How can I get the most out of my plan?
The Family Services Co-ordinator at the local authority will issue a draft EHC plan using the evidence gathered from the needs assessment and the information given in the family views form.
The SEND Code of Practice says:
"The local authority must send the draft EHC plan to the child’s parent or to the young person and give them at least 15 days to give views and make representations on the content. During this period, the local authority must make its officers available for a meeting with the child’s parent or the young person on request if they wish to discuss the content of the draft EHC plan" (9.77)
Whilst the plan is in draft form, you will have 15 days to suggest any changes you would like to be considered and you can request to meet with them.
This gives you an opportunity to meet with the Family Services Co-ordinator (and any other professionals you would like to invite), to discuss provision and go over the draft plan, including requesting any changes you would like to make.
Ahead of the meeting it can be helpful to prepare notes about any questions you have or the changes you would like to request.
Once the local authority have received your response to the draft, they may issue further drafts to you for approval and will ask you which school is your preferred choice to be named.
All identified special educational needs must be specified, and the EHC plan should also include arrangements for setting and monitoring shorter term targets towards outcomes.
Provision must be detailed, specific and quantified within in an EHC plan. This means that it should be clear to parents, young people, and schools/providers what it is expected will be achieved with the provision, and who has to do what, when, and how often.
When reading through the draft plan there are a few things to consider in order to get the best possible final plan.
- Check that all the identified SEN are included in section B of the plan. Cross-reference with the specialist advice/reports (educational psychology, occupational/speech & language therapist etc)
- Check that each identified ‘need’ (sections B, C, and D) has a corresponding ‘provision’ (sections F, G H1 & H2).
- Section F should contain anything which 'educates' or 'trains' your child, for example this might include occupational or speech & language therapies, or travel training.
- Check health and social care needs have been identified and provision included
- From Year 9 onwards, provision to support preparation for adulthood and independent living
- For a young person, have the local authority made provision across five days (as outlined in the SEND Code Of Practice, 8.39 -9.42)
- Read the IPSEA EHC plan checklist for more detailed advice about what a plan should contain.
The outcomes should be SMART and provision specific