What are education, health and care plans?

EHC Plans are being introduced in September 2014 and after this date students with existing Statements of Special Educational Needs will have them updated to EHC Plans. The Local Authority is currently involved in discussions with parents throughout Northumberland about this.

According to the revised Code of Practice, the majority of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities will have their needs met within local mainstream early years providers, schools or colleges. The Local Authority must, however, conduct an assessment of education, health and care needs and prepare an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) when it considers that it may be necessary for special educational provision to be made for the child or young person. This is likely to be where the special education provision required to meet the child or young person’s needs cannot reasonably be provided from within the resources normally available to mainstream early years providers, schools and post 16 institutions. This statutory assessment should not be the first step in the process; rather it should follow on from planning already undertaken with parents and young people in conjunction with an early years provider, school, post-16 institution or other provider.

EHC plans must be focused on the outcomes the child or young person seeks to achieve across education, health and care. EHC plans must set out how services will work together to meet the child or young person’s needs and in support of those outcomes. EHC plans will be based on a co-ordinated assessment and planning process which puts the child and young person and their parents at the centre of decision making.

Statutory assessment will not always lead to an EHC plan and the information gathered during an assessment may indicate ways in which the school, college or other provider can meet the child or young person’s needs from within available resources.

More information about EHC plans can be accessed via the Northumberland website.

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