Call our free helpline0808 808 3555
Call our free helpline
0808 808 3555
An EHC plan is a legal document that describes a child or young
person's special educational, health and social care needs. It
explains the extra help that will be given to meet those needs and
how that help will support the child or young person to achieve
what they want to in their life.
EHC plans are for children and young people whose special
educational needs require more help than would normally be provided
in a mainstream education
setting (a college, school, nursery).
Although the plan can include health or social care needs, your
child will not get a plan if they only have health or
social care needs that do not affect their education.
An EHC plan can be issued to a child or young person between the
ages of 0 and 25 years.
EHC plans are drawn up by the local authority after an EHC needs
assessment. You, your child's education setting or your child,
if over 16, can ask your local authority to carry out an
There is no national standard format for the EHC plan. However
it must have certain sections that are clearly labelled.
The sections are:
A: The views, interests and aspirations of you and your
B: Special educational needs (SEN).
C: Health needs related to SEN.
D: Social care needs related to SEN.
E: Outcomes - how the extra help will benefit your child
F: Special educational provision (support).
G: Health provision.
H: Social care provision.
I: Placement - type and name of school or other institution (blank
in the draft plan (link to info about draft plan))
J: Personal budget arrangements.
K: Advice and information - a list of the information gathered
during the EHC needs assessment.
The different sections may at first seem like a confusing
alphabet soup. It can help to understand that there are three
sections on needs (i.e. your child's difficulties) that are matched
by corresponding provision (the help your child will get) to meet
Here's a bit more information
Section A can be useful in providing a quick summary of your
child. It should be based on information given by you and your
child or young person. Section A is not legally binding, so the
main detail of the plan should not be in here.
Section B describes your child's special educational needs i.e.
what your child has difficulty with. The SEND code of practice
defines four broad areas of SEN. Many local authorities structure
the educational sections of the EHC plan in this way, but there is
no obligation to do so. These areas are:
Section C contains any health care needs related to your child's
condition or SEN. This can be physical or mental health
difficulties, for example difficulties with eating, severe anxiety,
or a medical condition such as epilepsy.
Section D contains any social care needs related to your child's
special educational needs or disability. For example support to
join in with activities outside home and school.
Section E contains the outcomes anticipated for your child. The
outcomes describe what your child will be able to do as a result of
getting the extra help in the EHC plan. Outcomes can be about
reaching a particular educational level, or they can be things that
are important to your child, such as being able to take part in an
out of school activity.
Section F contains details of the help your child will get in
school. This section must be specific and quantified. It should be
very clear how much help, how often and who will give it. Therapies
such as speech and language therapy must normally be in section
Section G is the healthcare provision required, for example
medication, equipment such as a wheelchair, nursing support,
Section H is social care provision. This might be short breaks,
out of school activities or support for the family at home.
Section I names the school or other institution your child
attends. In a draft EHC plan this must
always be left blank, because this is when you can tell your local
authority what school you want your child to go to.
If you have requested a personal budget, Section J will contain
information about this. A personal budget is not extra money but a
more flexible way of using the funding allocated to your child. See
our separate information on personal
Section K contains all the reports gathered as part of the
The plan must be reviewed at least once a year. At the end
of the review the local authority may make changes to the plan, end
it or leave it unchanged. Read more about annual reviews.
The plan will remain in place until your child leaves education
or the local authority decides that your child no longer needs the
plan to help them in their education. If you move to another local
authority the plan will be transferred. See more about a change
If you live in Wales, read our information about the
We also support Northern Ireland and Scotland. Give our helpline
a call on 0808 808 3555 and we can provide information or signpost
you to alternative sources of advice in those nations where
appropriate. Find out our local office details in the In your area
Any questions about support at school? How to get an EHC plan?
What kind of school is best for my child? Call our freephone helpline on 0808 808 3555 and talk
to one of our education advisers.