EHCP’s- What are they? How can you get one? What do they mean?
We’ve come across many Parent Carers who have concerns about their child’s education. The Children and Families Act secures the presumption of mainstream education in law. This basically means that every child has the right to mainstream education unless it is proved that their needs outweigh what a mainstream school can reasonably give.
So, what is an EHCP?
EHCP stands for Education, Health and Care Plan. It is a legal document that outlines a child or young person’s special educational, health and social care needs. The Plan will detail the extra help that the child/young person will receive in order to fulfil their potential and achieve what they want.
Who is eligible for an EHCP?
The child/young person must be aged 0-25 and have additional needs which are impacting on their education.
The first step is requesting an EHC needs assessment.
Who can request this?
As a Parent Carer You can!
You do not need to have a diagnosis to request an EHC needs assessment. If your child/young person has a need which is affecting their learning and involvement in school and you feel that the school are not providing the extra help required then you have every right to go to your Local Authority and request an EHC needs assessment.
As a Young Person aged 16-25 you can request an EHC needs assessment for yourself.
A school or college can request an EHC needs assessment for any of their students.
How do you request an EHC needs assessment?
By writing to your Local Authority. Contact details for Suffolk County Council are as follows:
SCC Head Office: Suffolk County Council, Endeavour House, 8 Russell Road, Ipswich, IP1 2BX
Landmark House: 4 Egerton Road, Ipswich IP1 5PF
West Suffolk House: Western Way, Bury St Edmunds IP33 3YU
Riverside: 4 Canning Road, Lowestoft, NR33 0EQ
The Customer Service is open Monday to Friday 8.30am-6pm on 0345 606 6067.
If you continue to face challenges with your request then you can contact your local Councillor for support. You can find who your local council is through the following website:
There are several organisations that can help you with this process and provide templates for your request letter:
-Sendiass (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Service). https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/children-families-and-learning/send-and-the-local-offer/sendiass/
-IPSEA, Independent Parental Special Education Advice.
-Contact, for families with disabled children.
There is also lots of useful information on the government website.
Good Luck and let us know how you get on!