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Education, Health & Care plans

Camden local offer

Some children and young people with special educational needs do not make progress despite the early intervention support that is put in place for them (see the section on ‘Early intervention').

Children and young people with exceptional levels of special educational needs may require more help than can be provided by the school or setting, even with the support of outside agencies that are ordinarily available to them. These children and young people may need an EHC needs assessment to help the Local Authority to decide whether or not the child or young person needs extra support to be agreed in an EHC plan. 

Where a child’s health or care needs are considered exceptional, but their education needs can be met from the resources that are ordinarily available, they would not normally require an EHC plan. A small number of children will need more help than their school or setting can provide.

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What is an EHC plan?

  • An Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan is a legal document for children and young people aged 0 to 25 for children with exceptional special educational needs – this is a small number of children each year.  It describes a child or young person’s educational, health and social care needs. 
  • An EHC plan outlines a child or young person's strengths and needs, and describes individual outcomes that are agreed for that child and young person. 
  • The plan describes what extra help will be given to support the child or young person to achieve their aspirations. It details the education, health and care provision that is required to help the child or young person achieve the outcomes in their plan.
  • If a child or young person has an EHC plan, they will take that plan with them when they move school. The kinds of resources available in these different kinds of schools may vary, so this may mean changing the provision in the plan. A change in the type of provision is usually agreed at an annual review, and you will be part of that process. Your child will be part of that process too when they are able to, at any age. 
  • An EHC plan can continue in place (revised as needed) while they are still in education and until the goals of the plan have been met. For some children and young people, their plan will end before they leave school. Some young people will still need a plan when they are in the sixth form or in an FE (college) course.   
  • When young aged 16 or above have the capacity to make decisions for themselves, their views will be given priority. 
  • The EHC plan is a single plan that shows the support a child will need for education in school as well as support from health and care services that will help a child or young people achieve the outcomes specified in the plan.
  • The Education element of the plan will explain what is needed for the child or young/person to attend school and achieve the best they can in their learning. It will state which school or setting the child or young person will go to. 
  • The Health element of the plan will set out any health services or health support that the child needs to ensure they can learn and participate fully in school life. Some health provision will only be needed while the child or young person is in education. Some health provision will be needed whether or not the child or young person is in education.
  • The Social Care element of the plan will set out any services that the local authority will provide to support the child and their family to live as ‘ordinary’ a life as possible
  • Some children will need an EHC plan at a very young age. Most will not need a plan until after they start school, because of the way that we fund early years education in Camden.

Some children and young people still have a legal plan in the form of a statement of special educational needs. All Local Authorities are required to transfer statements to EHC plans by April 2018. A statement is still a legal document until an EHC plan is finalised following the transfer review (an annual review when the transfer is planned). You can see Camden’s plan for when we transfer statements to plans here.

Click here for the blank EHC template that we use in Camden.  

What is an EHC needs assessment?

  • An Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment is a legal process that requires that education, health and social care professionals work together to gather information about a child or young person’s special educational needs. This helps the Local Authority to decide whether the school or setting needs extra funding to be able to meet that child or young person’s needs in that setting.
  • You will have an allocated ‘Assessment Co-ordinator’ who will help you to understand the EHC needs assessment process and make sure we ask the right people for advice. The Assessment Co-ordinator may be an educational psychologist, a therapist, a teacher, a transitions social worker, or another professional who you know and who is involved in the EHC needs assessment.
  • You can also have help from an independent advisor, for example someone who from SENDIASS who has helped you, or an independent supporter from KIDS.
  • During the EHC needs assessment process, parents and professionals will build up a plan. This is called ‘My Assessment Plan’. It is set out like an EHC plan, but it will not become a legal EHC plan unless it is agreed near the end of the assessment that extra help is necessary. 
  • A statutory EHC needs assessment process may lead to an EHC plan being issued. This will depend on the level of extra help required to meet a child or young person’s special educational needs. 
  • If an EHC plan is not agreed, the school or setting and family should use My Assessment Plan’ as the basis for early intervention to ensure that the right provision is in place to meet the child or young person’s needs.
  • Children, young people and their families are at the centre of the assessment, planning, and review process. In Camden, professionals work together with parents / carers to ensure we understand your child’s needs. We firmly that believe we will get the best outcomes for children by working with you in partnership.
  • Where the child is old enough and able, we encourage the child or young person to contribute to planning too.
  • An EHC needs assessment can be started as soon after a child is born as necessary. For most children, however, we are more likely to agree an EHC needs assessment when a child is approaching or has started in education. This is because young children can develop and change quickly, and we need to make sure that that if we agree an EHC plan before a child starts in any education, the plan is ‘up to date’.
  • When a young person aged 16 or older is able to make decisions for themselves, we will work directly with them when they request plans, or when anyone else requests an assessment on their behalf.
  • Our approach to developing EHC plans is to ensure they are person-centred and clearly define what outcomes should be achieved.
  • During the assessment process, parents / carers and professionals, together with children and young people when they are able to, will meet together in a ‘Team Around the Child’ or ‘TAC’ meeting to agree the outcomes that should be achieved for that child or young person.

