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Ceasing an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

An Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is a legal document that sets out a child’s educational, health, and social care needs and outlines the support that they require to meet those needs. For some young people an EHCP is essential to enable them to access education and training. Since the introduction of the Children and Families Act 2014 these plans have been available to support children and young people from birth to the age of 25 years.

As a child with Special Educational Needs matures to adulthood the focus on the importance of independence and social care support will shift so that it carries a heavier weight. If your young person required extra help at school, they may well require extra help in the workplace to achieve their full potential. As your child grows into a young person, if they show a desire and capacity to enter the work place, their plan can be retained to the age of 25 years in order to train them into work, it is not just applicable to a school setting.

At the age of 16, young people are considered to have reached the end of their compulsory education. This means that their EHCP will need to be reviewed by their local authority to determine whether it’s still necessary. Often parents of young people and local authorities will disagree on whether the plan is still needed.

The young person may desire to do an apprenticeship for which they will need extra support or go on to further training within an educational setting. In which case the parent or young person can request that the Education Health and Care Plan is retained to support them through this stage of their education and training.

To request that their child’s EHCP is maintained until the age of 25, parents must make this clear to their local authority during the EHCP review process. They should provide evidence of their child’s needs to support their request, such as medical reports or assessments by educational professionals. Often a child’s school will be able to provide support with this. 

Also, the young person’s views should be sought on what their outcomes should be; do they wish to learn a certain skill, or undergo a training course or an apprenticeship? Would they like to retake some GCSEs? The local authority will then consider the evidence provided and decide on whether to maintain the EHCP until the age of 25.

If the LA refuses to maintain the EHCP they will send you a letter giving their reasons for this and you will have the usual right of appeal through the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST). As a young person, if your child has mental capacity, they can bring the claim themselves, but if they need support, they can ask their parent (or someone else) to act as their advocate in legal proceedings.

As always if you need any support around this process give me a call at RWS on 07825 800 299 and I am happy to have an informal call with you.