ADHD Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
An Educational Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is a legal document in the United Kingdom that outlines the special educational, health, and social care needs of a child or young person with a disability or special educational needs. Its outlines the child’s specific needs and the support they require to ensure that the child or young person receives the necessary support needed to achieve their full potential.
In the UK, schools are responsible for providing support for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) up to a certain level. This support is usually provided through a school’s SEND department or through the mainstream classroom with additional support from teaching assistants or specialist teachers. The SEND funding for schools is complex – but broadly, an SEND pupil should receive around £6,000 of additional resource per year. Most of that funding is allocated to broad support and goes to pay for the additional support staff that are a shared resource for SEND pupils.
When a child’s needs exceed what the school can provide through it’s SEND provision, an Educational Health and Care Plan is required.
You need to have first pursued and exhausted your child’s school SEND provisions before you can pursue an EHCP.
EHCPs replaced the previous system of Statements of Special Educational Needs (SEN) in England and Wales in 2014. EHCPs are now used to support children and young people aged 0-25, whereas Statements of SEND only apply to children and young people in school.
The EHCP process involves a multi-agency assessment, which includes input from the child or young person and their parents or carers. The plan sets out the child or young person’s needs, the provision required to meet those needs, and the outcomes to be achieved. The EHCP also includes information about the educational setting where the child or young person will receive support. The plan may include support from health or social care professionals, such as speech and language therapists or occupational therapists, in addition to educational support. You can get an idea of what is in an EHCP from IPSEA.
EHCPs can cover a range of needs, including physical disabilities, learning difficulties, and mental health needs. The plan should be reviewed annually to ensure that it remains appropriate and effective for the child or young person.
ADHD Big EHCP Issue
ADHD traits around hyperactivity and impulsivity are often interpreted as behaviours – which can result in pupils being pushed down the exclusion route instead of support through the EHCP route.
ADHD traits around inattention are often interpreted as the pupil’s failure and not a medical condition – which can result in any interventions being woefully inadequate.
In both cases an EHCP can be life-changing in a child accessing their potential.
For further help, we recommend contacting your local Information Service. Details here.
Step 1 – Qualifying
Your child must be acknowledged as having Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) by your school and under 25. You will need to show that the SEND work undertaken by the school isn’t enough to meet the needs of the child. The fact that those needs are not met is the justification for why an Educational Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is needed.
A formal diagnosis is not a formal requirement for either SEND or EHCP; however, a formal diagnosis does significantly help.
Step 2 – Applying
You apply to your local authority for an Educational Health and Care Plan Assessment. You can do this or your school may do this for you. You can also get advice from the local Information Advice and Support Services Network.
Issues you may need to resolve:
Your school may be asked to show an SEND plan for the child. It will also need to show that that child is not responding to the interventions – that the SEND plan has not worked. In reality that can mean the school writing, and then documenting, the SEND plan for the first time.
Your Local Authority may conclude that an EHCP is not needed.
You then have the option to appeal via the Independent Advice and Support Service. There is additional guidance from IPSEA who have guidance and a refusal to access pack you can download.
Your Local Authority is obligated to answer within 6 weeks. If you don’t get a response Scope have a template letter here.
Step 3 – Creating the EHCP
i) Information gathering.
Once accepted, the process of creating an EHCP is lead by the local authority and usually involves assessments from multiple parties. You should collect and send copies (do not send originals) of relevant information you have. This includes anything you have on the child’s diagnosis and anything you have that shows they are not making the relevant progress. This may include:
- referrals to/ reports from doctors, occupational therapy or speech and language therapists;
- letters or reports from health professionals (NHS or Private);
- an educational psychologist report (if you have one);
- any notes you have from meetings with teachers on how your child is not meeting their SEN outcomes;
- your child’s school record. Include school reports and any SEND support records
The local authority will often ask for the following to be done :
- A Headteacher Report;
- a Doctor’s Report; and
- an Educational Psychologist Report
Based on the assessments, the local authority will decide whether an EHCP is necessary. If an EHCP is not required, the local authority should provide advice and support on other options available, such as school-based support. You can appeal this (see below)
iii) Draft EHCP:
If an EHCP is deemed necessary, a draft EHCP will be prepared, which outlines the child or young person’s needs, the provision required to meet those needs, and the outcomes to be achieved.
The draft EHCP will be shared with the child or young person, parents, and any relevant professionals for their feedback and suggestions. The local authority must consider these comments and make any necessary changes to the EHCP.
v) Final EHCP:
Once all parties have agreed on the EHCP, it becomes the final version, and the local authority is responsible for ensuring that the support outlined in the plan is provided.
Issues you may need to resolve:
You may need to request your child’s school record. [Scope have a template letter here]
The local authority is obligated to concluded the EHCP within 20 weeks. The reality is that this often doesn’t happen. Scope have advice on how to complain about delays here.
If the EHCP is declined or you don’t agree:
You have the right to go to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. Scope has good details here.
Step 4 – After you’ve got the EHCP
The EHCP should then be implemented by the local authority and school. You should also have annual reviews.