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EHC Plans – Sections within

Last modified: March 12, 2019
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This is a breakdown of what goes where in an Education, Health and Care Plan.

There are lots of myths and incorrect information about what goes where. The law is clear and hopefully, this breakdown will help you to know what to look for and what to query in any draft EHC Plan you receive.

EHC plans should be forward-looking documents that help raise aspirations and outline the provision required to meet assessed needs to support the child or young person in achieving their ambitions.

Aspiration:

a hope or ambition of achieving something

EHC plans should specify how services will be delivered as part of a whole package and explain how best to achieve the outcomes sought across education, health and social care for the child or young person.

An outcome is not the same as an aspiration.

Complete details of the contents of an EHC Plan can be found in Chapters 9.62 – 9.76 – SEND Code of Practice and Part 2 – Section 12 of the SEND Regulations

Section A: 

Section A should include the views, interests and aspirations of the child and his or her parents or the young person.

  • Details about the child or young person’s aspirations and goals for the future (but not details of outcomes to be achieved). When agreeing the aspirations, consideration should be given to the child or young person’s aspirations for paid employment, independent living and community participation
  • Details about play, health, schooling, independence, friendships, further education and future plans including employment (where practical)
  • A summary of how to communicate with the child or young person and engage them in decision-making.
  • The child or young person’s history
  • If written in the first person, the plan should make clear whether the child or young person is being quoted directly, or if the views of parents or professionals are being represented
  • If the EHC Plan is for a child, the aspirations of the parents should also be recorded.  

Section A is not a One Page Profile (and vice versa). Remember, this is a legal document not a person centred tool.  You can use the thinking behind a One Page Profile (eg what is important to your child) to help you complete this section but they have different purposes.

This is the section for you and your child to note your aspirations for the future.  However, please note that the Code of Practice specifically says that the Local Authority cannot be held accountable for a child or young person’s aspirations.  An EHC Plan will not continue just because an aspiration has not been achieved.     

Many Local Authorities include good day/bad day in Section A.  This is a good place to put what does and doesn’t work for your child in a school day, especially if you have had good or bad experiences from previous settings.  

Section B: 

The child or young person’s special educational needs.

  • All of the child or young person’s identified special educational needs must be specified
  • SEN may include needs for health and social care provision that are treated as special educational provision because they educate or train the child or young person (see Therapies for more details on health and social care provision as special educational provision)
  • It is important that the descriptions of all conditions and special needs are fully (and accurately) described. 
  • Generally, the special educational needs are listed within each broad area of need.  However, if your child requires more than one specific provision within one broad area of need, it must be split into more than one need.  IPSEA state “a Judge compared this section to a list of symptoms, each of which must be answered by an item in the list of special educational provision”.  A full checklist from IPSEA can be found here https://www.ipsea.org.uk/Handlers/Download.ashx?IDMF=afd8d11f-5f75-44e0-8f90-e2e7385e55f0
  • Make sure the language used within this section is clear and as jargon free as possible.  If jargon/clinical details are in there, can they be explained in a way that someone with no knowledge of the condition or need, could understand?
  • Highlight the issues around each SEN.  Think about the impact on your child if these needs were not met (eg can they access the curriculum, can they express themselves, can they understand requests and instructions, can they interact socially with their peers and with adults, can they achieve self esteem, can they learn to be as independent as is possible).  
  • In practice, many staff will look at this section for the basis of what they need to be providing before Section F.  

Section C: 

The child or young person’s health needs which are related to their SEN.

  • The EHC plan must specify any health needs identified through the EHC needs assessment which relate to the child or young person’s SEN. Some health care needs, such as routine dental health needs, are unlikely to be related
  • The Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) may also choose to specify other health care needs which are not related to the child or young person’s SEN (for example, a long-term condition which might need management in a special educational setting)

Section D: 

The child or young person’s social care needs which are related to their SEN or to a disability.

