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Working as a teacher and/or a Speech and language therapist in the schools it is always best practice to keep up-to-date with the latest legislation. This ensures you are meeting needs of the child via policies laid out by the government and your Royal College or professional governing body. One of the most recent changes to healthcare are the changes to the SEN code of practice. It replaces the individual educational plans and statement process to the new Education Healthcare Plans.

These ECH plans were introduced in England & Wales during late 2014. The plans are the collaborative efforts of a number of different professionals and may consist of input from the speech and language therapist, educational Psychologist, Teachers and Parental views. Special Educational Needs individuals will be identified more efficiently via these professionals and then the appropriate steps taken to form an EHC Plan.

Focus of the SEN code of practice

The main focus of the SEN code of practice educational health plan, which tailors the services around the child, so client care is person centred and not a one-size-fits all approach to management. With this ethos in mind, each child should be assessed individually, because each child will have different needs and react differently to the context they find themselves in.

Applying the SEN code into daily practice

The information gained from the assessments is used to form an initial draft of an EHC Plan. Once all professionals are satisfied with the proposed EHC Plan. The SENCo can then review it, so it can then take effect. 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 key allied health professionals, as well as each member of staff the child will be involved with. EHC Plans should always be reviewed annually and are down to the school and all involved with the child to ensure an effective outcome.

To find out more about the SEN code of practice visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/send-code-of-practice-0-to-25

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