Education, Health and Care Plan

What is an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)?

There are times where, despite the school having taken relevant and purposeful action to identify, assess and meet the additional needs of the child, the child has not made expected progress or needs further support to access school provision; then the school or parents should consider requesting an Education, Health and Care assessment from the Local Authority. An ‘Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) replaces what used to be known as a ‘Statement of Special Educational Needs’. A child will have been identified as needing a particularly high level of individual or small group teaching. Usually the child will also need specialist support in school from a professional outside the school.

For your child this would mean:

  • The school can request that the Local Authority carry out a statutory assessment of your child’s needs. This is a legal process which sets out the amount of support that will be provided for your child.
  • After the school has sent in the request to the Local Authority (with a lot of information about your child, including some from you), the Local Authority will decide whether they think your child’s needs seem complex enough to need a statutory assessment. If this is the case they will ask you and all professionals involved with your child to write a report outlining your child’s needs.
  • After the reports have all been sent in, the Local Authority will decide if your child’s needs are severe, complex and lifelong and whether they need more support in school to make good progress. If this is the case, they will write an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). If this is not the case, they will ask the school to continue with the support already provided.
  • The EHCP will specify the provision required and how education, health and care services will work together to meet your child’s needs and what strategies must be put in place. It will also have long and short term goals for your child.
  • Any additional adult may be used to support your child with whole class learning, run individual programmes or run small groups including your child.

This type of support is available for children whose learning needs are severe, complex and lifelong. The purpose of an EHCP is to make special educational provision to meet the special educational needs of the child or young person, to secure improved outcomes for them across education, health and social care and, as they get older, prepare them for adulthood.

See below the statutory timescales taken from the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice