The problem with the EHCP process, it is non transactional

The Problem with the EHCP Process? It is a Non-Transactional elastic Process

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For many parents of children with special needs, the EHCP journey feels like an unpredictable uphill battle. When we purchase car insurance, we see that we have to be ready with a lot of information, we have all been there on these 15-20-minute calls. You enter the car’s make and model, the car’s age, the geography of where the car will be kept, the driver’s age, experience, occupation, no claims discount, and so on.

At the end of this data-collecting phase, the ‘system’ calculates a premium quote. This is what we call a transactional process, you enter variables and you get a predictable outcome, though we are unlikely to predict the cost of the premium, we can at least gain a sense of closure on the process we entered i.e. our car will be insured. We also have some comfort that the market is predicting along similar lines. You can go to a range of insurers and get within reason the same outcome, with cost variability usually the issue that separates.

The EHCP process on the other hand, also has many variables, but it is run on a non-transactional basis, which makes it difficult to predict an outcome.

Understanding the Maze: The Non-Transactional EHCP Challenge

Navigating the Education, Health, and Care Plan (EHCP) process for our children feels akin to solving a puzzle without all the pieces in front of us. The process is designed to offer support, helping our kids access the education they deserve. Yet, it often seems more like navigating a maze, trying various approaches to demonstrate that our child meets the threshold for needing that help.

Can you imagine seeking guidance, representation, and navigating appeals processes, to prove to an insurance company that you need car insurance? You can help but think at times, the system is the way it is, to throttle the number of applicants that successfully navigate the system at any one time. Is there evidence to back this line of thought? Make your voice heard and comment below

Here’s the thing, the EHCP process isn’t like buying something from a store, where you enter in the meeting criteria and get something in return. It’s more like trying to grow a garden; you plant the seeds, but you’re not exactly sure how or when they’ll sprout. You have to keep checking, watering, and sometimes even starting over with new seeds. This is what we mean when we say the process is “non-transactional” and “elastic.” It stretches and changes, and so must we, but that doesn’t make it easy on the stress levels when your child’s education experience is a finite time, there are no replays.

We have to advocate tirelessly for our children, pushing for the system to recognize and adapt to their individual needs, which can be a long and exhausting battle.

The EHCP recognizes each child’s individuality; the true challenge lies in overcoming the barriers to transitioning a child from standard school support to a tailored set of needs and provisions within the EHCP framework. What we urgently need is a process that acknowledges from the outset that no two children are the same, ensuring that flexibility and responsiveness are the norm, not a struggle. We call for a system that identifies our children as unique individuals from the beginning, adapting to their specific needs instead of obliging them to conform. This approach would significantly reduce the time spent navigating through a rigid system, allowing us to concentrate on what is genuinely crucial: nurturing our children’s growth and happiness.

“We had no direct backing to pursue a EHCP, this was really the story of the whole process, blocks all the way – if we did not pursue a EHCP, our child would still be sat in the back of what ever ‘turn it was’ to have him that year.”

Parents voice on no ‘Process’ in the EHCP system

Things only begin to level up when the child’s parents, guardians, and caregivers, advocate on behalf of the child, which is a process that goes beyond sending a few emails and filling out a form.

“we took the council to a SENDITS tribunal, we had support from an advocate who attended the hearing with us, but we did most of the leg work in terms of filing the papers etc. The council submitted on the attendance form no names just titles, so we knew they where bringing SALT. When the hearing began it felt like they brought the council with them. Our advocate made representation on the maximum of 3 witnesses, the council case officer made representation that this particular case covered all areas, that needed to be represented, and the judge agreed.

It’s the scale of the resourcing spent on contesting or advising against an EHCP that hits you, it far outnumbers those who directly help your child. In the end, though, there was light at the end of the tunnel. If only the process had been more straightforward, all the resources spent on tribunals could instead have been reassigned to the schools.”

A Parents view on the distorted resources put on challenging EHCP’s decisions

Seek Support, Find Strength: Discover How Our One-to-One Therapy Can Empower You

Adding to the complexities of navigating the EHCP process is the undeniable impact on parent mental health. The journey, filled with its bureaucratic intricacies and emotional highs and lows, can take a significant toll on a parent’s well-being.

Recognizing this, the power of one-to-one therapy becomes evident. Personalised therapy offers a lifeline, providing a space for parents to voice their concerns, process their emotions, and develop strategies to manage stress. If this is something of interest, please reach out using the contacts on this page for a free consultation

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