How we create an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) for your child
Once we have received your request for an assessment, it is passed to the Council's Single Multi-Agency Panel (SMAP) panel. A draft plan will be created, and you will receive a copy.
You have 15 days to comment, including if you want to ask that your child attends a special school or college. We then have 20 weeks from the date of the assessment to give you the final plan.
In-depth breakdown of the four stages of an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) Assessment
Step one - initial assessment (weeks 0-4)
The Lead Professional within the 'Team Around Me' completes an online proposal form on the Plymouth City Council Professional Portal.
Alternatively, a request for an EHC assessment can be made by the parent(s) or young person themselves.
After submission, the proposal is checked by an SEND Officer to ensure there is sufficient evidence to proceed. The proposal is discussed at the Single Multi-Agency Panel (SMAP). SMAP will consider the evidence provided and make a decision whether an EHC assessment should be undertaken or whether the child / young person's needs can be met at a non-statutory level.
If the decision is made not to proceed to an EHC assessment, the parent or young person will be informed by letter.
If the proposal to start an EHC assessment is declined, the parent / young person has the right to appeal through the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. Information about this procedure will be contained within the letter.
If SMAP agrees to start an EHC assessment, an Assessment Coordinator will be allocated to the case. The 0-25 SEND Statutory Assessment Team will inform the parent(s) / young person of the SMAP decision in writing.
Step two - planning (weeks 5-12)
If an EHC assessment is agreed the Assessment Coordinator will contact the family to gather additional information. The Assessment Coordinator will have been provided with information about professionals who are already part of the 'Team Around Me' and working with the child / young person and their family.
The Assessment Coordinator will discuss with the family whether they are happy to share their journey so far with agencies contributing to the assessment, so the family tell their story just once.
The 0-25 SEND Statutory Assessment Team will send out relevant paperwork to agencies to request any further reports for the Assessment Coordinator to consider as the SEND Officer allocated to support the Assessment Coordinator prepares the Skeleton EHC Plan.
The SEND Officer is responsible for writing the Skeleton EHC Plan based upon the information provided by, and discussed with, the family / young person and professionals involved.
The Assessment Coordinator will organise a meeting to amend the Skeleton EHC Plan with the family / young person and relevant professionals. The meeting will be promoting a person-centred approach and will focus on the outcomes that have been agreed as priorities for the child / young person and confirm what will need to be done to achieve these outcomes.
For young people over 14, there will need to be planning for adulthood. Following this meeting, the Skeleton Plan becomes a Draft Plan.
Step three - draft Plan Stage (weeks 11-16)
The Draft EHC Plan is submitted to SMAP who make a decision on whether to make the EHC Plan statutory and allocate funding if required.
If SMAP agree to make the EHC Plan statutory, it will be sent to the parents / young person to approve both the content of the EHC Plan and the educational setting the Local Authority propose to name in the Plan.
If SMAP decide not to make the EHC Plan statutory there will be a step down process to ensure the child or young person's needs are met without statutory provision. The Assessment Coordinator or if necessary, the 0-25 SEND Statutory Assessment Team will talk this through with the family. 4.
Step 4 - finalising the EHC Plan (weeks 16-20)
The final stage of confirming the EHC Plan is the parents' / young person's agreement to the plan. The family / young person have 15 calendar days from the Draft EHC Plan being sent to them to contact us with their agreement to the Plan or to propose any changes they would like made to the Draft EHC Plan. If parents request amendments or changes that are agreed, they will be completed at this time. The aim is to issue a finalised EHC Plan by week 20.
The final EHC Plan will be sent to all the professionals involved who have contributed, to give clarity on what their service has agreed to deliver. A copy of the EHC Plan will also be sent to Social Care and the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), if relevant. Social Care provision must comply with the Children's Act 1989 or for young people over 18, the Care Act 2014. The CCG must ensure that the specified health provision is made.
Plymouth City Council will provide the top-up funding for the support identified in the EHC Plan.
The EHC Plan will be reviewed annually with the initial review within 12 months of the date when the EHC Plan was finalised by the Lead Professional and multi-agency 'Team Around Me', however sections of it can be reviewed as necessary.
Links to external websites
- Plymouth Information, Advice and Support for SEND
- SEND guide for parents and carers - GOV.UK
- SEND code of practice: 0 to 25 years - GOV.UK
- Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP) for your child
- Submit a request for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) assessment
- How to appeal an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
- Annual reviews for children with special educational needs
- Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) flowchart
- Early Help Assessment Tool
- Education, Health and Care Plan frequently asked questions
- Plymouth Early Help and SEND Advice Line
Plymouth's Local Offer is organised into four main categories covering the following age ranges:
- Early years (0 to 5 years old)
- Primary (5 to 11 years old)
- Secondary (11 to 18 years old)
- Preparing for adulthood
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