What do we mean by a 'person-centred approach'?

A person-centred approach is a way of working that puts children, young people and families at the centre of what we do and recognises that everyone has the right to exercise choice and control in directing their lives and support. 

We will listen carefully to what is important to the child or young person now and in the future, and what they, their family and assessing professionals say is important for them.  Professionals involved in the process will have strategies to ensure that parents./carers and children/young people can overcome any barriers to being able to contribute their views. 

The Local Authority will agree action or changes based on the evidence from parents / carers, children and young people, and assessing professionals. We need to be fair about how we make decisions: this means that parents, carers and children and young people may not always be able to have exactly what they want in their EHC plan. However. we will carefully consider what that child or young person needs and make sure that you have the opportunity to explain what you and your child need from the assessment.

To help young people and parents/carers with children about to start the EHC needs assessment process, it would be helpful to think about:

  • Who is in my family? Who is important to me?
  • What I like about me and what I am good at
  • What’s not working about my support? What would I like to change?
  • New things I would like to try
  • What are my aspirations? What would I like to be doing when I leave education?

In Camden, we use the attached template to help parents/carers and children and young people to ensure their views are at the heart of the assessment.  Schools and settings are required to include ‘All About Me’ at the beginning of the process. We give this to any professionals that are asked to contribute, to make sure they understand your views and wishes along with those of your child.

What do we mean by ‘outcomes’?

A key element of the EHCP is that it provides for the focus on desired outcomes for the child or young person. An outcome is defined as “the benefit or difference made to an individual as a result of an intervention” (SEND Code of Practice). 

Outcomes often start with the words ‘Name will be able to…’ or ‘Name will …’ .  Outcomes do not say anything about the level of help that will be provided, as this is the provision or intervention that will help your child reach the outcomes.

An outcome is what the intervention will lead to: for example the provision of three hours of speech and language therapy is not an outcome. The outcome is what it is intended that the speech and language therapy will help the child or young person to do that they cannot already do now, and it should be clear about when this will be achieved.

In line with the SEND Code of Practice, the outcomes section of the EHCP (Section E) is divided into two linked areas: Aspirations and Outcomes.

  • Aspirations are the long term hopes and dreams – usually these will come from the child / young person and their family. They are directly linked to the hopes and aspirations question in Section A of the EHCP
  • Outcomes are what a child/young person (and their family) will be supported to achieve towards their aspirations over the next few years. The outcome will describe what the child or young person will achieve by the end of the next phase of their education or key stage.

For example:

Aspiration

  • David will eat a range of foods and have a healthy diet

Outcome (by end of next Key stage)

  • David will eat a range of different foods, particularly those not dry and crunchy, at home and in other environments twice a day

How can schools and settings request an EHC needs assessment?

An EHC needs assessment can be requested by a school or setting, by a parent or carer, or by a young person aged 16 or older. In any request, the Local Authority will need evidence to show that:

  • the child or young person’s needs are exceptional,
  • that the school or setting has put in place relevant support that has a good evidence base from their own assessments
  • that the cost of the extra support is more than what is ordinarily available in that school or setting

Some assessments are initiated by the Local Authority because they have been given evidence by someone else, usually by a health service, that a child will not be able to access education without the extra support of an EHC plan.  Parents and carers will always be informed about this and will be asked for consent before any assessment is started.

