Frequently Asked Questions

What experience do you have in writing EHC Plans?

Enhance EHC Ltd (previously Independent Business Services Ltd) has been producing SEN documentation for 23 years and has produced over 131,000 SEN documents in total.  We currently provide EHC plan writing services to around 30 Local Authorities (LAs) across the country.  We have worked for over half the LAs in England, including county councils, unitary councils and 25/32 of the London boroughs.

We are well established in drafting new EHC plans and EHC plan amendments, having produced over 50,000 plans for more than 50 Local Authorities.

We have ensured that we stay abreast of details of the relevant legislation and changes to the Code of Practice.  During the transition from statements to plans we attended meetings and training sessions with Pathfinder authorities. We have an excellent understanding of the requirements of the EHC plan and the process surrounding its production and have produced EHCP Good Practice Resource Packs for Local Authorities, schools and other stakeholders to share our knowledge of EHC plans and highlight good practice.

Are you able to work with local templates or do you work to a standard template?

We have a different template for each of our 30+ customers, so are used to working to different template specifications. We are happy to offer our customers advice on their EHC plan and professional advice form templates, free of charge. We have also produced our own recommended EHC plan template and corresponding professional advice form templates, which are included in our EHCP Good Practice Resource Pack.

How can the plan be child-centred if it is written by people who have never met the child?

We whole-heartedly support the person-centred ideals of the process and believe that our service can be a useful tool in promoting this, when used in the right way.

Children/YP and families need to be involved from step one of the process and all the professionals’ reports should be written taking into account their wishes.  Within systems designed in this way, the information produced for plan drafting is itself person-centred.

Plan drafting requires a good level of knowledge of the Code of Practice and what a quality plan looks like, and requires a high level of writing ability.  It is also a time consuming task that can keep case officers chained to their desks for days at a time.  Our aim is to increase the capacity and efficiency of frontline professionals so that they can focus on what is most valuable – directly liaising with and listening to children/YP, families and schools.

Our plans reflect what we are given within the professional advice – if the information is person-centred then the plan will be too.  All the information used in the plan comes from the professionals’ advice and is therefore child-specific – we never use glossaries of standard wording or generate our own information.  We produce a ‘draft’ plan – which will go on to be looked at, edited, and agreed by the LA, child/YP and family.

Who works on the document?

Our staff are committed to what they do – we recruit them for a diligent work attitude and excellent writing ability, provide them with intensive one-to-one training for a minimum of six months, and monitor their work output on an ongoing basis, to ensure that plans are being produced to the required standard. Where possible, we have a small number of writers working on the EHC plans for each Local Authority to ensure consistency. Several of our staff have children with difficulties themselves, many have come from working within local authority SEN departments or elsewhere within education, health or care, and all deeply care about producing good quality work. All our writers are enhanced DBS checked and trained in dealing with confidential information.

How can you help us produce better documents?

We provide feedback to customers when advice is of poor quality, or is obviously not child-specific, so that they can improve their advice collection. We write in a clear style, free from jargon, making the document more accessible to everyone. We offer valuable advice and recommendations regarding template and advice formats, including quarterly Quality Audit reports, free of charge once you are using the service.

How much work can we submit?

As much or as little as you want! The uniquely flexible nature of the business means that we almost always have spare capacity and can absorb large or changeable workloads. We are equally equipped to deal with a one-off batch of documents or ongoing contracts of work.

How long will it take?

Our current average turnaround time for plans is under two working days and we guarantee to return drafts within five working days (subject to terms and conditions). Large batches of work can take longer; however, the flexibility of the business allows us to cater to your individual requirements and produce work within timescales that work for you.

How much will it cost?

Please get in touch for our introductory prices. We charge per document and you pay for what you use, so you can accurately budget for your workloads.  You are only paying for work done, without planning for and absorbing ongoing costs associated with recruitment, training, employee management, office space and equipment, holiday/sickness/parental leave etc, which works out very cost efficiently, particularly when dealing with variable workloads.

What is your Cancellation Policy?

There are no contract terms for doing the work, but we are able to go through your procurement procedures if necessary.  We do not specify a minimum number of plans or a minimum period for working; you are not tied in to sending a certain quantity of work.

How do you protect confidential information?

Data protection is a priority for us, and in 2016 we completely updated our data systems, to ensure we are treating confidential information with the requisite care.

All processes centre around the use of Box (enterprise level), which is Government Digital Service (GDS) approved. It protects files in transit with high-grade TLD and at rest with multi-layered encryption with 256-bit AES. Box allows us to strictly control who has access to files, what they can do with them and track all account activity. We also hold Cyber Essential certification, which is a Government designed cyber security scheme.

In addition, we have licenses for disk encryption, to create encrypted drives for local data, which uses NIST approved AES encryption algorithm, 256-bit encryption key length and has an integrated file shredder.

All staff are enhanced DBS checked (with renewals every three years as a minimum) and sign a confidentiality agreement, within which they also agree to abide by the requirements laid out in our Data Management policy. The data management policy covers relevant legislation and outlines requirements for staff working practices.  It covers:

  • What kind of information falls under data protection principles
  • Secure storage of data (including physical and electronic security)
  • Secure transfer of data
  • Secure disposal of data (including paperwork and electronic data)
  • Exercising discretion in communication

The policy is reviewed and updated annually, in advance of annual data management training for all staff.

I’m a parent; how can you help me?

We fully appreciate the minefield of going through the assessment process to obtain an Education, Health and Care Plan for your child. Unfortunately we do not have the facility to offer support for parents. However, we make a real difference to the effectiveness of the Local Authorities.  Because we exist and work the way we do:

  • EHC plans are written clearly and concisely, making them useful documents that are easy to understand
  • EHC plans are produced in a timely manner, since we work quickly and efficiently, assisting staff to meet the statutory deadlines
  • EHC plans are written independently, based solely on the information from the assessment, with no additional or hidden agenda.  We simply summarise all the information, highlighting all the key information so that it can be easily viewed and used.

We provide this service because it is a time-consuming process to turn up to 100 pages of such varied information into a consistent and coherent document, both addressing all the areas of need and complying with the SEN Code of Practice. This avoids caseworkers being buried under paperwork and enables them to spend quality time with young people and families.

All we do is generate a clear and concise summary of the information provided, which facilitates the process and helps it to be completed within statutory guidelines, despite the highly variable workflow.  We do this in a cost efficient and timely way, with the skill gained from over 22 years’ experience in this field.

Our advice to you?  Ask your Local Authority if they use Enhance EHC Ltd to help them prepare their EHC Plans.  We’re here to write documents that make a difference to children’s lives.

Here are some links to additional support services:

http://www.iassnetwork.org.uk/

http://www.councilfordisabledchildren.org.uk/independentsupport

https://www.ipsea.org.uk/

http://www.in-control.org.uk/