West Berkshire Council

New support plans to benefit almost 1,000 young people

New plans benefit children with disabilities and special educational needs

2018 - SEN team

Nearly 1,000 children with disabilities and special educational needs are now benefiting from an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

Over the past three years West Berkshire Council has been working with young people, their families and teachers to put the new plans in place. Children whose educational needs cannot reasonably be met by resources within their school can access additional support through an EHCP.

Previously known as a Statement of Special Educational Need, the statements were replaced with new Education, Health and Care Plans in 2014. The new assessments provide a more holistic assessment of children and young people and now as well as education the plans also covers their health and care needs. These plans are developed in partnership with children and their families with young people put at the heart of the assessment and planning process.

Over the past three years West Berkshire Council's Special Educational Needs team (pictured) has been working to convert Statements of Special Educational Needs to the new Education, Health and Care Plans for nearly 1,000 children across the district. This work was completed earlier this month and means all young people who need additional help are now benefitting from the improved, broader ECHPs.

One parent whose child is now supported by an EHCP said:

"The EHC is far superior to the Statement. Its focus is my child and it is so much more direct with regards to what must be put in place to help him achieve. I thought that it was just another paper exercise but am pleasantly surprised by how it has helped me already in assuring that my son is supported adequately in his further education."

Speaking about the benefits of the plan Ian Pearson, Head of Education said:

"These new Education, Health and Care Plans provide better support for our young people and rightly put them at the heart of the assessment. We recognise the contribution of EHCs towards young people reaching their full potential and have worked hard to have them in place quickly. It has been a big piece of work but it was important to us that young people start benefiting from these plans. I applaud the team for their efforts over the past three years."

For more information about ECHPs and services available in the area for children with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities visit Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Local Offer.