Table of Contents
EHC Plans for 13+
This page sets out the pathways for young people aged 13+ who have additional learning needs requiring greater support than would normally be provided in school. As a result of the Children and Families Act 2014, EHC plans will replace 16+ statements and Learning Difficulty Assessments in Further (not Higher) Education, and may in certain circumstances run up to age 25.
It is intended that the responsibility for dealing with assessments and support arrangements will transfer to young people themselves once they reach 16. Chapter 8 of the New SEND Code of Practice 2014 covers 16+ arrangements in more detail, and paragraph 8.19 says "Where a young person is under 18, the involvement of parents is particularly important and local authorities should continue to involve them in the vast majority of decisions."
For young people age 16+ there will be a phased transfer to the new system between September 2014 and September 2016. Until 1 September 2016, local authorities must continue to have regard to LDA Statutory Guidance in relation to young people who receive support in post-16 education, training or higher education as a result of a LDA.
Local authorities should have a transition plan available in September 2014. The transition plan should include the number of young people receiving support as a result of an LDA that the local authority expects to transfer to the new system in each year of the transition period; details of the transfer review process; and the arrangements for the transfer of young people who receive support as a result of a LDA
At the end of September 2014 Jane McConnell at Ipsea said that the main questions to their helpline are about FE college and requesting an EHCP; transition from statement to EHCP; schools withdrawing support; transport changes; and new timelines. The hot issue is apparently no EHC needs assessment at transition.
Appendix A at the back of the Transition Guidance sets out in table form the statutory requirements (R) and non-statutory expectations (E) relating to the transfer of different groups of children and young people to the new SEN system.
High Needs Funding Guidance Assumes LDA or EHCP
The funding guidance for post-16 education assumes that "the majority of young people with high needs attending a school, college or specialist post-16 institution will subject to either a statement of SEN, an LDA or, from September 2014, an EHC plan"
As Young Person Approaches 14
Moving from Secondary to Post-16, No Statement
Where a local authority was part way through a Learning Difficulty Assessment on 1 September 2014 this should be completed as an LDA unless parents/young person request an ECHP.
"A young person who was well supported through the Local Offer while at school [ie no statement] may move to a further education (FE) college where the same range or level of support is not available. An EHC plan may then be needed to ensure that support is provided and co-ordinated effectively in the new environment."[9.15 New SEND Code of Practice 2014]
Moving from Secondary to Post-16, Already Has Statement
After September 2014, LAs must complete the ECHP transfer review when young people move from secondary to post-16.
With the introduction of EHC needs assessments and EHC plans from 1 September 2014, local authorities will no longer be under a duty to commence new LDAs. Requests for new assessments will be treated as EHCPs. "An EHC needs assessment will not always lead to an EHC plan. The information gathered during an EHC needs assessment may indicate ways in which the school, college or other provider can meet the child or young person’s needs without an EHC plan." [9.6 New SEN Code of Practice June 2014]
EHCP AssessmentSee Chapter 9 new SEN Code of Practice
Process for Transferring Statements to EHC Plans
The LA must carry out a transfer review incorporating an EHC needs assessment in accordance with the new SEN Code of Practice before a child or young person with a statement is moved to an EHC plan.
From the point the transfer review starts, the right of appeal will be under the new system rather than the old system. The transfer review need not involve seeking any new advice. The plan must normally be finalised within 14 weeks. A transfer review can't go ahead if the parent is currently appealing a statement. Reference Children and Families Act 2014 (Transitional and Saving Provisions) (No. 2) Order 2014 No. 2270, published end August 2014.
16+ Has LDA Already
From September 2014, young people in further education or training who are already receiving additional support to meet their special educational needs as a result of a LDA can choose to continue either to receive their additional support as a result of their LDA (where it is still required) until the end of their time in further education or training or until 1 September 2016 whichever comes first or request an EHC needs assessment. Reference Children and Families Act 2014 (Transitional and Saving Provisions) (No. 2) Order 2014 No. 2270, published end August 2014.
Young people in further education and training who receive provision as a result of a LDA must be transferred to the new SEN system by 1 September 2016 if they are continuing in further education or training beyond that date. Reference Children and Families Act 2014 (Transitional and Saving Provisions) (No. 2) Order 2014 No. 2270, published end August 2014.
Where a local authority decides not to conduct an EHC needs assessment or not to secure an EHC plan, a young person has the right to appeal that decision. Where an EHC plan is not secured, the provision being made as a result of the young person’s LDA should continue as planned. Reference Children and Families Act 2014 (Transitional and Saving Provisions) (No. 2) Order 2014 No. 2270, published end August 2014.
Package of Support
8.41 - 8.42 new SEN Code of Practice
8.41 Where young people have EHC plans, local authorities should consider the need to provide a full package of provision and support across education, health and care that covers five days a week, where that is appropriate to meet the young person’s needs.
8.42 Five-day packages of provision and support do not have to be at one provider and could involve amounts of time at different providers and in different settings. It may include periods outside education institutions with appropriate support, including time and support for independent study. A package of provision can include non- educational activities such as: volunteering or community participation; work experience; opportunities that will equip young people with the skills they need to make a successful transition to adulthood, such as independent travel training, and/or skills for living in semi-supported or independent accommodation; and training to enable a young person to develop and maintain friendships and/or support them to access facilities in the local community.
It can also include health and care related activities such as physiotherapy. Full-time packages of provision and support set out in the EHC plan should include any time young people need to access support for their health and social care needs.
18+Where a young person is aged over 18, the local authority must consider whether the young person requires additional time, in comparison to the majority of others of the same age who do not have special educational needs, to complete their education or training. [Children and Families Act section 36]
EHC Plan FormatA common labelling system has been introduced in the Code of Practice meaning that every EHC plan must contain specified sections that must be labelled with the same letter. See Chapter 9 final Code of Practice 2014 paragraphs 9.61 to 9.69. EHC plans must specify the outcomes sought for the child or young person [9.64 SEN Code Practice 2014]
"An outcome can be defined as the benefit or difference made to an individual as a result of an intervention...Outcomes are not a description of the service being provided – for example the provision of three hours of speech and language therapy is not an outcome. In this case, the outcome is what it is intended that the speech and language therapy will help the individual to do that they cannot do now and by when this will be achieved." [9.66 final Code of Practice 2014 paragraphs 9.61 to 9.69. EHC plans must specify the outcomes sought for the child or young person [9.64 SEN Code Practice 2014]