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How to manage parental expectations of Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

Things to consider:

  • Provide parent carers with information on the support that the child is receiving, how it is reviewed to determine the impact it is making through the Assess, Plan, Do, Review cycle. It could be useful to look at the Assess, Plan, Do, Review section of Tools for Schools while doing this to help parents and staff know the types of questions that are useful to consider as part of the process. This could also help parents to understand their role.
  • Ask parents and pupils to contribute their views as part of this Review section of the Assess, Plan, Do, Review cycle. Include a parent action on the Assess, Plan, Do, Review form.
  • It can be useful to record some examples of the support that is in place for the child to help the parent understand the strategies that are being used.
  • A visual timetable for EHCP needs assessment requests can be a useful tool to help parents understand what needs to happen in advance of any EHCNA request.
  • Explain to parent carers that as part of a successful Education Health Care Plan application, the school will need to gather evidence over time.
  • Ensure parent carers are aware that the school already has an SEN notional budget that can be used to provide a certain amount of support for the child. An EHCP is only required if a higher level of need can be evidenced.
  • Provide information to parents on the range of parent support services such as SENDIAS that will be able to help them understand the EHCNA process and evidence required. Sometimes they may prefer an impartial 3rd party.
  • Review the SEND section of the school’s website to ensure information covers their most frequently asked questions and is easy for parents to understand. Ensure there is clarity of expectations with regards to the role of class teacher and SENCO in the child’s provision, including Assess, Plan, Do, Review cycle.
  • Provide informal opportunities for the SENCO and class teachers to chat with parent carers before problems escalate. For example, SENCO and teaches are available to chat with parents in the morning on the playground / at the school gate. Once back in school he / she could email the parent carer with a quick message to reflect on the conversation – a note of this is made on the pupil tracker.
  • Arrange ‘drop-in’ sessions for parent carers to discuss any concerns. This could include wider holistic needs for the child. Information on the sessions would need to be shared. This is a useful technique for time management as parent carers could be directed to these fixed times.

Last updated 16 August 2021

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