What is an educational health care plan?
An educational health care plan, or EHCP replaces what used to be called a ‘statement’ of special needs. EHCPs are a legal document for children with additional needs attending school and pre-school, between the ages of three and 25 in the UK.
An EHCP outlines a child’s educational needs, and when a child has one of these, the school is given a budget to fulfil the needs on the document.
What is in an EHCP?
The EHCP contains information about all kinds of support, from a one-to-one teaching assistant for learning, therapist intervention such as physiotherapy and speech therapy, and medical needs such as suctioning.
Who writes the EHCP?
All professionals, parents and carers involved in the child’s care, under the local authority (key workers, social workers) and under the NHS (therapists) will contribute to the final EHCP. You will be asked to fill in your own information about your child, including their medical history, their likes and dislikes. You will be provided with a draft copy before the finalised version is agreed. Private healthcare professionals are welcome to submit their own reports, as requested by parents, but they will need to be agreed by the NHS and local authority to be included in the final plan.
What does an EHCP Look Like?
An EHCP is provided by the local authority and they will have their own template, so EHCPs can vary in each borough. Professionals contributing can write their own reports, in their own format, to contribute to the EHCP.
EHCPs are reviewed every year at the child’s school, in a meeting with parents and healthcare professionals. As children’s needs change over time, their EHCP can be amended to reflect this, and that is the purpose of the EHCP reviews.
When parents and private professionals do not agree on the EHCP, an appeal process is possible. If there is still no agreement, a tribunal can be arranged. Usually this is when the local authority do not want to provide enough therapy, or educational support for the child. It is the law that an EHCP document is written based on the child’s needs, and not what the service can provide – Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001.
BBP physiotherapy representation
At BBP, we are passionate about children having their physiotherapy needs met in school, and highly value the importance of this. We are extremely experienced in writing contributing reports and attending tribunal meetings to request higher physiotherapy intervention. We use measurable, number-based values and goals to show clinical need for physiotherapy. We very often see physiotherapy services reduced as clients get older and need more physiotherapy. We also see EHCPs planned around the NHS available resources and services, rather than putting the child’s needs at the centre. We are here to be a voice for the children and parents who need us, and it is a pleasure to help children achieve their full potential in the school setting by contributing to EHCPs and attending tribunals.
A recent case of a child who had with Rett syndrome used BBP for representation at an ECHP tribunal. Their physiotherapy intervention on the EHCP, with a physiotherapist, was once a term. Their programme was carried out daily by a teaching assistant. We were able to write measurable physiotherapy goals around active standing endurance, backing this up with clinical evidence on contractures. We proved the client’s vulnerability to contractures with six-monthly measured range of movement values, over a two-year period. We then used this information to prove that weekly active standing was a necessity. We also used Moving and Handling Guidelines from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy to prove that teaching assistants were not qualified to carry out active standing with the client. Subsequently, the client’s EHCP physiotherapy intervention with a physiotherapist was increased from termly to weekly.
Email our friendly team, to book Team BBP for your EHCP tribunal representation.