What is an EHC plan

What is an EHC plan

What an EHC plan is used for, what it means for you and your child, and how it’s set out

Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans are personalised documents for children and young people from birth to 25 years old who have special educational needs or disabilities, which means they have additional needs in education, health and or social care. 

They replace Statements of SEN and Learning Disability Assessments.

The plan sets out:

  • what your child’s education, health and care needs are
  • the support your child will get from education, health or care to meet those needs
  • what you and everyone involved wants your child to achieve in the next 12 months, as well as longer term

The plan focuses on making sure children can access education, training, health and care services. This helps them to reach their individual potential and be fully prepared for adult life.

Read our Easy Read guide on what is an EHC plan (pdf, 2MB) (opens new window) .

Who can have an EHC plan

Your child must:

  • have special educational needs or a disability 
  • need more help than their school or other education setting, and any health or social care service they’re using, can generally provide from their own resources

If your child doesn’t have educational needs, they won’t have an EHC plan. Social care needs will be met through a care plan. Health needs will be met through a health plan. 

If you think your child is eligible for an EHC plan, they must have had an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment. The EHC needs assessment is a legal procedure for identifying your child’s special educational needs and deciding if they require extra support. 

An EHC needs assessment doesn’t always lead to a EHC plan being written. 

How we write an EHC Plan

We write it using the information we gather from professionals, as well as you and your child during the EHC needs assessment. It has information about:

  • your child’s special educational needs, health and social care needs 
  • the extra help that will be given to meet those needs
  • how that help will support your child to progress
  • preparing for adulthood and independent living for those in Year nine and above
  • Once special educational provision has been specified in an EHC plan, we have a legal duty to provide it.

What EHC plans must include

EHC Plans must include certain information, which must be set out in the following separate sections:

  •  the views, interests and aspirations of the child or young person
  •  what the special educational need is
  • any health needs relating to their SEND
  • any social care needs relating to their SEND
  • the intended outcomes for the child or young person, which should be joined across education, health and social care where appropriate
  • what special educational provision is needed for the child or young person’s SEND
  • what provision is needed from health or social care services
  • personal budgets
  • advice and information gathered through the needs assessment
  • the education placement – named by type or the actual institution

The SEND Code of Practice (from page 164) describes what’s included in each section of the EHC Plan in detail.

The Children and Families Act 2014 (section 37) describes what an EHC plan is and what it must specify.

The SEN Assessment Coordinator will explain to you each section in detail once the decision has been made to proceed to securing an EHC Plan for your child. This happens after the EHC needs assessment has been completed, when we give you the draft plan to review.