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Alternative to EHCP

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by markedout, Feb 12, 2016.

  1. markedout

    markedout Occasional commenter

    I work in Hounslow and they are seriously considering a system called 'Education Support Plan' where this is an alternative to EHCP for children with significant needs. Criteria are as follows:
    1.1 A School may apply for an Education Support Plan/Programme (ESP) where it considers that a pupil has special educational needs which would meet the threshold for an Education, Health and Care Plan, but does not require input from Social Care or Health in regards to their educational needs and the needs can be well met in the mainstream school with additional support.

    1.2 This will include pupils who require speech therapy or occupational therapy in order to ensure access to the curriculum. It would not include pupils who require physiotherapy or CAMHS input

    1.3 An ESP may be appropriate for pupils who have special educational needs which can appropriately be provided for in mainstream schools and may include specific or moderate learning difficulties; behavioural difficulties; communication difficulties, including low level Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

    The idea is that the school could secure additional funding in addition to the £6k per SEN pupil per year, providing that they can demonstrate that this is required and that the school is already spending in excess of £6k.

    Does anyone else have a similar system in their area? Does it work well? We have a meeting soon where we need to let the council representatives have feedback on their proposals. I am not sure it is the right way forward and would welcome feedback from others.
  2. onmyknees

    onmyknees Established commenter

    My first thoughts are, would this be legal document like the EHCP ? It's still possible to have an EHCP written, even if a child has no input from health. In my region, if we had to secure input from, say, CAMHS before a child or young person had an EHCP, nobody would ever get one!
    Would the process to get an Education Support Plan remain the same? The EHCP has very strict time constraints which the local authority has to adhere to- would the Education Support Plan process work in the same way? Also, would the review process be the same?
    I'm not sure I can see the need or benefit of this to be honest and would question its legality.
    minnie me likes this.
  3. senlady

    senlady Senior commenter

    I am in the North East and we have had this exact system (under a different name) since about 2000 (if my memory serves me) we had it before the new code of practice.

    It works very well and our numbers with statements or EHCPs are quite low, saves on paperwork and bureaucracy when schools are just wanting that little bit more support.

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