So, you have a Draft EHC Plan, what next?
If you need a bit of reassurance that you are doing the right thing, or some pointers in the right direction based on our experiences of supporting others, then you have come to the right place.
A draft EHCP should come about because of one of two things, either
a) a transfer from a statement of SEN, or
b) A new EHCP needs assessment has been undertaken.
Both these things require the draft plan to be based on up to date reports and to include the views, wishes and feelings of the child or young person and their family in terms of their aspirations for the future.
The production of a draft EHCP should not come as a surprise there should have been an ongoing dialogue, conversation between you and the Local Authorities EHCP Team or case manager.
Along with the draft EHCP there should be a letter from the LA saying that you now have your 15 day consultation period, this an opportunity for you to comment, request changes, explain that needs have changed since reports were done and request that the final plan when produced is amended.
In an ideal world there would be no requests for changes as there would have been ongoing conversations between you and the LA along the way, therefore nothing should need to be changed if those conversations have been frequent enough. The reality is though that many LA EHCP teams are stretched and do not have opportunity to discuss draft plans thoroughly enough with the children, young person or family, therefore we often have cases where parents are surprised by what has been written.
When you receive the draft plan read through it in detail, ensure that the aspirations you have for your child or that you as a young person have are consistently mentioned throughout that plan.
Make sure that the support is adequate to help you move towards reaching your aspirations and outcomes.
Make sure that the outcomes are realistic and achievable for you, that they are not set too low and that they are specific enough to be tracked properly. If you spot vague phrases such as, ‘access to’, ‘individualised curriculum’, ‘sensory curriculum,’ without the specificity of what that means in practice, for the school or college, then you are quite right to ask for clarification to be set out in the EHCP.
Once you have submitted your comments then you should receive a final plan which we would hope will have taken your comments into consideration.
If you would like to find out more, you are welcome to come along to our event on the 21st February in Manchester specifically for comments, pointers, tips on Draft EHCP’s
Booking link is below.