Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans

Information for families in England

Some children or young people with more complex educational needs receive support through an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.

What is an EHC plan?

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. The plan is drawn up by the local authority after an EHC needs assessment.

An EHC plan can be issued to a child or young person between the ages of 0 and 25 years.

Who needs an EHC plan?

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.

How do I get an EHC plan?

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 our an assessment. Find out more about EHC needs assessments here.

What does an EHC plan look like?

The plan has 11 sections labelled alphabetically:

A: The views, interests and aspirations of your child.
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.
J: Personal budget arrangements.
K: Advice and information - a list of the information gathered during the EHC needs assessment.

The plan should be written so that everyone can understand it. It should be clear and detailed about the amount and type of support your child will get and how the support will help your child.

Review of the plan

The plan must be reviewed at least once a year. This is a chance for everyone involved in supporting your child to check how well they are progressing and whether anything needs to be changed. At the end of the review the local authority may make changes to the plan, end it or leave it unchanged.

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.

Information for families in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales

If you live in Wales, read our information about the statementing process.

We also support Northern Ireland and Scotland. Give our helpline a call on 0808 808 3555 for information and advice on any aspect of raising a disabled child, or call your local contact. Find out our details in the In your area section.

Call our helpline

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.

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