What are Education, Health and Care Plans?
These were introduced in September 2014. Students with existing Statements of Special Education Need will have them updated to EHC Plans on a rolling programme.
The SEND Code of Practice 2014 states that:
‘The majority of children and young people with SEN will have their needs met within local mainstream early years providers, schools or colleges.
A local authority must conduct an assessment of education, health and care needs and prepare an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan when it considers that it may be necessary for special educational provision to be made for the child or young person through an EHC plan. This is likely to be where the special education provision required to meet the child or young person’s needs cannot reasonably be provided from within the resources normally available to mainstream early years providers, schools and post 16 institutions. This statutory assessment should not be the first step in the process; rather it should follow on from planning already undertaken with parent and young people in conjunction with an early years provider, school, post-16 institution or other provider.
EHC plans must be focused on the outcomes the child or young person seeks to achieve across education, health and care. EHC plans must set out how services will work together to meet the child or young person’s needs and in support of those outcomes. EHC plans will be based on a co-ordinated assessment and planning process which puts the child and young person and their parents at the centre of decision making.
Statutory assessment will not always lead to an EHC plan. The information gathered during an assessment may indicate ways in which the school, college or other provider can meet the child or young person’s needs from within available resources.’
If an application for an EHC plan is made, this process will take 20 weeks to complete before a final EHC plan is agreed. More information about EHC plans can be accessed via the Northumberland website.
What is Top Up Funding?
If your child is identified as having additional and complex special educational needs or disabilities which cannot be met within the normal provision for pupils, including significant support from school as well as guidance from outside agencies such as the Local Inclusion Support Team, and it is agreed by all those involved that additional support is required, an application can be made to the Local Authority for funding. This extra funding given to school (High Needs or “Top-up” Funding) may be used to provide extra support in lessons, or purchase specialist equipment.
To meet the criteria for Top Up Funding the pupil should have had significant support with clear, specific targets and expected outcomes, which has been reviewed and monitored over a period of time.
Top Up Funding is a time limited resource, usually lasting between 6 months and a year, although further applications can be made.