Support with SpLD Series
by Jan Thomson-Long
Do I need to apply for an EHCP?
“In any bureaucracy, there’s a natural tendency to let the system become an excuse for inaction.” ~ Chris Fussell
Education and Health Care Plans (EHCP) are a means of funding additional education needs that students up to the age of 25 may have. Those needs could be due to a physical, mental or sensory disability although often an EHCP is not required and schools are able to meet any additional costs from within their own Special Needs Budget. This is more often the case when a student has a single diagnosis such as dyslexia with EHCPs being required for more complex needs.
Usually if a school believes they need additional funds to support a student they will instigate the process of obtaining an EHCP. It can also be initiated by other professionals involved in the child’s care such as a GP.
Once initiated the application can take up to 20 weeks, which is 5 months so a long time in the life of a child. Therefore ideally it should be initiated as soon as it becomes apparent that an EHCP is appropriate. There is a lot of evidence gathering required and it can be a time consuming task for all involved.
Sometimes parents believe their child is not receiving the provision of educational support that they ought. In order to have an EHCP there needs to be a diagnosis of some sort which could be in the form of a diagnostic report. The recommendations for any additional support need to be stated within that report. If the school is not providing that support then the parents could apply for the EHCP directly. The school would be required to contribute to the process so it is always best to have them on side.