If your child has additional needs or special educational needs (SEN), a support plan could help. This might be an education, health and care plan (EHCP) or an individual education plan (IEP).
IEPs and EHCPs focus on your child’s individual needs, to help them reach their full potential. Here’s what you need to know about getting support.
Your child may have special educational needs or additional needs if they experience:
Legally, a child has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or a disability that needs special educational provision.
An IEP sets out your child’s goals for the school year, and any special support needed to help achieve them:
An EHCP outlines any special educational needs that your child has. It also covers the support your local authority must put in place to help your child:
Your child’s school will have a SEN register or plan. The school special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCo) manages the SEN register. They will add your child to the register if your child needs extra support.
You do not need to have a formal diagnosis when implementing an IEP or applying for an EHCP. But to apply for an EHCP, you will need to have identified likely special educational needs. A diagnosis would often be underway when applying, but the application process can begin before a formal diagnosis.
As a parent or carer, you can apply for an EHCP on the behalf of a child or young person up to the age of 25. Young people aged 16-25 can also apply for themselves.
Your child’s school or early years setting may offer to write and request an EHCP needs assessment.
The government has an overview of the EHCP application process.
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