How To Get the Best From Your Child’s EHCP

Claire Walley
January 16, 2024

Education Health Care Plans or EHCPS as they are known are intended to provide ring fenced funding and legalisation of your child’s special educational needs (SEN) provision from birth to the age of twenty-five. They span over the education, health and social care sectors and intend to provide a unified support package to children – to help them secure the best outcomes for their future.

The EHCP, unfortunately has somewhat of a reputation since it’s introduction in 2014, replacing the old ‘Statement System’. EHCPs are often seen as tricky to apply for, often refused and a whole lot of paperwork with little positive outcome. However, this is because (in our humble opinion) the EHCP processes are not executed properly. If a EHCP is created well, implemented correctly, and reviewed with thought they are impressive things! Imagine being able to ensure the best specialist for your child for twenty-five years, funding by the Local Authority (LA), everchanging as your child grows and progresses!

It seems an unlikely scenario that an EHCP could do such a thing, but with careful planning, some shrewd thinking, and a solid understanding of the process you too can ensure your child’s EHCP is top bar. Here are our top tips when it comes to applying for an EHCP.

  1. Ensure quality professional’s reports – whatever you put into your application will appear in the EHCP. The SEN team at the LA will copy and paste sections from your professional reports to create the provision and outcomes. Make sure the evidence you are providing is good quality, you have spoken to the professional about your aims for their report. The SEN Expert offers an EHCP Application Service, whereby we review all evidence for your application to make sure it will guarantee the best support and funding.
  2. SMART – All outcomes for your child need to be SMART, meaning that they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based.  Too often EHCP outcomes are woolly. Meaning that you cannot easily prove progress or lack of it. This means it can be hard to ask for more support if things are not working, because proving that things are tricky is open to interpretation of a waffly outcome!
  3. Future proofed – The EHCP is going to support your child from birth to twenty-five. The intention of it is to ensure they are an independent member of their chosen community, in whatever format works for them. Therefore, you need to ensure the EHCP focusses on developing life skills – seeing them as developing young adult, rather than being focussed on one specific school year for example.
  4. Specific timings – When provisions are listed you need to ensure the number of hours per week are listed. This is important when thinking about our next point.
  5. Funding levels – It is important you know what the funding level is for your child. LAs will often say this is a discussion between LA and School, but as a parent you should be involved in that discussion. Reason being, if you have a figure, there is potential to work out what your child’s provision will look like day to day. And, most importantly, if there is not enough funding for the provision listed you can argue for more! The SEN Expert will be able to help you with this process.

The SEN Expert offers a range of services for young people, families and schools. We offer support for parents to help navigate the complex world of Special Educational Needs. We will work with you closely to ensure the best for your child.

The SEN Expert was set up by Claire in 2021 following a successful career spanning 12 years in school improvement, special educational needs, safeguarding and the arts.

Claire has worked as a Deputy Headteacher, Assistant Headteacher, Consultant and SENCO in both state and private schools in inner city London, the Southwest, the Midlands and the USA.

Throughout her career, Claire has ensured solid outcomes for the young people she has worked with. Be that a set of good exam grades, a placement in specialist setting or getting a part time job.

Claire is a working mother, and understands the challenges parents face trying to ensure their children are happy and successful. We aim to provide young people with a creative route to the personal and professional adult life they deserve.

Claire sits outside a café with a laptop

SEN consultancy
with a difference.

We offer support for families, children, and schools to navigate the complex world of SEN.

Check out our full list of services at our website www.thesenexpert.co.uk or follow us on Instagram @senexpert for daily advice on special educational needs.

The SEN Expert is a company registered in England and Wales with company number 13523478.