According to recent figures published by the Department for Education, and reported in The Times educational supplement; the number of pupils with special educational needs who have education, health and care plans (EHCPs) has increased by 10 per cent in a year.
In the 2019-20 academic year, there were 294,758 pupils in schools with an EHCP – and this increased to 325,618 in 2020-21.
This increase is relative across both primary and secondary placements.
This is concerning for families whose children have an EHCP, given the issues highlighted in our education team’s previous blog which identified a number of local authorities across the UK all facing a funding shortfall for education children with special needs.
What is an EHCP?
An education, health and care plan is a legal document that is drafted for children and young people aged up to 25 who need more support than is available through special educational needs support.
EHC plans identify educational, health and social needs and set out the additional support, specific to the child or young person, to be sure their needs can be met.
A local authority must conduct an assessment of education, health and care needs when it considers that it may be necessary for special educational provision to be made for the child or young person in accordance with an EHC plan.
For example, your child may need a lot of adult support for most or all of the school day. They might need a large amount of help from other professionals, such as speech therapy. Your child may need to go to a special school where staff have the training and expertise to support their learning.
Our education law team bring legal knowledge and technical expertise together with really practical advice and guidance on how to achieve your objectives for your child.
Our team have experience in assisting parents through the special educational needs maze and have a special interest in autism related issues. Our education law specialists work alongside our recognised community care team and we have found that a holistic approach taking account of the needs at home and schooling is often useful in cases where there may be disabilities.
We are able to advise on the following:
- Who should have an EHC needs assessment?
- How to request an assessment for an education, health and care plan
- How does the EHC needs assessment process start?
- What happens during an EHC needs assessment?
- What if the local authority refuses to do an assessment?
As well as the above, and should you experience difficulties or issues with an ECHP, we can advise on:
- SEND mediation
- SEND tribunal - appeal advice
- Annual reviews
- Transition matters
- Disability discrimination