What is an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
Most children and young people will have their needs met through universal mainstream provision for example, in school via SEN Support. EHC Plans provide support over and above that which is ordinarily available within mainstream education settings and aim to support access to learning and development of independence.
EHC Plans are for children and young people from birth up to age 25. EHC Plans provide statutory protection in respect of educational provision. They are intended to be holistic and centred on the child or young person’s needs and because they are person-centred and contain an ‘All About Me’ section.
An EHC Plan is only provided after an assessment with input from the family and relevant professionals, and once finalised the EHC Plan will be reviewed annually.
The EHC Plan will detail the child/young person’s educational needs and their health/care needs which affect their education. There are four main areas of SEN, described in the 2014 SEN Code of Practice:
- Cognition and Learning: these include specific learning difficulties, moderate learning difficulties, severe learning difficulties, profound and multiple learning difficulties
- Communication and Interaction: these include speech, language and communication needs, autistic spectrum disorders/conditions
- Social, Emotional and Mental Health: these include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, attention deficit disorder, obsessive defiance disorder and diagnosed mental health conditions
- Sensory and/or Physical: these include visual impairment, hearing impairment, multi-sensory impairment, physical disabilities
The EHC Plan focuses on ‘Outcomes’ for the future. The educational provision to support the achievement of the outcomes will be specified and arranged. If there are any recommended health or care provisions to support the achievement of the agreed outcomes they will also be specified and arranged. The EHC Plan will also specify the type and name of the educational establishment the child/young person will attend. Each section of an EHC Plan is labelled from A-K in accordance with legal requirements. See template on the right. The sections are:
Section A: The views, interests and aspirations of the child and his or her parents or the young person.
Section B: The child or young person’s special educational needs.
Section C: The child or young person’s health needs which are related to their SEN.
Section D: The child or young person’s social care needs which are related to their SEN or to a disability.
Section E: The outcomes sought for the child or the young person. This should include outcomes for adult life. The EHC plan should also identify the arrangements for the setting of shorter term targets by the early years provider, school, college or other education or training provider
Section F: The special educational provision required by the child or the young person.
Section G: Any health provision reasonably required by the learning difficulties or disabilities which result in the child or young person having SEN. Where an Individual Health Care Plan is made for them, that plan should be included.
Section H1: Any social care provision which must be made for a child or young person under 18 resulting from section 2 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970.
Section H2: Any other social care provision reasonably required by the learning difficulties or disabilities which result in the child or young person having SEN. This will include any adult social care provision being provided to meet a young person’s eligible needs (through a statutory care and support plan) under the Care Act 2014.
Section I: The name and type of the school, maintained nursery school, post-16 institution or other institution to be attended by the child or young person and the type of that institution (or, where the name of a school or other institution is not specified in the EHC plan, the type of school or other institution to be attended by the child or young person).
Section J: *Where there is a Personal Budget, the details of how the Personal Budget will support particular outcomes, the provision it will be used for including any flexibility in its usage and the arrangements for any direct payments for education, health and social care. The special educational needs and outcomes that are to be met by any direct payment must be specified.
Section K: The advice and information gathered during the EHC needs assessment must be attached (in appendices). There should be a list of this advice and information.
*Anyone with an EHC Plan is able to request a Personal Budget to be used to provide some of the support detailed – it is not compulsory to have a Personal Budget. A Personal Budget is an identified amount of money to support the outcomes of an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan which is put under the control of the parents/carers or young person concerned. A Personal Budget may give you more flexibility, choice and control over the support you use, enabling you to make decisions as a family about what works best for you. Personal Budgets are optional and if you choose not to have one the money will be managed by professionals to support your child in the normal way.
With support from the Department for Education, Independent Support has produced two short animation films to help explain the EHCP process and its important relationship with the Person Centred Connection.