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EHCP process in crisis as Ombudsman agree with parents in vast majority of appeal cases.

by Jackie Porter on 31 July, 2020

This article confirms what I hear from parents: the process to secure an Education Health and Care Plan for children with special needs is not working for all families and that even if an EHCP is agreed, too many families feel they just haven’t got the treatment and hearing that they feel is necessary in the EHCP process.

Nor do their children get the support stated as necessary for the child to make good progress.

In reality, it is only the most articulate patents who believe their voice is heard. Helping a child with special needs to flourish at school is hard- but for the sake of our children and parents’ mental health and future wellbeing, this country must do better.

Jackie asks how:’ We say that EHCP’s can be granted up to 25, but in truth, we should be extending the need down to 2 year olds. Children’s Centres used to help with this., Now Pre Schools are taking this role- and they get just over £5 per hour to look after a child whilst they prepare a case for supporting a child right through life at school. Its preposterous that this is considered to be enough money. We support families to send a child to pre school BECAUSE they have needs over and above other children- but the Government doesn’t pay qualified staff enough to value the enormous work needed to prepare an EHCP. ‘

Secondly- an EHCP needs input from all professionals involved with the child. Only during Covid has this been faster-showing it IS possible to speed up the process

Thirdly- an EHCP needs implementation in full but the ‘High Needs Block’ of funding isn’t generous enough for local authorities to support schools to do this. It’s a disgrace.”

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