EHCP: Councils missing education plan deadlines for children with complex needs

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Sarah Kilgariff, who lives near Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, applied for an EHCP for her son Freddie last July, after the five-year-old suffered a stroke because of a complication from chickenpox.

Ms Kilgariff says Freddie now suffers from fatigue, struggles to regulate his emotions, and is back to wearing nappies.

She says because of his needs, her son cannot attend school full-time. The family are still waiting for their EHCP – more than five months after the 20-week deadline.

“It’s horrific because I can’t do anything because it’s out of my control, and that’s really frustrating,” she says. “He’s been neglected for a year. He’s been completely forgotten about by the system.”

Staffordshire County Council apologised to the family for the delays. It said Freddie was assessed for a second time in April, after the first test in February failed to meet quality standards. It said a significant increase in requests for EHCP assessments had been made worse by a shortage of educational psychologists, and it had now recruited more.

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