You will need to give your consent before the request can be made. You can ask for help from the professionals who work with your child:

  • If your child attends an early years setting (e.g. nursery, primary school), you should speak to the staff there.  They can call on extra help, for example the Early Years Intervention Team for those in a Children’s Centre or Private and Voluntary setting; or school support services for children attending a nursery class in a mainstream school.
  • If your child is not in education yet, and you are worried about his or her development, the best people to talk to are your Health Visitor or GP.  They may make a referral to health and therapy services in MOSAIC.
  • If you attend MOSAIC, you can speak to the professionals who work with your child there.
  • If your child attends a school or college, talk to the class teacher, form tutor or special educational needs co-ordinator.

How can parents / carers request an EHC assessment?

An EHC needs assessment can be requested by a school or setting, by a parent or carer, or by a young person aged 16 or older. In any request, the Local Authority will need evidence to show that:

  • the child or young person’s needs are exceptional,
  • that the school or setting has put in place relevant support that has a good evidence base from their own assessments
  • that the cost of the extra support is more than what is ordinarily available in that school or setting.

If you have discussed your child’s progress with the school or setting and you believe your child’s needs are greater than the school or setting believes, you can ask for an assessment yourself by writing directly to the Special Educational Needs Team.

It is best to telephone the team to discuss your request as they can help you with what information to send. You can also email or write.

Telephone: 020 7974 6500 – ask to speak to a Special Educational Needs Case Officer who can help with what information needs to be provided.

Email: sen.assessment@camden.gov.uk

Postal address:
Special Educational Needs Team
London Borough of Camden
Supporting People Directorate
Camden Town Hall (for 5 Pancras Square)
London, WC1H 9JE

If you make a request, the team will gather information from the school or setting, and any involved professionals. If you have them, please forward any reports from school, health therapists or any other professionals to help the Local Authority make a decision more quickly.

You can contact SENDIASS or KIDS for independent advice.

A young person over the age of 16 can also contact the special educational needs and disability service directly.

How can a young person aged 16 or older make a request?

An EHC needs assessment can be requested by a school or setting, by a parent or carer, or by a young person aged 16 or older. In any request, the Local Authority will need evidence to show that:

  • the child or young person’s needs are exceptional,
  • that the school or setting has put in place relevant support that has a good evidence base from their own assessments
  • that the cost of the extra support is more than what is ordinarily available in that school or setting

Young people can contact the Special Educational Needs Team directly.

It is best to telephone the team to discuss your request as they can help you with what information to send. You can also email or write.

Telephone: 020 7974 6500 – ask to speak to a Special Educational Needs Case Officer who can help with what information needs to be provided.

Email: sen.assessment@camden.gov.uk

Postal address:
Special Educational Needs Team
London Borough of Camden
Supporting People Directorate
Camden Town Hall (for 5 Pancras Square)
London, WC1H 9JE

If you make a request, the team will gather information from the school or setting, and any involved professionals. If you have them, please forward any reports from school, health therapists or any other professionals to help the Local Authority make a decision more quickly.

You can contact SENDIASS or KIDS for independent advice.

Transfer of statements to EHC plans

If you already have a statement of special educational need

  • Children and young people with statements of special educational needs and young people who receive support as a result of a learning disability assessment will be gradually transferred over to the new special educational needs and disability (SEND) system.

Transferring from a statement to an EHC plan

  • Since September 2014 Camden has begun transferring existing statements to Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans. This process, which will be phased, must be completed within 3 ½ years by April 2018.

You can see Camden's Transition Plan by clicking here.

EHC assessment process diagram

Click on the diagram below for a downloadable version of the EHC assessment process.

Navigating Camden’s SEND documents in the assessment pathway

This section will help explain the different templates that we use in Camden to help organise our EHC needs assessments.    

Every assessment is different and the information in the templates is personalised for that child or young person. The templates are all attached on the right of this page.

