An Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) plays a significant role for many families, therefore it is important that these are developed to the best ability to ensure SEND children are given equal opportunity to thrive. There are over 430,000 children and young people with an EHCP in England this year, a 10% increase since last year. Despite reports of backlogged EHCPs (only 29% have met the 20 weeks delivery deadline) and questions surrounding their usefulness, an effective EHCP could make all the difference for a child with SEND. There are a few ways in which you could make sure your EHCPs are ticking all of the correct boxes:
Personalise every plan
Every individual is different, therefore every EHCP should be different. Each plan should be tailored to the individual’s disability, aspirations, needs and provisions. You could get a good idea from the parents, teachers, carer or the child themselves of what should be going into the plan. Whilst you may find using prior records and examples of EHCPs useful, you must bear in mind that there is no ‘one fits all’ when creating an EHCP.
Set high expectations
To get an idea of what works well and what the child may find difficult, set high expectations. Addressing what a child is struggling with will give an idea of what support they are lacking and may need. Setting high expectations will also push the child to the best of their ability, allowing them to see what they are capable of, and potentially boost their self-confidence. For an in-depth look into the role of an ECHP and why they are significant, click here.
Make changes accordingly
If a child’s EHCP is developed at the age of 7, their aspirations and needs are likely to change as they grow older so it is recommended that all EHCPs all reviewed annually. However, once a child is in year 9, their EHCP review should address post-secondary school life. This will allow them to explore higher education, employment and independent living. We have more information on changes as well as appeals for EHCPs on our Education, Health and Care Plans: 5 Things you need to know blog.
Utilise your budget
The government have vowed to pump extra money into providing SEND children with the best possible educational experience. This comes with expectations and legal requirements that are to be met, therefore it is important to understand how your institution can fulfil these expectations. Our Developing and Delivering Effective EHCPs online training course can equip you with the correct information regarding EHCP funding.
Deliver in a timely manner
EHCPs should be finalised within 20 weeks of application, however, some children have had to wait over two years for their EHCP, with a backlog sitting at approximately 26,000. It is important that children receive their EHCPs in a timely manner which allows time for changes if necessary. A late EHCP may result in outdated aspirations and needs, as well as a decline in a child’s learning abilities.
With these five simple steps, you can ensure each and every child is given a fair chance to succeed and meet their own personal goals. Want to read more about how you can support vulnerable children? Check out our Supporting the Social, Emotional and Academic Needs of Looked After Children blog.