The Benefits of a National EHCP Template: From the Perspective of an EHC Coordinator

1-2 minutes

In this blog, you will learn: 

  • About an EHC Coordinator's thoughts on the benefits of a national EHCP template.
  • The changes this EHC Coordinator would like to see to better support the needs of children and young people with SEND.
  • Where the latest EHC Coordinator jobs are and how to apply for them.

An Education, Health and Care plans (EHCP) is a legal document for an individual child or young person with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The document illustrates the young person's educational, health and social care needs and the provision that must be implemented in order to help them achieve key life outcomes. 

EHC Coordinators facilitate the process of creating and managing EHC plans for each child or young person which they are assigned. 

Since the Children and Families Act 2014 was passed, every local authority has been able to choose how their EHC plans are formatted and presented. This has resulted in big variations and inconsistencies across the country which has caused problems with specialist schools who educate children from different local authorities.  

In March 2023, the SEND and Alternative Provision Improvement Plan announced it would standardise EHC plans with a national template. 

In this exclusive interview, we spoke to an EHC Coordinator who shared her thoughts on the UK government’s plans to introduce a national EHCP template and how she thinks it will impact the process for assessing and supporting children and young people with SEND.

This EHC Coordinator is currently working with a caseload of children going through the Educational, Health and Care Needs Assessment (EHCNA) process and is subsequently writing their EHC Plans. She is responsible for liaising with parents, professionals and schools during the EHCNA process.

Tell us about your career journey so far

Prior to being in SEND, I worked in a variety of jobs, including Healthcare, Childcare, Careers advice and research. I started as an Educational Health Care Assistant in February 2021 and became an Educational Health Care Assessment Coordinator in 2022.

What does your role as an EHC Coordinator consist of?

I am an EHC Coordinator in our Local Authority's statutory assessment team. My role is to coordinate the needs assessment process for all ages and school settings. Main duties are to set up co-production meetings, complete working documents and subsequent draft & final EHC Plans and to complete the consultation process. All of this includes liaising with schools, professionals and parents.

How do you keep up-to-date with changes in the SEND industry?

Our Local Authority has termly SEND training days where all the teams meet to address recent SEND law changes and to address any requested whole team training. Additionally we have monthly team meetings and occasional SEND briefs.

What’s the most valuable lesson that you’ve learned in your career?

Everyone has their own story, and you can be the difference when it comes to some big chapters in other peoples stories.

What obstacles have you faced in your career?

Like most EHC Coordinators, the biggest challenge I think we all face is a lack of specialist placements, whether that be resource bases, Additionally Resourced Provision (ARP) or specialist schools. This means retaining children on caseloads in settings that aren’t suitable for their needs, which leads to frustration and difficulty across the board.

Reform in the SEND sector continues to be a huge topic of discussion. How have things changed or progressed in the SEND sector since the start of your career?

Personally, I don’t think much has changed but I expect big changes soon with the proposed national EHCP template. As much as I do favour the template we use within my council, I would understand the benefit of a national template. It would make moving children in and out of the borough so much easier for the receiving borough.

However, I know that some councils use online portals for their needs assessments so I suppose in those cases, it wouldn’t make much of a difference but working in a Local Authority that still uses Microsoft Word for their Education, Health and Care Plan. 

How do you deal with the pressures of your role?

Our team is very supportive, and we’ve all been through similar pressures. Having knowledgeable and approachable seniors to support and guide us makes all the difference.

What changes would you like to see to better support the needs of children and young people with SEND?

Personally, I feel that the whole education system needs reforming. The system we have now has not kept up with the increased identification of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. It’s also not flexible enough to effectively meet all needs across the board.

What advice would you give to anyone considering a career in SEND provision within a Local Authority?

It can take time to feel confident in understanding what is what and how to answer complex questions. In your career, you’ll face many parents who have likely fought for their child and their child’s needs and may come with preconceived ideas on what you’ll be like based on previous experiences. However, positive emails and reassurance can make it worth it.

What are your plans for the future?

I hope to progress up the ranks in a Local Authority. I feel that having worked from the complete bottom upwards, I have gained a true understanding of the pressures faced by all roles.

EHCP Coordinator jobs

If you’re searching for your next EHCP Coordinator job, why not take a look at the latest vacancies, or simply upload your CV to be notified when a relevant position becomes available. 

If you found this content useful, you’ll learn lots from our career hub:

Struggling to recruit EHCP Coordinators?

As specialist local authority SEND recruiters, we support local authorities nationwide with their temporary, interim and permanent staffing needs. 

If you’re struggling to recruit, we have exclusive access to some of the most experienced EHCP Coordinators in the UK.

If you’re struggling to fill a vacancy, why not get in touch with one of our team to see how we can help?

Share your experience

Every individual brings a unique set of experiences, thoughts, and insights to the table. We believe in giving a voice to a community of professionals to inspire positive change and champion reform in the SEND sector.

If you work in the SEND sector and would like to share your own personal and professional experiences, we’d love to hear from you. Perhaps you have a different perspective, could offer a fresh angle, or want to challenge assumptions. 

Simply reach out to our Head of Content, Nicole Sherwood, to discuss a collaboration which makes your voice count.

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