Requesting an EHC needs assessment: 

  • When schools and settings make a request for an EHC needs assessment, they complete ‘EHCP request form’ when you have signed your consent.
  • Schools and settings are asked to send in ‘All About Me’ with their request – you might have already completed this yourself, or you might want help from an independent advisor, or from a member of staff from the school or setting.

When parents or young people request an assessment, we ask the school or setting to complete the ‘EHCP request form’ so we know how well a child is doing and what extra help they already get. We also ask the parent / carer or young person over 16 to complete ‘All About Me.’   

If we agree to carry out an EHC needs assessment:

  • The assessment co-ordinator will contact you to introduce themselves and check if there are any changes you want to make to ‘All About Me

‘All About Me’ helps assessing professionals place the child or young person and their family, and their views at the centre of the process. It is an important part of the assessment.

  • During the assessment, the information from the assessment will be summarised in ‘My Assessment Plan’. You will contribute to ‘My Assessment Plan’, and you may be given drafts at different stages. You should have at least one draft before the ‘Team Around the Child’ meeting where the planned outcomes are discussed and agreed.   
  • ‘My Assessment Plan’ is not a legal document, but it supports a legal process. It may become a legal document (see the next paragraph).

If we agree to issue an EHC plan:

  • If the Local Authority decides that the child or young person needs more resources to deliver ‘My Assessment Plan’ than are ordinarily available, ‘My Assessment Plan’ becomes a draft ‘EHC plan’. You have up to two weeks to comment on the draft. 
  • The possibility of a personal budget is discussed with the parents/carers or young people over 16.  
  • The team will use the draft ‘EHC plan’ to consult to schools and settings.

When a placement is named in section I, and the plan is signed, the ‘EHC plan’ becomes a legal document. It is now an ‘EHC plan’ and is no longer called a draft.

School admissions for children and young people with an EHC Plan

Children with a statement of special educational needs or EHC plan

The schools admissions application process is different for children with statements of special educational needs, or an education, health and care (EHC) plan. Parents of children who have a statement or EHC plan should not apply through the ordinary process, but should be guided by the SEN team of the local authority that maintains the statement or EHC plan.

You can contact The Camden SEN Team by calling 020 7974 6500 or by emailing sen.enquiries@camden.gov.uk.

Children being assessed for an EHC plan

If your child is being assessed for special educational needs you need to apply by completing the common application. You do not have to wait until the assessment is completed before enrolling your child. Please seek the advice of the SEN team of the local authority that is carrying out the assessment.

You can contact the The Camden SEN Team by calling 020 7974 6500 or by emailing sen.enquiries@camden.gov.uk.

General school admissions

If your child does not have a statement of special educational needs, or an education, health and care (EHC) plan and they are not in the process of an assessment for one, they will need to apply via the general school admissions process. 

To find out more about the school admissions process, you can visit their webpage or contact the school admissions team directly.

Who can I contact for advice?

  • If you would like independent support and advice in connection with an EHC assessment you can contact the SENDIASS. You can find out more about what they do by visting their website. Their telephone number is 0207 974 6264 or email SENDIASS@camden.gov.uk.

If we can't agree, what can I do and who can I contact?

In Camden we aim to work closely with parents / carers and plan together the support a child or young person needs. We try to make sure that resources are shared so that all children who need it receive the support and services they need. For some services we have to set eligibility criteria so that it is clear how we make decisions on which children can access these resources.

Sometimes families do not agree with the decisions we make. When that happens we do try to do everything we can to resolve the disagreement first through discussion.

There are lots of ways to resolve the disagreement in the first place and we really want to do this together with you. Children and young people's needs change over time and we want to make sure that families don't struggle if disagreements about the support being provided to your child arises. If you have a concern about a decision then please do discuss with the service provider.

If you need support to do this you can contact SENDIASS and someone can support you. KIDS Independent Supporters can also provide support to parents and carers.

If discussion does not resolve the disagreement we offer independent mediation.

For further details about independent advice, complaints, disagreement resolution, mediation and your right of appeal, please click here.

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