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Education, Health and Care Plans

An EHC Plan is an Education, Health and Care Plan, often called 'EHCP'. It is a document that incorporates a child’s education, health, and care needs.

An EHCP is for children and young people aged up to 25 who need more support than is available through SEN support. EHCPs identify education, health and social needs and set out the additional support to meet those needs to secure the best possible outcomes for them. As they get older, also to prepare them for adulthood.

Local authorities use the information from an EHC assessment to:

  • establish and record the views, interests and aspirations of the parents and child or young person
  • provide a full description of the child or young person’s special educational needs and any health and social care needs
  • establish outcomes across education, health and social care based on the child or young person’s needs and aspirations
  • specify the provision required and how education, health and care services will work together to meet the child or young person’s needs and support the achievement of the agreed outcomes

This video provides more information.

Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs)

From September 2014, EHC plans replaced the previous plans, known as Statements, for children with SEND.
A local authority must assess education, health, and care needs. It must prepare an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan when it considers that it may be necessary for special educational provision to be made for the child or young person. This is likely to be where the special educational provision required to meet the child or young person’s needs cannot reasonably be provided from within the resources normally available to mainstream early years providers, schools and post 16 institutions. This statutory assessment should not be the first step in the process. It should follow on from planning already undertaken with parents and young people in conjunction with an early years provider, school, post-16 institution or other provider.

EHC plans must be focused on the outcomes the child or young person seeks to achieve across education, health, and care. EHC plans must set out how services will work together to meet the child or young person’s needs. EHC plans will be based on a co-ordinated assessment and planning process which puts the child and young person and their parents at the centre of decision making.

The SEN Team manages all aspects of the statutory processes related to Education, Health and Care Plans. This can be found on the Local Offer page.

Disagreeing with a decision

You can challenge your local authority about:

  • their decision to not carry out an assessment
  • their decision to not create an EHC plan
  • the special educational support in the EHC plan
  • the school named in the EHC plan

If you can’t resolve the problem with your local authority, you can appeal to the SEND Tribunal.

 

What should be in an EHCP?

The SEND Code of Practice sets out some key requirements and principles about EHCPs including:

  • decisions about the content should be made openly and collaboratively with parents, children and young people
  • EHCPs should positively describe achievements
  • EHCPs should be clear, concise, understandable and accessible
  • EHCPs must specify the outcomes sought for a child or young person
  • EHCPs should show how education, health and care provision should be coordinated to best achieve agreed outcomes
  • EHCPs should consider how best to achieve outcomes and account must be taken of any innovative or alternative ways to receive support sought by the young person or parent
  • EHCPs should describe how family and community support can help in achieving agreed outcomes
  • EHCPs should be forward looking and anticipate and plan for important transition points in a child or young person’s life, including transition into adult life
  • EHCPs should have a review date

The format of an EHCP will be agreed locally, so you may find they look slightly different, county to county.

However, as a statutory minimum, EHCPs must include the following sections, which must be separately labelled from each other using the letters below.

Section A – the views interests and aspirations of the child and their parents, or of the young person:
Section B – the child or young person’s special educational needs (SEN)
Section C – the child or young person’s health needs related to their SEN
Section D – the child or young person’s social care needs related to their SEN
Section E – the outcomes sought for the child or young person
Section F – special educational help or provision required to address the child or young person’s needs
Section G – the health provision reasonably required by the learning difficulties or disabilities which result in the child or young person having SEN
Section H1 – the special social care services that must be provided as a result of section 2 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 (CSDPA)
Section H2 – any other social care provision reasonably required by the learning difficulties or disabilities which result in the child or young person having SEN
Section I – the name and type of school that the child should go to
Section J – how a personal budget (if any) will be used
Section K – supplementary information gathered during the needs assessment

Maintaining provision in EHC Plans

Education: Where an EHC plan is maintained for a child or young person the local authority must secure the special educational provision specified in the plan. If a local authority names an independent school or college in the plan, it must also meet the costs of the fees.

Social care: For the social care provision specified in the plan, existing duties on social care services to assess and provide for the needs of disabled children and young people under the Children Act 1989 continue to apply. Where the local authority decides it is necessary to make provision for a disabled child or young person under 18 pursuant to Section 2 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Person Act (CSDPA) 1970, it must secure that provision. Where the young person is over 18, the care element of the EHC plan will usually be provided by adult services.

Health: For health care provision specified in the EHC plan, the CCG (or where relevant NHS England) must ensure that it is made available to the child or young person.

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