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Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans

Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans

Information and forms for professionals when requesting and contributing to an EHC needs assessment or an EHC plan annual review.

What an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan is

An EHC plan is a personalised document for children and young people from birth to the age of 25 who have special educational needs or disabilities (SEND). This means they have additional needs in education, health or social care.

An EHC plan:

  • is a legal document
  • describes a child or young person's special educational, health and social care needs
  • describes what the child or young person needs to make progress towards their 'outcomes', which are what they want to achieve

The whole process from initial request to issuing an EHC plan (if we agree) should take no longer than 20 weeks.

Download an overview of the timeframe.

What an EHC needs assessment is

If the child or young person is getting help in education through SEND support and, despite everyone’s best efforts, still isn’t making progress, you can ask us to carry out an EHC needs assessment.

We expect the education setting to have put in place any actions and support that are identified for the child and young person at the SEND support stage first.

The EHC needs assessment:

  • gathers information about the child or young person
  • describes the child or young person's needs
  • describes the support the child or young person may need to meet their long term outcomes
  • helps us decide whether to issue an EHC plan

Ask for an EHC needs assessment

To request an EHC needs assessment, fill in the following documents:

You may also wish to include:

It's not compulsory to include any of these, but they can help support your request.

Email these forms to sen@bristol.gov.uk

Help filling in the forms

Find out more at Ask for an EHC needs assessment.

What happens when you request an EHC needs assessment

When we get a request for an EHC needs assessment, we have 6 weeks to decide if we'll do an assessment.

The process:

  1. We record your EHC needs assessment request.
  2. We email you, the parent or carer, the young person, education setting, health and social care services to tell you we’ve got the request.
  3. We contact you within 6 weeks of getting your request to tell you our decision.

Reviewing EHC plans

We must review EHC plans within 12 months of the date we issue them. The person organising the review must seek advice and information about the child or young person before the annual review meeting from:

  • the child’s parent or carer, or the young person themselves
  • a representative from the educational setting the child or young person goes to
  • the child or young person’s health service representative
  • the child or young person’s social care representative
  • any other people relevant to the review

Complete a setting contribution to an Education, Health and Care (EHC) annual review form (word doc, 54KB) (opens new window).

Send it by secure email to sen@bristol.gov.uk. Read our secure email guidance (pdf, 448KB) (opens new window).

Key stage transfers for children with an EHC plan

Parents and carers must fill in a key stage transfer form when a child with an EHC plan moves to a different school or education setting at the end of:

  • nursery
  • year 2
  • year 6
  • year 11

You can direct parents and carers to the key stage transfer form on the Education, health and care plans page.