  • The EHC plan must specify any social care needs identified through the EHC needs assessment which relate to the child or young person’s SEN or which require provision for a child or young person under 18 under section 2 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970

Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1970/44/contents

  • The local authority may also choose to specify other social care needs which are not linked to the child or young person’s SEN or to a disability. This could include reference to any child in need or child protection plan which a child may have relating to other family issues such as neglect. Such an approach could help the child and their parents manage the different plans and bring greater co-ordination of services. Inclusion must only be with the consent of the child and their parents

Section E: 

The outcomes sought for the child or the young person. This should include outcomes for adult life. The EHC plan should also identify the arrangements for the setting of shorter term targets by the early years provider, school, college or other education or training provider. 

Outcome:

the benefit or difference made to an individual as a result of an intervention (provision in Section F)

Outcomes are NOT aspirations.  Nor are outcomes a description of the service or intervention being provided – for example the provision of three hours of speech and language therapy is not an outcome, it is a provision. Using this example, the outcome is what difference the speech and language therapy will make to your child. What will they be able to do once they have achieved this outcome that they cannot do now.

Outcome:

must be SMART

(specific, measurable, achievable, realistic & time-bound)

Specific:The outcome is clear and cannot be interpreted differently by different people.

Measurable:It is possible to know when the outcome has been achieved.

Achievable: It is appropriate to your child or young person and within their capabilities

Realistic:The outcome can realistically be achieved

Time-bound:The outcome has a deadline.

Section E should include:

  • A range of outcomes over varying timescales, covering education, health and care as appropriate
  • There should be an outcome for each Special Educational Need specified in Section B.
  • For young people aged over 17, the EHC plan should identify clearly which outcomes are education and training outcomes.
  • A clear distinction between outcomes and provision. The provision should help the child or young person achieve an outcome, it is not an outcome in itself
  • Steps towards meeting the outcomes
  • The arrangements for monitoring progress, including review and transition review arrangements and the arrangements for setting and monitoring shorter term targets by the early years provider, school, college or other education or training provider
  • Forward plans for key changes in a child or young person’s life, such as changing schools, moving from children’s to adult care and/or from paediatric services to adult health, or moving on from further education to adulthood
  • For children and young people preparing for the transition to adulthood, the outcomes that will prepare them well for adulthood and are clearly linked to the achievement of the aspirations in section A.
  • It is also worth requesting that in Section E, the LA add that the school will meet with the parents three times a year (which they should be doing anyway) to look at the progress made on these outcomes.

Guidance for writing outcomes can be found from Catcote Academy on the SEND Gateway site – https://www.sendgateway.org.uk/resources.guidance-for-writing-outcomes.html

EHC plans can include wider outcomes such as positive social relationships and emotional resilience and stability. 

Outcomes should always enable children and young people to move towards the long-term aspirations of employment or higher education, independent living and community participation. (Chapter 9.64 – Code of Practice)

The outcomes are especially important at the age of 18, as they need to be education and training based or the EHC Plan will cease.

Section F: 

The special educational provision required by the child or the young person.

