In The SEND world an EHCP is a little bit like the holy grail, it’s the thing we fight for and battle for, believing that once it’s in place our children will finally have the support that they need to thrive.
It’s a legally binding document, and one that should be followed by schools and other agencies.
Yet again and again I hear from families that this is not happening.
Budget cuts are biting hard. And in Education, nowhere is that hitting harder than SEND. The reality is that all too often schools simply do not have the funds they need to meet the objectives in EHCPs. Even more worrying, with support services needing to be bought in in many areas, in many cases schools lack the expertise to do so.
Increasingly the EHCPs being given are vague and non-specific, guaranteeing little, designed to pacify parents rather than to enable children and young people to thrive.
Instead of parents being able to relax, knowing that their children’s needs are being met they are needing to check, chase and put pressure on – both in the process of creating the EHCP and ensuring it is specific, and in terms of ensuring that schools are meeting the objectives and carrying out the stipulated processes to the frequency they are recommended.
For those parents able to do this, who understand how the system works it’s a never ending battle with a system no longer designed to meet the needs of children.
For those parents who are less aware of the realities of the system, all too often both schools and local authorities cut corners, skip objectives and fail to carry out the plan in the way it should be carried out.
It isn’t good enough.
Change is desperately needed.
Children and their families deserve better. They deserved to be protected by the very document designed to ensure their success. It’s time both schools and local authorities were held accountable.
It’s time the funds were there to enable needs to met.
The current system is not working.
And that is very scary indeed.