The new half term has begun for many mainstream school SENDCOs...
-Some of you may be focusing on completing Local Authority paperwork to request an assessment. The key elements of the task will be to work alongside the family and student themselves, and to look very closely at the young persons’ SEN Support plan.
An EHC Plan is part of a wider SEND system. This means it is not an end in itself but part of a process.
It comes from identifying all of a child or young persons’ difficulties across a holistic perspective, and from this position of robust understanding, actioning well-planned provisions.
Understood like this, it is easy to see how an EHC Plan becomes part of the process of teaching children and young people rather than something to be attained.
We teachers do this as a matter of course, through getting to know all of the young people we teach individually. For instance, we know the moment a new class has become ‘ours’, when the synchronicity of the teacher and student relationship is working and we can predict how a student will react to a lesson, or a social occasion, or an age appropriate independent task. It is why we carry on being teachers.
Indeed, it is why we became teachers- to make a difference.
It is through the school’s SEND systems that evidence is gathered and the significance of the students’ needs and therefore the provisions are identified. From this, a young person can receive an EHC Plan because, the robust evidence is presented to the Local Authority and leads to an immediate agreement that the child or young person meets the legal criteria.
An education, health and care (EHC) plan is for children and young people aged up to 25 who need more support than is available through special educational needs support.
EHC plans identify educational, health and social needs and set out the additional support to meet those needs.
A core task for the SENDCO is then to coordinate the team actioning the EHC Plan.
In my experience there is a perspective held by both families and schools that unless the child or young person ‘has an EHC Plan’ they can’t and won’t get what they need.
This is a great concern to me, and I will return to this in a later blog.
Thank you for reading.