  • Provision must be detailed and specific and should normally be quantified, for example, in terms of the type, hours and frequency of support and level of expertise, including where this support is secured through a Personal Budget
    • Words/Phrases such as “regular”, “frequent”, “small groups”, “will have opportunities/opportunities for”, “access to”, “as required”, “as needed”, “as necessary” “on occasions” and “as appropriate”, etc are not detailed or specific.
    • Other words to avoid at all costs include “should”, “ideally”, “likely” “sometimes”, “would like”, “where possible”, “as/when convenient”, “budget/funding permitting”, “often”, “most days”, “reasonably”
      • How regular is regular?  Remember, Christmas is a regular occurrence.
      • How frequent is frequent?
      • Will the small groups take place in the general class room or in a separate quieter area?
    • “Individual daily support across the curriculum” appears to be a commonly used phrase in draft plans.  Who is providing the support?  How is this support managed?  How qualified are the people giving support?  What does this support look like?  Is Daily support all day or just for part of the day?  
    • Imagine that you have to take this plan to another school in another LA suddenly – would they interpret “regular” or “frequent” in the same manner as the current school?
    • Make sure there is no room for doubt.
  • Provision must be specified for each and every need specified in section B. It should be clear how the provision will support achievement of the outcomes (section E)
    • Provision for every single SEN listed in Section B
    • How each provision supports the outcomes in Section E
  • Where health or social care provision educates or trains a child or young person must be treated as special educational provision and included in Section F (Chapter 9.73 – Code of Practice)
  • Section F should specify:
    • any appropriate facilities and equipment, staffing arrangements and curriculum
    • any appropriate modifications to the application of the National Curriculum, where relevant
    • any appropriate exclusions from the application of the National Curriculum or the course being studied in a post-16 setting, in detail, and the provision which it is proposed to substitute for any such exclusions in order to maintain a balanced and broadly based curriculum
    • where residential accommodation is appropriate, that fact
    • where there is a Personal Budget, the outcomes to which it is intended to contribute (detail of the arrangements for a Personal Budget, including any direct payment, must be included in the plan and these should be set out in section J)
    • If a child is in or beyond Year 9, this section should also set out the educational, social and health provision required to assist the child or young person in preparation for adulthood and independent living.

Things to consider:

  • Is the curriculum going to be differentiated?
  • Who will be responsible for this?
  • Is adequate time allowed for planning and production of any additional resources?
  • Who will be responsible for producing any additional resources?
  • How are the additional resources funded?
  • Does your child have access to extra curricular activities and opportunities?
  • Does your child require additional equipment (eg a Brailler).  If so, who will provide it, how is it funded, where will this be kept when not in use and who will be responsible for taking it from that place to the classroom.
  • If your child is in a special school or a resourced provision, ensure that the full details of the provision they provide as standard is specified.  For example, if your child goes to a good special school, they will probably offer small groups, differentiated curriculum, additional resources, etc as standard to all their pupils.   However, if tomorrow you had to move to a LA with no special school or a poor special school, they may only offer what is specified in your plan.  
  • Generally speaking, full time support is 27.5 hours (or 32.5 if you include breaks and lunchtime) but always check the hours of the school, as they can vary.
    • What provision is made over break time and lunch time?

Section G: 

Any health provision reasonably required by the learning difficulties or disabilities which result in the child or young person having SEN. Where an Individual Health Care Plan is made for them, that plan should be included.

  • Provision must be detailed and specific and should normally be quantified, for example, in terms of the type, hours and frequency of support and level of expertise, including where this support is secured through a Personal Budget
  • It should be clear how the provision will support achievement of the outcomes, including the health needs to be met and the outcomes to be achieved through provision secured through a personal (health) budget Clarity as to how advice and information gathered has informed the provision specified
  • Health care provision reasonably required may include specialist support and therapies, such as medical treatments and delivery of medications, occupational therapy and physiotherapy, a range of nursing support, specialist equipment, wheelchairs and continence supplies. It could include highly specialist services needed by only a small number of children which are commissioned centrally by NHS England (for example therapeutic provision for young offenders in the secure estate)
  • The local authority and CCG may also choose to specify other health care provision reasonably required by the child or young person, which is not linked to their learning difficulties or disabilities, but which should sensibly be co- ordinated with other services in the plan

Section H1: 

Any social care provision which must be made for a child or young person under 18 resulting from section 2 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 (CSDPA)

  • Provision should be detailed and specific and should normally be quantified, for example, in terms of the type of support and who will provide it (including where this is to be secured through a social care direct payment)
  • It should be clear how the provision will support achievement of the outcomes, including any provision secured through a Personal Budget. There should be clarity as to how advice and information gathered has informed the provision specified
  • Section H1 of the EHC plan must specify all services assessed as being needed for a disabled child or young person under 18, under section 2 of the CSDPA. These services include:
  • practical assistance in the home
  • provision or assistance in obtaining recreational and educational facilities at home and outside the home
  • assistance in travelling to facilities
  • adaptations to the home
  • facilitating the taking of holidays
  • provision of meals at home or elsewhere
  • provision or assistance in obtaining a telephone and any special equipment necessary
  • non-residential short breaks (included in Section H1 on the basis that the child as well as his or her parent will benefit from the short break)
  • This may include services to be provided for parent carers of disabled children, including following an assessment of their needs under sections 17ZD-17ZF of the Children Act 1989

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. This will include any adult social care provision being provided to meet a young person’s eligible needs (through a statutory care and support plan) under the Care Act 2014.

