This section is a narrative about your child. It is ‘your’ section rather than the professionals’. It is expected that it will also include the voice of your child, or the words of the Young Person (1).
Section A could be thought of as the bit that you want professionals to know about, without needing to repeat yourself at every new appointment; something you could take with you if your child needs a hospital stay, for example.
The Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (SENDCoP) (2015) refers to this section as being ‘The views, interests and aspirations of the child and their parents, or of the young person’ (2).
Often when you apply for an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP), you will get a form to fill in which usually gets used to write Section A. However, right at the beginning of the process is not really the right time. You can sit and think about it and put in your own report while the Needs Assessment is taking place, or at any Annual Review.
What section A should contain are these:
- Aspirations and goals for the future - including paid employment, independent living and being part of the community
- Details about play, health, schooling, independence, friendships, further education and future plans, including employment (where practical)
- How to communicate with your child (signing, pictures, pointing etc)
- Your child’s history
It should be clear who is ‘talking’ if it is written in the first person. If you are talking for your child, it should say so. If a professional is talking on your or your child’s behalf, it should say this too.It is important to look ahead at what you want for your child as an adult – your aspirations, and when they can express themselves, their aspirations. The EHCP is a ‘live’ document which changes with your child. Your child might have specific interests which could indicate what type of job they might like. Even if their needs are quite complex, they may still aspire to go to college, have paid employment and live in their own home. These things should be recorded in section A.
1 A Young Person is a person who is 16 and no longer of compulsory school age
2 SENDCoP s9.69