With changes to the current Statement of Special Educational Needs due to come into force in September this year it may be an anxious time for many parents and young people.

Below the National Autistic Society provides answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.

What is an EHC Plan?

An EHC Plan will replace current Statements of SEN and Learning Difficulty Assessments. The plan will be a legal document describing a young person’s needs, the provisions to meet those needs and the suitable educational placement. Government has stated that the Plan must be person centred, focusing on the needs and aspirations of the child. EHC Plans will continue into further education and training, and for some young people up to the age of 25.


Who will have an Education Health and Care Plan?

The Department for Education has stated that a child or young person who currently has a Statement of SEN will have an EHC Plan. Guidance says that EHC Plans should be issued when the local authority considers the special educational needs of the child cannot be reasonably provided for with resources normally available to mainstream early years, schools and post 16 institutions.

Young people aged 19-25 or their parents have the right to request an assessment of their special educational needs at any point and it will be possible for them to have an EHC plan. However there is no automatic right of education up to 25 years.

As the Bill and Code of Practice currently stand children and young people with primarily health or care needs will not be issued with a plan, unless these needs impact their education.


Will there be help for children without an EHC Plan?

Under the current system there is additional help and support for children at school without a Statement of SEN, through School Action or School Action Plus.

Under the Children and Families Bill and the Code of Practice, School Action and School Action Plus will be replaced with SEN Support. SEN Support will be the support available in school for children and young people who have special educational needs but do not have Education, Health and Care plans.


What is a personal budget?

All families whose child has an EHC plan will have a right to request a personal budget. The personal budget will allow young people or parents to buy support identified in the plan directly, rather than relying on the local authority.

Parents or young people will be given a choice of whether they want to take control of the personal budget by either having an agency managing the funds on their behalf or by receiving direct payments, allowing them to purchase and manage the provision themselves.

Find out more from The National Autistic Society at www.autism.org.uk

Written by Rachel Harrison

Speech and Language Therapist

On behalf of Integrated Treatment Services.


May 2014

Image rights by www.pixabay.com

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