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Writing an EHC Plan

The Local Authority (LA) must consult the child and the child’s parent or the young person throughout the process of an Education, Health and Care Needs assessment and production of an EHC plan.

The Local Authority must gather advice from relevant professionals about the child or young person’s education, health and care needs, desired outcomes and special educational, health and care provision that may be required to meet identified needs and achieve desired outcomes.

In seeking advice and information, the Local Authority should consider with professionals what advice they can contribute to ensure the assessment covers all the relevant education, health and care needs of the child or young person.

The Content of an Education Health and Care (EHC) Plan

When preparing a child or young person’s EHC Plan, the Local Authority must take into account the evidence received when securing the EHC needs assessment and consider how best to achieve the outcomes for the child or young person.

To gather evidence for the EHC needs assessment, the Local Authority will contact:

  • the headteacher, principal or manager of the school, college or other setting
  • the Educational Psychology Service
  • the specialist teaching and learning service (SEND Services)
  • health services
  • social services.

The Local Authority will consult other relevant agencies where the parent or young person notifies the LA that this would be a useful contribution to the EHC needs assessment and plan development.  The relevance and the quality of an Education, Health and Care plan will depend on the contributions of the professionals who know the child or young person.  The Local Authority collates the advice provided.  Agencies contributing advice to an EHC needs assessment that will potentially form the basis of an EHC plan should work collaboratively with children, young people and families in drawing up their advice.

An EHC needs assessment will establish what the child or young person needs are and what support will meet these needs.  The information gathered will form the basis of an Education, Health and Care plan where the decision is to issue one.

Outcomes in an EHC Plan

An outcome is the benefit or positive difference made to an individual as a result of an intervention. 

An outcome should also be SMART.  This means it should be

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time bound

It should be personal to the child or young person, not described from a service perspective

A good outcome states plainly something the child or young person will be able to do that they cannot do now as a result of an intervention.

A Person Centred Approach

Children, young people and families should experience well co-ordinated assessment and planning leading to timely, well informed decisions.

Local Authorities must consult the child and the child’s parent or the young person throughout the process of assessment and production of an EHC plan.  They should also involve the child as far as possible in this process. The needs of the individual child and young person should sit at the heart of the assessment and planning process.

Planning starts with the individual and the Local Authority must have regard to the views, wishes and feelings of the child, the child’s parent or the young person.  The Local Authority will consider their aspirations, the outcomes they seek and the support they need to realise them.  It should enable children, parents and young people to have control over decisions about their support including the potential use of a Personal Budget.

The assessment and planning process should:

  • focus on the child or young person as an individual;
  • enable children and young people and their parents to express their views, wishes and feelings
  • enable children and young people and their parents to be part of the decision-making process;
  • be easy for children, young people and their parents or carers to understand;
  • use clear language and images rather than professional jargon;
  • highlight the child or young person’s strengths and capabilities;
  • enable the child or young person, and those that know them best to say what they have done, what they are interested in and what outcomes they are seeking;
  • tailor support to the needs of the individual;
  • organise assessments to minimise demands on families;
  • deliver an outcome focused and co-ordinated plan for the child or young person.

This is often referred to as a person-centred approach.  By using this approach within a family context, professionals and Local Authorities can ensure that children, young people and parents are involved in all aspects of planning and decision-making.

Local Authorities should support and encourage the involvement of children, young people and parents or carers by:

  • providing them with access to the relevant information in accessible formats;
  • giving them time to prepare for discussions and meetings;
  • dedicating time in discussions and meetings to hearing their views.

Some children and young people will require support from an advocate so that their views can be shared.

 

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