Home Help for families Information & Advice Education & learning EHC plans & assessments (England only) EHC plans
4 mins read
Some children with special educational needs (SEN) in England need more help than a mainstream school, college or nursery would normally provide at the level of SEN support.
These pupils receive support through an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.
The information on this page is for families in England only. I live in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales.
An Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan is a legal document that describes a child or young person’s special educational, health and social care needs, 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 assessment.
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 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 childF: 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 those needs:
See our page on getting an EHC draft plan for a more detailed look at each section.
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 in circumstances.
Read our information about education in Wales.
Find out about the system of support for children with special educational needs in Northern Ireland on the NI Education Authority website or Senac (special educational needs advice centre).
In Scotland, the system of support for children with additional support needs is called additional support for learning. You can read more about it on the Enquire website.
Local supportInformation about the help available in your area, from local advice organisations to parent support groups. Here you can find out…
Social careAs a parent of a disabled child you are entitled to certain services that can help you, your child and your…
Benefits & money You might be starting to think about your son or daughter's financial independence and how they'll start to manage…
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. These cookies ensure basic functionalities and security features of the website, anonymously.
Functional cookies help to perform certain functionalities like sharing the content of the website on social media platforms, collect feedbacks, and other third-party features.
Performance cookies are used to understand and analyze the key performance indexes of the website which helps in delivering a better user experience for the visitors.
Analytical cookies are used to understand how visitors interact with the website. These cookies help provide information on metrics the number of visitors, bounce rate, traffic source, etc.
Advertisement cookies are used to provide visitors with relevant ads and marketing campaigns. These cookies track visitors across websites and collect information to provide customized ads.
Other uncategorized cookies are those that are being analyzed and have not been classified into a category as yet.