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

An Education, Health & Care Plan or EHCP is a document which sets out the education, health and social care needs of a child or young person aged up to 25, and the support that is necessary to help them achieve their outcomes.

Who needs an EHCP?

Most children and young people with special educational needs will receive additional support and help from their school or college, without the need for an EHC Plan. This is called SEN support. If you believe that your child needs this help, or that the help they are getting is not meeting their needs, you should discuss with your child's teacher in the first instance.

EHC plans are for children and young people (age 0-25) who have special educational needs or disabilities that cannot be met by the support that is already available at their school or college. The EHC plan will detail what additional support is required to ensure children meet their outcomes or learning objectives, and will be reviewed each year to ensure that the support in place continues to meet their needs. The EHC plan is a legal document, which requires the organisations named in it to provide the support needed.

How do I get an EHCP?

An EHC plan can only be issued after the local authority's SEND Team has undertaken an EHC needs assessment. This will involve asking people involved in a child's education, health and social care for their opinions, which will be considered along with the views of the parent and child or young person. At the end of that process, the local authority will make a decision on whether it is appropriate to issue an EHC Plan.