In this short guide, you’ll learn about what an EHC plan is, how to apply and what that means for your child and their education.
Education Health and Care Plans (EHC Plans) identifies educational, health, and social needs for children and young people up to the age of 25. They are designed to support students who need more support than what is available through special educational needs provision in mainstream education. EHC Plans were formerly known as a 'statement of special educational needs'.
Many students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)will receive support in their school without an EHC Plan. This support comes from within the school and is called SEND Support. Some students’ needs may be significant or complex and require an EHC assessment by your local authority. The outcome of this assessment is an Education Health and Care Plan, or EHC Plan.
If you disagree with the local authority’s decision on a young person’s EHC Plan, you can appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.
The decision letter from the local authority will explain your right to mediation and appeal.
It’s important to fully understand why the local authority reached this decision. Continue talking to the local authority about your concerns, or any questions you have about the reasons they gave in reaching their decision. Further information will help you decide whether to appeal and should you decide to, will be key when building your case.
You can appeal if you’re not satisfied with the outcome of the EHC process or if the local authority:
Although there’s no national standard for an EHC plan, and each local authority may present their plans in different ways they all must include the following 11 sections:
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 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.
This might seem like an overwhelming amount of information. It can help to understand that there are three sections on needs (your child’s challenges) that are matched by corresponding provision (the help your child will get) to meet those needs. In the list above that would mean that:
The provisions laid out in an EHC plan may include some forms of assistive technology (AT). It’s important to keep in mind that AT’s role is to assist a student’s learning. It doesn’t replace good teaching, but it can be used in addition to well-designed instruction. AT has been proven to help students with their self-confidence, and independent study. It’s also been shown to help students to: