well and what might be needed next year if anything at all. The process is managed on the EHCP hub and you can log in to see and contribute to the information anytime.

After the meeting, the local authority decides whether to keep, change, or stop the EHC plan. Your EHC Coordinator will inform you of their decision and explain the next steps.

If they decide to make changes, they must consult again to ensure the new plan still meets your child's needs. This consultation takes 15 days, or longer if there's a special provision involved.

What if things have changed before the annual review comes around?
Remember, if there are significant changes to your child's needs, you can request a review at any time. Just talk to your education setting or EHCP coordinator. 

The Final Annual Review
The final annual review involves looking at your child's achievements and ensuring they have what they need for a good life. You can read more about it in the final annual review guide here.

What happens when my child turns 16?

If your child has an EHC plan, it does not have to end when they leave school. Their plan can continue up to the age of 25, as long as they still have SEN and stay in some kind of education or training.

Visit the Becoming an Adult Post-16 pages for more information 

What if I don't agree with a decision about the EHCP?

If you disagree with the EHC plan made by your local authority or if they refuse to assess or reassess, create, or make changes to the plan, you have the right to appeal.

Talk to your EHCP coordinator. They'll explain the legal side of things, and you might be able to make another request or provide more evidence. You may want to ask your coordinator about a 'Next Steps' meeting, these can be arranged with you and your child's school to work out what support is needed. 

Who can help me appeal?

If you don’t agree with a decision made about an EHCP you can contact SENDIASS (The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information, Advice and Support Service) - link opens in a new window.
They provide free, confidential, and impartial information, guidance, advice and support.

They will support you in your decision-making. You can call them on (01226) 787234 or email SENDIASS@barnsley.gov.uk
Read more about the process here.

What if my child is home schooled?

Find out more about elective home education and EHCP here: 

If you have an EHC Plan, the EHC Coordinator will organise and run the review for all EHE children instead of the SENDCO.


You can also email the elective home education officer: EHE@barnsley.gov.uk who will tell you what you need to do. 



How to contact the EHCP team

Telephone: 01226 773966 the phone lines are open between 9am-5 pm Monday to Thursday and 9am and 4:30 pm on Fridays.


EHCTeam@barnsley.gov.uk or complete a contact form on the EHC website here

Jargon Buster


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