What is an Education Healthcare Plan?
You may have heard other parents talk about applying for an Education Healthcare Plan ( EHCP) and been advised to apply for one yourself, but you have no idea what this is.
If your child is struggling to work at age appropriate standards, then this may trigger some extra help from your child's school, such as learning phonic patterns in a small group. Every school in the UK has a special education needs (SEN) budget to help students who struggle and at the time of writing this is £6000 per student.
It is quite hard to get a school to spend this on your child because each school has an assumed level of SEN students - they may actually have more or they may have fewer. If they have a higher proportion of SEN pupils then they can really struggle to spend £6000.00 extra on their students.
Many parents have to resort to paying for private assessments to try and get their child's school to spend more money on their child's education. This can work, especially if it shows that your child is significantly behind their peers.
Sometimes a child is a long way behind ( 18 months- 2 years behind) and they need more than £6000 extra to be spent on them. This is where an EHCP comes in.
You, as a parent, can request that the Local Authority assesses your child's education ( and health if that is an issue for your child) needs to see if the school does require extra funding to support your child. You must show that the school needs to spend in excess of their £6000 allocation to properly support your child. If you are successful, then the school will receive the funding specifically for your child.
Your child will need to be assessed by an educational psychologist, which should be arranged by the Local Authority, but many parents pay for a private one too so that their child's difficulties are fully identified.
This can be a stressful process to go through but can also lead to the support that your child needs to be given at school.
The organisation IPSEAcan guide you through this process.