  • Social care provision reasonably required may include provision identified through early help and children in need assessments and safeguarding assessments for children. Section H2 must only include services which are not provided under Section 2 of the CSDPA. For children and young people under 18 this includes residential short breaks and services provided to children arising from their SEN but unrelated to a disability. This should include any provision secured through a social care direct payment. See chapter 10 for more information on children’s social care assessments
  • Social care provision reasonably required will include any adult social care provision to meet eligible needs for young people over 18 (set out in an adult care and support plan) under the Care Act 2014. See Chapter 8 for further detail on adult care and EHC plans
  • The local authority may also choose to specify in section H2 other social care provision reasonably required by the child or young person, which is not linked to their learning difficulties or disabilities. This will enable the local authority to include in the EHC plan social care provision such as child in need or child protection plans, or provision meeting eligible needs set out in an adult care plan where it is unrelated to the SEN but appropriate to include in the EHC plan

Section I

The name and type of the school, maintained nursery school, post-16 institution or other institution to be attended by the child or young person and the type of that institution (or, where the name of a school or other institution is not specified in the EHC plan, the type of school or other institution to be attended by the child or young person).

  • The name and type of the school, maintained nursery school, post-16 institution or other institution to be attended by the child or young person and the type of that institution (or, where the name of a school or other institution is not specified in the EHC plan, the type of school or other institution to be attended by the child or young person)
  • These details must be included only in the final EHC plan, not the draft EHC plan sent to the child’s parent or to the young person for approval.
  • Parents and young people have the right to request a placement at a particular school and the LA must comply with the request unless
      • it would be unsuitable for the age, ability, aptitude or SEN of the child or young person, or
      • the attendance of the child or young person there would be incompatible with the efficient education of others or the efficient use of resources.

Efficient education means providing for each child or young person a suitable and appropriate education in terms of their age, ability, apititude, and any special education needs they may have.

Efficient use of resources relates to the additional costs of the placement.  

The LA has to demonstrate that there are no “reasonable steps: that could be taken to ensure that the child can be educated in a mainstream school in a way that is compatible with the efficient education of other children. 

If a school or other educational establishment, is named in this section, it must admit the child or young person.  The only schools this does not apply to are wholly independent schools 

If a child is being home educated under Section 7 of the Education Act, this should be specified in this section.

Section J: 

Where there is a Personal Budget, the details of how the Personal Budget will support particular outcomes, the provision it will be used for including any flexibility in its usage and the arrangements for any direct payments for education, health and social care. The special educational needs and outcomes that are to be met by any direct payment must be specified.

  • This section should provide detailed information on any Personal Budget that will be used to secure provision in the EHC plan
  • It should set out the arrangements in relation to direct payments as required by education, health and social care regulations
  • The special educational needs and outcomes that are to be met by any direct payment must be specified

Section K: 

The advice and information gathered during the EHC needs assessment must be attached (in appendices). There should be a list of this advice and information.

  • The advice and information gathered during the EHC needs assessment must be set out in appendices to the EHC plan. There should be a list of this advice and information including who gave the advice/information, their role and when it was provided.

The Golden Thread 

Sections B, E and F should all link together (like a golden thread).  

  • Is there an Outcome in Section E for every Special Educational Need listed in Section B
  • Is there provision in Section F for every single Special Educational Need listed in Section B?
  • Is the provision in Section F going to help your child to achieve the Outcomes listed in Section E?
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