Education Health and Care (EHC) Plans

Last modified: March 12, 2019
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What is an EHC Plan?

EHC Plans were introduced in 2014 with the Children and Families Act.  Previously, families had Statements of Special Educational Needs and Learning Disability Assessments.

They are for children and young people aged up to 25 who need more support than the basic Special Educational Needs support (SEN Support) offered by schools.

An EHC assessment is required in order to get an EHC Plan. 

An EHC Plan is a document that details all special educational provision needed to meet the special educational needs of a child or young person.  

It shows the views, interests and aspiration of the child or young person and their parents.

It provides a full description of their special educational needs and any health or social care needs.

It defines the outcomes that the special educational provision will provide, based on the child/young persons’s needs and aspirations.

It specifies the provision required and how this will be provided to meet the child/young person’s needs and achieve their outcomes.

Does my child need an EHC Plan?

The Department for Education is convinced that the majority of children and young people with SEN and disabilities can have their needs met within local mainstream schools, nurseries, colleges, etc.  They believe that the school duties listed in the previous chapter are more than adequate.  

Where, despite the school having taken relevant and purposeful action to identify, assess and meet the SEN of the child or young person, the child or young person has not made expected progress, the school or parents should consider requesting an Education, Health and Care needs assessment. To inform its decision the local authority will expect to see evidence of the action taken by the school as part of SEN support.   (Chapter 6.63 – Code of Practice)

In theory, an EHC Plan should not always be required for a school to meet your child’s SEND.  However, anecdotal evidence would show that some schools do not meet the needs of children with SEND without an EHC Plan (and even then, some schools either struggle to or have no desire to meet their needs).  

Having an EHC Plan will not guarantee that all of the issues you are having with a school will be resolved.  There is a huge culture shift needed in some schools, despite all of the legislation.  Unfortunately, there is no reward for a school to provide good SEND support within their school and accountability often lies with the parents and carers.

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