Education Healthcare Plans will be introduced across England & Wales during 2014. The Plans themselves originate from the Children & Families Bill which is currently being processed through the House Of Commons. The main aim of the EHC (Education Healthcare) Plans is to replace the current system of Individual Healthcare Plans (IHPs).
There are currently a few issues associated with IHPs which have resulted in slow results and people involved not fully understanding the care a pupil requires. To tackle this, much of the systematic processing of the plan has been reduced and simplified. SEN (Special Educational Needs) candidates will be confirmed more efficiently, with the data only being passed and confirmed by only the necessary parties involved. Upon confirmation that a child may require SEN support, an EHC Plan can then be formed.
When forming EHC Plans, each child should be assessed individually each time no matter if similar cases have already risen. Each child will have different needs and react differently to the condition they are suffering, therefore each EHC Plan should be unique and heavily focused on the individual personality and requirements of each child.
With the new system an initial draft of an EHC Plan will be formed amongst the school, parents of the child and the school nurse. Once these three parties are satisfied with the proposed EHC Plan, it can then be passed to the child’s support assistant to evaluate whether the plan will be unobtrusive to the child’s learning and avoid any hindrances which may be spotted. After the EHC Plan is agreed upon, it can then take effect.
The head-teacher of the school is responsible for informing all staff the child may be under the care of, of the EHC Plans active in their class as well as ensuring each staff member is fully trained to handle emergency situations should they arise. Should the staff member not be informed by the head-teacher, they are not solely responsible if the incorrect medical advice is given.
The decision to share EHC Plans is between the head-teacher and the parents of each child, however, it is highly encouraged to share EHC Plans with the child’s school nurse as well as each member of staff the child will be involved with. EHC Plans should always be reviewed at a minimum of once per year to continue producing an effective result.
As an example of a brief EHC Plan, a child suffering from type 1 diabetes will need to monitor their blood sugar levels at least once during the school day. This will usually be done during mid-day during the lunch break, should the child report a low reading, the staff member should provide the child with a sugary food and drink. Similarly with insulin injections, the child may need to be excused from class when feeling light-headed or drowsy in order to restore their levels to a safe state.