Sometimes Little Champions require additional support to help them learn. If you think that your child may have special educational needs, speak to your child’s paediatrician or GP and they will ensure that your Local Authority is aware.
Your Local Authority will have an information and advice service and will be best placed to advise you on the most appropriate school and educational setting for your child. Together you can make a decision that is in their best interest.
If your child is entitled to special provision, an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) will be drawn up by the Local Authority. An EHCP will describe a child’s needs and make proposals for educational and associated provision and cover the years up to age 25.
An EHCP will set out your child’s short term and longer-term goals in relation to their cognitive learning, social and emotional wellbeing, physical abilities, communication skills, health outcomes, and social support.
The plan will also set out the support that will be put in place to achieve these goals. This may be in the form of 1 to 1 adult support, small class sizes, provision of speech and language therapy and educational psychology, access to sensory equipment, behavioural support and provision of respite care.
Challenging your child’s EHCP
An EHCP should be reviewed every year and any necessary adjustments to the document made. So if you are unhappy with your child’s EHCP it is possible to negotiate changes to the document with your Local Authority.
Your Local Authority will have an internal complaints procedure and you can ask your Local Authority for details of this procedure. Alternatively, you may consider seeking legal advice. Either way it is best to act promptly as there are strict time limits involved.
If the negotiations with the Local Authority are unsuccessful, then an appeal can be made to the First Tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability). Appeals must be made within two months of the date of your Local Authority’s final decision letter.