Welcome to SenExperts.co.uk – we specialise in SEN legal advice
SenExperts discusses Special Education Needs (SEN), with a focus on Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs). The aim of this site is to offer impartial, factual information that can be used by parents and guardians to manage their children’s special educational needs – both efficiently and stress-free. SEN is a complex area and one best served by a firm of experienced and specialised SEN solicitors.
While schools in England do provide varying degrees of SEN support, such as specialized teachers, an adapted curriculum, tutoring in smaller class sizes and SEN centers, in many cases this support is not sufficient to meet the needs of young learners.
This can be due to a number of reasons. For example, a specific school or college may lack the resources to meet the complex educational needs of a particular student with severe learning difficulties; in other cases, children with mild-to-moderate SEN might not be making as much progress as they or you would have hoped – and that extra bit of support could give them the boost they need. This is where Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) come in.
What is an EHCP?
Introduced in 2014, EHCPs are comprehensive provisions providing integrated health, educational and social support for children and young people up until the age of 25.
Parents and guardians typically apply for EHCPs for children who are in nursery, school or a specialised SEN center; however, as these plans are effective up until the age of 25, a young person is able to continue using the EHCP themselves after leaving school for support through college, during an apprenticeship or as part of other training.
After a formal assessment of the child or young learner, the EHCP may be issued in the form of a document outlining the health, educational and social assistance available. There is no standard format, but the document must contain the following sections labelled A-K.
A – Views, interests and aspirations of the child or young person
B – The special educational needs
C – The health needs
D – Social care needs
E – Outcomes sought for the child
F – Special educational provision
G – Health care provision
H – Social care provision
I – School placement
J – Personal Budget
K – List of advice
Obtaining an EHCP
The rest of this site goes into detail about each of the steps that should be taken in order to obtain and then maintain EHCP for your child. Relevant information can be found under the pages ‘Requesting an EHCP Assessment’, ‘Obtaining an ECHP’ and ‘Adjusting an EHCP’.
Appealing an EHCP Assessment Decision
Parents going through the EHCP process may find that they are in disagreement with the local authority, and may find they wish to utilise the appeals process.
On this site, SenExperts breaks down the appeals process into the following sections:
- Appealing a refusal by the local authority to carry out an Education Health and Needs Assessment
- Appealing a refusal by the local authority to issue an EHCP
- Appealing the contents of the EHCP
- Appealing an EHCP after an annual review
- Appealing a decision to cease to maintain an EHCP
- Appealing a SENDIST decision to the Upper Tribunal
Should you consider a Special Education Needs Solicitor?
Engaging a legal service provider (Special Educational Needs Solicitors) may seem like a drastic step to take when it comes to securing an EHCP for your child, but in many cases, it is a necessary one.
Laws regarding SEN in the UK can be confusing, and both the application and appeals process potentially complex.
In situations of conflict – however small or big that conflict may be – will normally result in a mountain of different advice and opinions from local authorities, the school or college as well as others with SEN children. This mountain becomes all the more manageable with Special Educational Needs (SEN) Solicitors, who can provide expert independent advice that has your child’s best interests in mind.