An Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC plan) is a legal document that describes a child or young person’s special educational, health and social care needs. It 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.
The special educational provision described in an EHC plan must be provided by the child or young person’s local authority (LA). This means an EHC plan can give a child or young person extra educational support. It can also give parents and young people more choice about which school or other setting the child or young person can attend.
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.
You, your child’s education setting or your child, if over 16, can ask your local authority to carry out an assessment.
An EHC plan can be issued to a child or young person between the ages of 0 and 25 years.
What happens during an EHC needs assessment?
The local authority gathers information about your child’s needs from:
- You and your child.
- The nursery, school or college your child attends.
- An educational psychologist.
- Specialist teachers, if your child has a vision or hearing impairment.
- Health and social care services.
- Others whose views may be important.
- For a child in Year 9 (age 14) or above, advice about preparing for adulthood and independent living.
- Advice and information requested by the local authority should be provided within six weeks.
An EHC plan can only be issued after a child or young person has gone through the process of an Education, Health and Care needs assessment.
What does an EHC plan look like?
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 child
F: Special educational provision (support).
G: Health provision.
H: Social care provision.
I: Placement – type and name of school or other institution
J: Personal budget arrangements.
K: Advice and information – a list of the information gathered during the EHC needs assessment.
How long does the plan last?
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.
Annual review of the plan
What is an annual review of a Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)?
When a child or young person has an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC plan) there is a requirement for the EHC plan to be reviewed at least annually. This is usually referred to as the Annual Review.
In Early Years an EHC plan should be reviewed every 3 to 6 months.
The Annual Review is more than just a review meeting, it is a process that must be completed on or before the anniversary of when the EHC plan was first issued or the anniversary of the last review.
An Annual Review must be undertaken in partnership with the child and their parent or the young person, and must take account of their views, wishes and feelings, including their right to request a Personal Budget.
How do you request an Annual Review?
A request for an Annual Review of an EHC plan can be made to local authority or school at any time, as long as you have a good reason. This is particularly important if you believe that there is an urgent need for a change to the child or young person’s EHC plan.
The Annual Review Process
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