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Education Health and Care Assessments and Plans

Children and young people with more complex needs may need more detailed assessment and may need an Education Health and Care Plan. The Education Health and Care Plan has replaced statements of special educational need and Learning Difficulty Assessments. This section of the Local Offer is being developed to provide information on Assessments & Education Health & Care Plans.

Two new short animations aimed at parents to help explain the EHCP process and the Person Centred Connection

With support from the Department for Education, Independent Support has produced two short animation films, which can be used by local authorities, IAS services, IS agencies, professionals and parent groups in their communications with parents and young people.

The purpose of the two animations is to help explain the EHCP process and its important relationship with the Person Centred Connection.

 

 

Why a child or young person might need an EHC Assessment.

An assessment might be needed in order for the Local Authority to decide whether it needs to make provision in accordance with a plan. This means that a child or young person may need a more intensive level of specialist help that cannot be met from the resources normally available to schools and other settings to provide SEN support.

An assessment may not always mean a child or young person receives an Education Health and Care Plan but it can provide extra information to help the education provider meet their needs.

In Stockton-on-Tees we would expect a child or young person to need an Education Health and Care assessment and an Education, Health and Care Plan if they needed to attend a special school or specialist setting (e.g. the Early Support Nursery), or if they are over 19 and need special educational provision.

We would not necessarily expect a child or young person to need an assessment or a plan to receive high needs top up funding in mainstream education  including further education  (see insert link on high needs funding). We would also not necessarily expect them to need an assessment or plan to access a place in one of Stockton-on-Tees’ enhanced mainstream schools (for further information on the provisions please follow this link.)

How you can request an assessment.

An assessment can be requested for a child or young person aged between 0-25, by a parent/carer, by a young person or by the child or young person’s education provider.

If a parent/carer or young person thinks that an Education Health and Care assessment is needed it is helpful for them to talk to the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) of the child’s education setting in the first instance. They will be able to advise on the process and how the request can be made.

A request for assessment can now be made via the SEN Portal. The Portal provides two access areas professional / citizen, the link to the Professional portal  can be found here and the link to the Citizen portal  can be found here . Both user guides are available from the download area on the right hand side of this page.

Parents / Carers can also talk to the SEND IASS Officer (formerly Parent Partnership Officer) who can assist them in making a request for an assessment. The SEND IASS Officer can be contacted on 01642 527158 or  SENDIASS@stockton.gov.uk . Further information about the SEND IASS Officer be found at this link.

Alternatively a parent/carer or young person can write to request an assessment. They can write to:

SEN & Engagement Service

4th Floor Queensway House

West Precinct

Billingham

TS23 2YQ

What happens after an assessment is requested.

Once a request has been made the Local Authority will decide whether to carry out an assessment. As part of this the Local Authority will look at all the information available including from parents/carers and from the child or young person’s education provider. The Local Authority has to inform parents/carers or the young person within 6 weeks of receiving the request for assessment whether they will carry it out.

The Local Authority will expect that a child or young person has been supported through SEN support, that there is clear evidence that despite appropriate action being taken over time by the education provider they are not making expected progress, and that parent/carers have been closely involved throughout this process before a decision will be made to undertake an Education Health and Care assessment (except in exceptional circumstances.)

What happens during an assessment

The whole assessment process must take no longer than 20 weeks (except in a few exceptional circumstances) from the Local Authority receiving the request for assessment.

The Local Authority will use a person centred approach to make sure that parents/carers and children/young people are fully involved. Further information on this is available.

The Local Authority will collect information from professionals and from parents/carers and the young person. The professionals will include:

·         The manager, headteacher or principal of the education provider

·         An educational psychologist

·         Social care

·         Health care professionals

Parents/carers may request that certain professionals are asked for information.

Once all the information is collected there will be a meeting to prepare an initial draft of an Education Health and Care plan. This will then be sent to the Local Authority and a decision will be made on whether a plan is necessary.

How an Education, Health and Care Plan is prepared

If the Local Authority decides that a child or young person needs a plan then a draft plan will be confirmed and sent to parents/carers and young people. There will be 15 days for comment on the draft plan and parents/carers or the young person can request a specific school or setting.

A final plan is then prepared which will be reviewed at least every 12 months.

 

What would happen if the Local Authority decides a Plan is not needed

If the Local Authority decides a plan is not needed then they must let the parent/carers or young person know and give reasons for the decision. The Local Authority will ensure that parents/carers or the young person are aware of the resources available to meet special educational needs without a plan.

The Local Authority will provide information collected during the assessment process which will help the education provider meet the child or young persons’ needs.

What happens if a parent/carer or young person disagrees with the Local Authority decisions?

Parents/carers and young people have the right to challenge the Local Authority’s decisions on:

·         Not carrying out an Education, Health and Care assessment

·         Not producing an Education, health and Care plan

·         The special educational support included in the plan.

The SEND IASS Officer will be able to provide advice and support regarding any disagreements. Further information on how to do this will be provided during the process and can also be found at (insert link to information about complaints/tribunals etc)

Personal Budgets

Parents/carers of a child with an Education, Health and Care Plan or a young person with a plan can request a personal budget linked to the plan. 

What is a personal budget?

A personal budget is an amount of money identified by the Council to deliver all or some of the services and support as set out in an Education Health and Care (EHC) plan.  It enables the young person, parent or carer to have a say in how this budget is used.

Personal budgets are not a new pot of money.  If you already receive a service you won't get both the service you get now and a new additional personal budget.  A 'personal budget' is the description given to a new way of managing the money you are allocated for services and support.

