How can I help my child? Parent and carer support School issues and support

How to get an EHCP yourself

DIY EHCP

We regularly hear from the parents we support that their child’s school is not helping them get an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) for their child. In many cases, this is because the child appears ‘fine’ at school, is academically achieving, and/or their behaviour at school is not a problem. This is also the child who comes home and explodes after holding it together all day, trying to appear ‘normal’.

I thought it might be useful to put together in one place a post with all of the ‘DIY EHCP’ resources I could find. This will help you find the starting place for your journey.

Can I do it myself?

Yes, you definitely can. Some schools will tell parents not to apply because the school believes they won’t get an EHCP for their child. Listen to your gut instinct. If you feel you need one and the school isn’t helping, apply yourself. Here are some top links to get you started:

Local information and contact addresses

Bristol 
General Bristol EHCP info including template letters for requesting an assessment
Send your request for assessment form to: sen@bristol.gov.uk

South Gloucestershire
General South Glos EHCP info
Send your request for assessment form to: accessandresponse@southglos.gov.uk

BaNES
General BaNES EHCP info
Send your form to: special_educationalneeds@bathnes.gov.uk

Or by post:

Statutory Special Educational Needs Service
Bath and North East Somerset Council
Lewis House
Manvers Street
Bath
BA1 1JG

North Somerset
General North Somerset EHCP info

Send your request for assessment form to:

SEN Casework
Education Inclusion Service
Town Hall
Weston-super-Mare
BS23 1UJ

But I shouldn’t have to do it myself!

Well, of course you shouldn’t. Local authorities should be looking after our children. However, government funding has been cut to the bone and despite best efforts by council employees, the system is failing our children. Additionally, some schools and some teachers are fantastic, and some are not. It is important to remember that in many cases, the SENCO at your child’s school may have limited time and/or resources to carry out this role.

But I’m really angry! My son’s/daughter’s school is rubbish!

While we all need a moan once in a while, it does not help our children get better care in school. We can get angry and rant about how this is wrong or that is wrong. Or we can channel that energy into helping our children. I know it’s not right and it’s not fair but it is where we are right now. Going in to the school guns blazing is likely to cause animosity. You need to, as much as is possible, work with the school to help your child.

But I really don’t understand how to do this and it’s really stressful

I get this. And I’m not trying to add to your stress – heaven knows we all have enough of that. If you struggle with understanding this system, or struggle with reading and writing, ask a friend or family member for help. Likewise, if you are a friend or family member of someone who needs help with their EHCP application, please help them.

Please also see our post Tips for Working with SEND Professionals for help.

Who can help me?

There are a few options for getting help. Here are a few:

Supportive Parents
An independent organisation offering a free confidential and impartial service to any parent who has a concern about their child’s education.
Telephone: 01179 897725
Email: mail@supportiveparents.org.uk
Click to visit website

Bristol (and surrounding areas) EHCP experiences group
A very useful Facebook group for parents and carers going through the process.
Website: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1402035156551784/

EHCP Support Group
Another useful Facebook group.
Websitehttps://www.facebook.com/groups/1156148524409786/

Please also see our page on School Support for Children with Autism for links to lots of helpful resources.

Slowly wins the race

It is very important to remember that this is not a race. You will work yourself into a panic if you think you have to do everything in the next 10 minutes. The important thing is that you begin working towards this. Put one foot in front of the other and you will get there in the end. Start slowly. Read through all of the links in this post. Print things out, talk to friends and family. Take a deep breath. You can do this!

 

 

Last updated on 3 June 2019

About the author

Kate Laine-Toner

Kate Laine-Toner

Kate Laine-Toner is the founder and Chief Executive of Bristol Autism Support.

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