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Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) flowchart

There are seven main stages of an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

Plymouth Local Offer EHCP Flowchart

Step one

A school or parent must first identify whether the child has any additional needs.

Both the school and parents should discuss their worries and concerns.

These conversations can happen at any point during the year.

Examples of additional needs might include emotional and behavioural difficulties, communication difficulties, mobility difficulties, specific learning difficulties such as Dyslexia, medical needs such as Epilepsy and Cerebral Palsy, Autism, including Asperger Syndrome, Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder (ADHD/ADD) or Obsessive Compulsive Disorders.

Step two

To help identify a child's additional needs, schools must use a Graduated Approach.

During this process, schools must involve parents in the three main stages, which are access, do and review.

Step three

The school might be able to provide adequate intervention for the child or young person to make progress.

Different needs will require different styles of intervention, and part of this process is about finding the right approach for the young person.

If they can, the child or young person will remain on the school's SEND register.

Examples of interventions could include how the teacher communicates with the young person, how other young people in their class can provide support, or the classroom environment. 

Step four

If the school cannot provide adequate intervention for the child or young person, then a Team Around Me (TAM) meeting should be organised.

A TAM consists of relevant professionals, staff, and family members.

The school should implement their early help strategies and review progress through subsequent TAM meetings with professionals.

Step five

Following the Team Around Me (TAM) meetings, the schools, professionals, and parents may decide that the child or young person requires additional support.

Requests for specific support are made via a referral to the Plymouth Children's Gateway.

Examples of additional support might include a special learning programme, extra help from a teacher or assistant, to work in a smaller group, observation in class or at break, help taking part in class activities, extra encouragement in their learning, help communicating with other children, support with physical or personal care difficulties.

Step six

Following the TAM and all the meetings between the parents, school and professionals, a request for an Education, Health and Care Plan is sent to the Council's 0-25 Special Educational Needs (SEN) Team.

The request is collated, together with any supporting documents, and submitted to the Single Multi-Agency Panel (SMAP).

The SMAP will decide within 4 weeks whether to conduct an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment.

Step seven

If the Single Multi-Agency Panel (SMAP) agrees to conduct an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment then the parent or young person will be notified.

Stage one - initial assessment (weeks 0 to 4)

SMAP will consider the evidence provided and decide whether an EHC Assessment should be undertaken or whether the child or young person's needs can be met at a non-statutory level.

If SMAP agrees to start an EHC Needs Assessment, an Assessment Coordinator will be allocated to the case. The 0-25 SEND Statutory Assessment Team will notify the parents and young person in writing of the SMAP decision.

Stage 2 - planning (weeks 5 to 12)

A SEND Officer and Caseworker will be allocated to work with the family or young person to gather further information, review the graduated approach and create a draft of the EHC Plan.

For young people over 14, there will need to be planning for adulthood.

Stage 3 - draft Education, Health and Care Needs Plan (weeks 11 to 16)

The draft plan is submitted to the SMAP, who will decide on whether to make the plan statutory and allocate funding.

If the SMAP agrees to make the plan statutory, it will be sent to the parents and young people for approval of both the plan's content and the educational setting that the council proposes to name in the plan.

Stage 4 - finalising the plan (weeks 16 to 20)

The final stage of confirming the Education, Health and Care Needs Plan is the parents' and young person's agreement to the plan.

The aim is to issue a finalised Education, Health and Care Need Plan by week 20.

The Education, Health and Care Needs Plan will be reviewed annually, with the initial review within 12 months of the date when the plan was finalised by the Lead Professional and multi-agency Team Around Me, however, sections of it can be reviewed as necessary.

If the Single Multi-Agency Panel (SMAP) decides that the child or young person does not require a formal Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment then the parents will be notified.

The 0-25 SEND Team will explain how the SMAP reached their decision and the right to appeal.

Plymouth Information, Advice and Support for SEND can support parents during the appeal process.

A step down process is used to ensure needs are met without statutory provision.

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Plymouth's Local Offer is organised into four main categories covering the following age ranges:

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