It is just over a year since we got our EHCP, and my Son is now making great progress with the additional support that has been put in place to meet his needs.
It definitely was not an easy journey. This was largely due to the constant uncertainty, trying to pull a huge amount information together & make sense of it all, and the rollercoaster of emotions as we progressed through each stage of the EHCP assessment progress.
You can read about our journey here:
- Finding out about EHC assessment process
- SOS!SEN day course on EHC and learning about the SEND Code of Practice
- Getting agreement to do an EHC needs assessment
- Getting our EHC but not agreeing with the outcomes
- What we learnt from getting our EHCP
- An emergency EHCP review
Whilst researching what we needed to consider when going through the EHC Needs Assessment, I came across a number of links and parents stories which provided us with valuable insights. With a bit more time on my hands, now that the required form-filling has slowed down, I thought it would be good to try bring them together.
Hopefully this saves someone else a few hours (weeks) of surfing when they are trying to get their heads around the process and what is needed.
Support & General Resources
First things first, this is definitely a journey you don't want to face on your own as having support and guidance from others can really helps you keep going when things get tough.
Here are some of the organisations which we found helpful when we were going through our journey.
- SOS!SEN - web resources, advice line, workshops, one-to-one advice sessions, advice clinics
- ISPEA - web resources, advice line, tribunal support, training
- SEND IAS - web resources, independent support, reviewing documents, attending meetings, providing advice
- National Autistic Society - web resources, Education Rights helpline
An overview of the EHCP ProcessBelow is my view of the EHCP process, with key things to consider as you move through each of the different stages. This is not exhaustive, and is intended to help signpost you to the different things that you may want to find out more about.
A big thank you as well to the lovely team at Bucks SEND IAS who have worked with me over the past few months to ensure that my overview of the process was accurate.
Here is the collection of resources I have found, and which I have tried to align to each stage of the EHCP journey. Do let me know if you know of anything else which I could add to the list.
The EHC Assessment Process
- NAS Guide to the EHC
- Special Needs Jungle - Facts and status on SEND reform success
- SOS!SEN guide to transitions from statements to EHCP
- Person centred planning
- A look at RIX Wikis which are currently being trialled in some areas to help implement EHCPs
- SEND Code of Practice
- SENDirects guide to the Childrens & Family Act
- Special Needs Jungle - Tips for getting started with EHC assessment request
- SOS!SEN useful tips for parents
- IPSEA template for requesting an EHC Needs Assessment
- SOS!SEN guide on statutory assessments and who can request them
- NAS This is Me toolkit
- Providing Parental Views for EHC Needs Assessment
- SOS!SEN guide on what to consider when decided what is the right placement for your child
- Access Unlimited's examples of outcomes
- Special Needs Jungle - What makes a good outcome
- SOS!SEN tips for reviewing your draft plan
- IPSEA EHC Plan Checklist
- IPSEA guide to stating school / college placement
- IPSEA Guide to Final Plans and the enforcement of these
Appealing your EHCP
- IPSEA guide to mediation
- SOS!SEN guide on the process to make an appeal
- Fist Tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability)
- IPSEA Refusal to Assess toolpack
- Ambitious About Autism - Appealing a decision
Reviewing your EHCP - Annual / Emergency Reviews
The process doesn't end when you get your EHCP, here are some of the links I have found which make reference to annual / emergency reviews (an emergency review follows the same process as annual reviews).
- SOS!SEN guidance on annual reviews and how to prepare for them
- Ambitious about Autism guide to annual reviews
If you still have questions, then reach out to one of the many organsiations which can provide you with support (see above). For common questions, here are two FAQ which I have been able to find.
Other parents stories
When we went through the EHCP process, the one thing I wanted was the personal insights from other parents who have been through a similar experience. Here is a collection of some parents stories who have faced the EHCP assessment process. If you have a story that you would like to share (published or unpublished), then do get in touch and I can add you to the parents stories.
- Autism With Lots of Love and Affection reflection on getting their EHCP, and making sure that the correct provisions were included in their plan
- Various families have fed back their experiences and thoughts of what it is like to go through the EHC assessment process on the ehcp journeys website
- Rainbows are too beautiful has some advice on things to know before getting an EHCP
- Tania Tirraoro (Special Needs Jungle) writes of her EHCP experience, and her 13 top tips for surviving the process
- Annie on SENDirect talks about her frustrations with her EHCP
- Was this in the plan talks about her challenges with getting an EHCP, facing tribunal, and her tips for getting through the process
- My Kid Loves Broccoli talks about her EHCP
- A Dad talks about their transition from a statement to an EHCP
The EHCP process is daunting, tough, and at times the stress & pressure can be overwhelming. With everything that is going on, it is so easy to become isolated and to feel like it is you vs. the system.
For those going through the process, or about to start the process, know that there are many options out there to help support you each step of the way. You got this!