Like many other local authorities, Sheffield recently launched a planning tool which supports good inclusive practice – a sort of “EHC plan light”.
The new document is called a “MyPlan”. Like an EHC plan, it uses a person-centred approach. It differs from an EHC plan in that it is not legally binding, and is issued and maintained by the setting (school, nursery or college) instead of the local authority. The MyPlan includes:
- A one-page profile with key information about the child
- A description of the child’s educational, health and social care needs
- The outcomes the child is working towards
- A description of the support required
- A section on transition planning
- Confidence ratings given by the parents, the school and the child
(An Education Health and Care (EHC) plan is a formal legal document which describes a child or young person’s educational, health and social care needs and sets out the provision required to meet those needs. EHC plans are replacing statements of SEN.)
Who is it for?
The MyPlan is primarily intended for learners on SEN Support in mainstream settings who have significant needs (level 3 or above on the Sheffield Support Grid).
Learners with lower-level needs can also have a MyPlan if the setting and the parents agree that this would be helpful; for example, if a child requires complex but lower-level provision spread across several people/services, or where parents have expressed a lack of confidence in the setting.
What are the benefits of a MyPlan?
The process through which a MyPlan is developed and reviewed is just as important as the document itself; children, young people and parents should be fully involved as equal partners.
Unlike IEPs (Individual Education Plans), which tend to focus on short-term educational targets, the MyPlan looks at the whole child, and what is important for them in the long term.
The MyPlan should also give parents a much clearer idea of the extra help provided at school – who does what, how often, and for how long. In accordance with the new SEND Code of Practice, the MyPlan should be reviewed with parents at least three times a year.
And if a MyPlan isn’t enough?
If a learner makes less than expected progress even though the setting has been doing all it can to understand and meet their needs, then an assessment for an EHC plan is indicated.
The Council expects that in most cases, a MyPlan will have been in place for at least two terms before a request for an EHC plan is made. This helps to build up a comprehensive picture of the learner’s needs, the interventions tried and their impact on progress, which should speed up the decision-making and assessment process.
N.B. Parents and settings have a right to request an EHC needs assessment even if no MyPlan is in place. If such a request is received, the local authority will ask the setting to use the MyPlan template to provide information about the pupil. For more information, please download our booklet Special Educational Needs Support in School.