Education, Health and Care Plans

A child or young person with special education needs or disability (SEND) can usually be supported within the mainstream education system.

However, some children or young people with severe and long term needs who need more support that their school provides may need an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) issued by the Local Authority (previously known as a Statement of Special Educational Needs).

EHCP’s were introduced in The Children and Families Act 2014 to identify educational, health and social needs and set out the additional support to meet those needs. Provision extends from birth to 25 years of age.

The purpose of an EHC plan is:

• To secure the special educational provision which has been assessed as  necessary to meet the special educational needs of the child or young person;

 • to secure the best possible outcomes for them across education, health and social care, and;

• as they get older to prepare them for adulthood;

• establish outcomes across education, health and social care based on the child or young person’s needs and aspirations;

• specify the provision required and how education, health and care services will work together to meet the child or young person’s needs and support the achievement of the agreed outcomes

You can ask your local authority to carry out an assessment if you think your child needs an EHC plan Personal budgets

A young person can request an assessment themselves if they’re aged 16 to 25.

A request can also be made by anyone else who thinks an assessment may be necessary, including doctors, health visitors, teachers, parents and family friends.

Personal Budgets

You may be able to get a personal budget for your child if they have an EHC plan or have been told that they need one.

It allows you to have a say in how to spend the money on support for your child.

There are 4 ways you can use your personal budget. You can have:

  • direct payments made into your account - you buy and manage services yourself
  • an arrangement with your local authority or school where they hold the money for you but you still decide how to spend it (sometimes called ‘notional arrangements’)
  • third-party arrangements - you choose someone else to manage the money for you
  • You can have a combination of all 3 options.

To find out more about EHCP’s in Reading, please visit Reading Services Guide.

Independent supporters can help you and your child through the new SEN assessment process. You can find out how to get local support through:

Reading Information Advice & Support Service. Telephone: 0118 937 3421.

The Code of Practice for the Children & Families Act 2014 is also available here.

Other sources of help and information:

Reading Mencap Family Advisers will also help. 
Please ring 0118 9662518 during office hours 9.30am to 1.30pm Monday to Friday.

IPSEA (Independent Panel for Special Educational Advice)

Contact a Family