A personal budget may not always be appropriate but is an option which can be requested when the Council is preparing an EHC plan or at the annual EHC plan review. In all cases the availability of a personal budget will be based on the support a child or young person (up to 25 years old) needs in order for them to achieve their agreed outcomes/support needs as specified in their EHC plan.

Who can request a personal budget?

An easy to read factsheet is available if you click here

A parent or young person (where an EHC plan is in place) has the right to ask the Council to prepare a personal budget.  This request can be made at any time during the period in which the Council is preparing the draft EHC plan or when the plan is being reviewed or re-assessed.

How will a personal budget be managed?

There are four ways in which a personal budget can be managed:

1. Direct Payments - Cash payments to the parent or young person to contract, purchase and manage service directly.

2. An organised arrangement - The Council and/or Health provider retains the funds and buys or provides the support specified in the EHC plan.

3. Third party managed budget - An organisation or individual nominated in writing by the parent/carer or young person to contract, purchase and manage services on their behalf.

4. A combination of the above

In some circumstances, usually identified through the assessment process, the choice of taking a personal budget as a direct payment may not be available.  This could be in relation to safeguarding concerns and/or issues around consent.

Please note if a direct payment is requested and used to employ staff directly (i.e. a Personal Assistant) then the recipient will be responsible as an employer to abide by the current employment laws.

What can a personal budget be spent on?

The allocated budget can be spent on anything that helps to meet the agreed outcomes of the EHC plan.  The funding can be used to purchase support, services and equipment.

A personal budget may be from one or a combination of the following funding sources.

A personal Special Education Needs (SEN) budget is the sum of money made available by the Council when it is clear that without this additional "top-up" funding it would not be possible to meet the individual's learning support needs.  The school/college involved will already have funding for learning support across the school; only pupils or students with more comlex learning support needs are likely to need a personal SEN budget.  However, in some circumstances the head teacher/principal and school/college/learning provider may choose to offer some funding towards a personal SEN budget.

A personal Social Care budget is the sum of money made available by the Council if a child or young person (up to 25 years old) is assessed by social care as needing additional and individual support at home and when out and about in the local and wider community.

A personal Health budget refers to the budget made available should a child or young person (up to 25 years old) have complex, long term and/or any life-limiting conditions.  A personal Health budget may also be made available to assist with equipment costs or other health services.  A personal Health budget will come from the NHS.

How can I find out more information?

Parents/carers can contact the SEND IASS Officer to find out more information. The SEND IASS Officer can be contacted on 01642 527158 or SENDIASS@stockton.gov.uk . They can also go to

·         The Special educational needs and disability code of practice:0-25 years 

·         Special educational needs and disability: A guide for parents and carers 

 

Professional Portal and Citizen Portal

This section of the Local Offer provides information relating to Stockton-on-Tees Professional and Citizen Portals.

Professional Portal 

The Professional Portal is a secure online gateway provided by Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council and Capita Business Services enabling professionals to self register and then provide information to the Local Authority (in relation to SEND) about the children they work with.

The main benefits of using the Portal are:

  • More efficient information gathering
  • More efficient information sharing
  • Better engagement of child, young person & parent/carer
  • Improved monitoring and sharing of the status of an application

Who will use the Professional Portal?

Any professional involved in the EHCP Assessment process, including:

  • Schools / Academies
  • Early Years Settings
  • Post 16 establishments
  • Educational Psychologists
  • Medical Professionals
  • Speech & Language Professionals
  • Occupational Physio Professionals
  • Social Care Professionals
  • Health Professionals

Citizen Portal

The Citizen Portal is a secure online gateway provided by Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council and Capita Business Services enabling parents to self-register and then provide information to the Local Authority (in relation to SEND) about your child and the child or yourself if you are aged 16-25.

The main benefits of using the Portal are:

  • More efficient information gathering
  • More efficient information sharing
  • Better engagement of child, young person & parent/carer
  • Improved monitoring and sharing of the status of an application

 Who will use the Citizen Portal?

  • Parents and Carers and their children
  • A young person aged 16-25 who is old enough to request their own SEN Assessment

Professionals such as schools, Education Psychologists and Health will have their own Portal to submit and view information relating to your child, this is called the Professional Portal.

User guides for both the Professional and Citizen Portal can be accessed by clicking on the associated document in the Downloads section on the right hand side of this page. Access to both Portals is via the associated links in the Related Services section on the right hand side of this page

Please note that when making an EHCP application it is now mandatory to upload the parental consent form with the application (refer to Section 13 in the application). This may now provide you with an opportunity to personally direct parents/carers to the SEND Citizen Portal and discuss the benefits and usage of the Citizen Portal with them. The Citizen Portal will soon become the only access point to their child's EHCP information and consequently it is vital that they can access and navigate the system. 

Advice for Schools - Annual Review Process

Advice and Protocols for Schools on the Annual Review

of a pupil with an Education Health and Care Plan January 2019

The advice document explains the annual review, interim reviews, secondary transfers, phased reviews and the review / transfer processes and procedures is available here.

The protocols that are based around the collection and methods of documentation collation. The arrangements of the meeting, the various reports, relevant form descriptors and flow charts to support the school in managing the review processes

Annual Review Form 2019

The document is currently used by Local Authority SEN Officers, School Heads and any other professional involved with the child / young person and is completed two weeks prior to the annual review scheduled date. The review form also includes information for any future plans.

The review form collects important information relevant to the individual child / young person’s education, health and care circumstances.

For further information please view the following leaflets:

  • Leaflet 1 - for young people in mainstream secondary
  • Leaflet 2 - for young people in specialist secondary
  • Leaflet 3 - for young people accessing specialist post 16
  • Leaflet 4 - for parents/carers
  • Leaflet 5 - for schools and college's / professionals
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