What is an Education Health and Care Plan?

An Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP) describes your child’s special educational needs (SEN) and the help they will get to meet them. An EHCP also includes any health and care provision that is needed. It is a legal document written by the local authority and is intended to ensure that children and young people with an EHCP receive the support they need.

EHCPs replaced Statements of Special Educational Need and Section 139 Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDA). EHCPs are for children and young people who need more support than their school (or other setting) can provide. The plans can start from a child’s birth and continue into further education and training (from 0 to 25 years old).

Who needs an EHC Plan?

EHCPs are for children and young people who have a special educational need or disability that cannot be met by the support that is available at their school or college. Most children and young people with special educational needs will have help given to them without the need for an EHCP. This is called SEN support.

The purpose of SEN support is to help children achieve the outcomes or learning objectives that have been set for them. Some children and young people may not make the progress expected of them even with this help. When this happens the Local Authority carry out an EHC needs assessment. A few children and young people have such significant difficulties/needs that an EHC needs assessment should not be delayed.

A child's parent, carer or school can ask the local authority to make an EHC needs assessment. When this assessment is finished the local authority must decide whether to issue an EHCP.