What is an EHC plan and how can it help your vision impaired child?

Baby girl with her mother and grandmother

Children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) receive SEND support at their school or college. However, some children and young people with more complex educational needs require more support.

These children and young people may need an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.

What is an EHC Plan?

An EHC plan is for children and young people aged up to 25. It is a legal document that identifies and describes the educational, health and social needs of the child or young person, and sets out the educational provision and additional support that will be given to meet those needs, in order to secure the best possible outcomes for the child or young person.

What is an ‘EHC needs assessment’ and what is involved?

An EHC needs assessment is a legal process undertaken by the local authority to fully assess your child’s educational needs. You, your child’s education setting, or your child (if 16 years of age or over) can make a request in writing to your local authority for them to consider carrying out an EHC needs assessment.

To ask them to do this you will need to explain your child’s difficulties, include a description of any extra help your child has already been given, and explain why you feel your child needs more support than a mainstream education setting can provide. This might include support from therapists, specialist teachers or support from a teaching assistant. It is important that you say why that support is needed and how it will enable your child to fully participate in school life and learning activities.

The local authority has six weeks to make a decision about whether or not they will agree to this assessment. If the local authority agrees to the assessment they will gather information about your child’s needs, and very importantly aspirations, from you and your child; the nursery, school or other educational institution your child attends; an educational psychologist; health and social care services; and others whose views may be important for them to consider. This could include assessments by therapists or specialist teachers. You are able to request that particular assessments and reports are considered.

This information will be used to draw up the plan, so it is important that the assessment is as comprehensive and thorough as possible.

Format of the EHC Plan

The EHC plan drawn up by the local authority following the needs assessment, is divided into the following 11 sections:

A: The views, interests and aspirations of the child and their parents, or of the young person.
B: The child or young person’s special educational needs (SEN).
C: The child or young person’s health needs which relate to their SEN.
D: The child or young person’s social care needs which relate to their SEN.
E: The outcomes sought for the child or young person.
F: The special educational provision required by the child or young person.
G: Any health provision reasonably required by the learning difficulties or disabilities which result in the child or young person having SEN.
H: Social care provision.
I: Placement – the name and type of nursery, school or other educational institution.
J: Personal budget.
K: Advice and information gathered for the EHC needs assessment.

There is really good advice for parents on the Contact a Family website.

How does RSBC’s Family Support Service help?

We understand that this process can be complex, and this is why RSBC is here to help. RSBC’s Family Support Service can provide you with dedicated one to one support on a range of practical and emotional issues to help following the diagnosis of your child’s vision impairment. We can support you through the process so that all your child’s need are identified and they get the right support.  We will advise you on the process and help you liaise with the school for the best possible outcome.

Do you need support?

Simply fill in the form below with your details and a member of our Family Support Service will be in touch.

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