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Simple guide to an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

Simple guide to an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

Simple guide to an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

What is an EHCP and how to request one?

The Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP) are for children and young people who have additional special educational needs (SEN) and therefore require additional educational support. The plans identify these needs, set out the methods and what support is required to meet those needs.

To request a plan, you (or the child’s school) can ask the local authority if you think your child needs one. If they decide to carry out an assessment, evidence will be required such as a letter from you about the needs of your child, a doctor’s assessment, and any other relevant medical reports.

This blog will explain the various sections in an Education, Health and Care Plan and our top tips for things to look out for.

Section A: The views, interests and aspirations of the child, parents, or the young person.

This section is all about the child’s views, interests, hobbies and aspirations. This section is usually accepted by the local authority, without further questioning.

Section B: The child or young person’s special educational needs.

This section is important as it details the child’s or young person’s special educational needs. These needs must be specified. Each SEN need should be conveyed separately so you can easily check if there are provisions in place or being put in place, to meet each need. This information must come from reports prepared by professionals. This section can be appealed if the Local Authority has not covered the child’s needs appropriately.

Section C: The child or young person’s health needs.

This section relates to health provisions and the health needs identified through the EHC needs assessment, which relate to the child or young person’s SEN. This should be set out in plain English,  so it can be understood by non-specialists and should focus on the practical implications of health conditions.

Section D: The child or young person’s social care needs which are related to their SEN or to a disability.

This section relates to the child’s social care needs which can relate to SEN or any disabilities. Information from social care could come from many people such as teachers, youth workers or social workers. The local authority can specify other social care needs which are not linked to SEN or disability, which could include reference to any child in need or child protection plan which may relate to issues such as neglect. These could help manage the plan and improve co-ordination of services.

Section E: The outcomes sought for the child or the young person.

This must detail the outcomes sought for the child or young person, which usually set out what needs to be achieved by the end of the next key stage of education. These outcomes should be detailed by including steps towards meeting the outcomes and include timescales such as monitoring progress, as well as reviews. The SEN Code of Practise provides guidance that outcomes must be SMART:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time bound.

These outcomes will help achieve the aspirations in Section A. The outcomes of the section cannot be appealed, but the Tribunal can make ‘consequential changes’ if necessary.

Section F: The special educational provision required by the child or young person.

This section is important, as usually appeals are in relation to this.

This describes the special educational provision that your child needs to meet their SEN. This should be detailed and specific, such as outlining what kind of provision, who will deliver it, how often and for how long. This should be quantified in type, hours, and frequency of support and when it will be reviewed. The provision must be specified for each need specified in section B. Where the local authority departs from advice, they should provide reasons for this.

Anything in this section is the local authority’s responsibility to provide. The Tribunal has the power to make legally binding orders for section F. Any therapies which support the education of a child or young person such as speech and language therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and CAMHS services are included in this section.

Section G: Any health provision reasonably required by the learning difficulties or disabilities which result in the child or young person having SEN.

This section relates to health provisions that are required by the child or young person who has SEN provisions. There could be specialised support required such as delivery of medications, occupational therapy, or providing specialist equipment such as wheelchairs. Services that should be co-ordinated in the plan may be added by the local authority.

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 (CSDPA).

If a child or young person has a social care provision which is from section 2 CSDPA, this should be detailed and specified in terms of quantity. This would include the type of support, who will provide this and how the provision will be achieved. The services should be stated as what is needed for the child or young person, such as requiring practical assistance at home, educational facilities in home and outside, travelling assistance, adaptations to home and provision of meals.

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.

Social care provisions include those identified in early help and children in need assessments. For children under 18 this includes services arising from their SEN but unrelated to their disability. This includes those secured through a social care direct payment. For those over 18 it includes any social care provisions to meet their eligible needs under the Care Act 2014.

Section I: The name of the school or other institution to be attended by the child or young person, and the type of that institution.

This provision is particularly important where it has the name and type of school. Most disputes with the local authority revolve around section I. This is because the local authority names a school which they think will meet your child’s needs, but the parents disagree. If the school is not suitable or cannot meet your child’s needs, you can appeal.

There is more information on what an EHCP entitles you to.

Section J: Details of any direct payment which will be made.

This section is about the personal budget. This should have detailed information on the personal budget that will be used to secure the provisions. There must be specific information on how the arrangements will be met.

Section K: Advice and information.

This should include all the advice and information which has been gathered during the assessments. These must be set out in appendices, as well as copies of reports and all those commissioned by parents.

Top Tips when requesting an EHCP.

  • Ensure you add your child’s views, aspirations, and hobbies.
  • Be clear and specific about what support is needed. Be specific regarding the type of support, number of hours and how long for. Outcomes should be SMART. The plans should be easy to understand and accessible.
  • Have the necessary evidence and start gathering relevant reports. This could be medical professional reports. Certain advice from professionals will be important such as educational psychology, occupational/speech & language therapist. Evidence includes any relevant reports or tests your child has had.
  • Record and remind yourselves regularly of any dates and deadlines. Record dates when you submit forms and documents, as there are strict timelines.
  • Provide full information about your child’s needs. If a need is stated in section B, there should be a provision in section F. Cross-reference these with your specialist advice and reports.
  • Contact the school and gather information on what SEN support is being provided. Ask if your child is on the SEN register. By looking at the support and any records kept by the school, you will have a better understanding of what your child is currently achieving and if further support is required.
  • Ensure the EHCP includes a review date.

If you are unhappy and would like to amend your plan

You have 15 days from receiving the draft plan to write to the local authority about the changes you would like and if you have any concerns. These are called your ‘’representations’’.

If making representations you are still unsure and feel concerns, there is mediation which is a less-formal procedure. This involves addressing your concerns. An independent mediator works together with you and the local authority to help reach an agreement.

If after mediation, or you prefer not to go mediation, you can appeal to First-tier Tribunal. This must be done within 2 months from receipt of your child’s final EHCP or one month after a mediation certificate.

It’s important for parents to act quickly as any delays may disrupt the child’s education. Seek advice from the beginning if you have any concerns about the statutory process and see options available. A specialist solicitor can provide advice on your case, information on the EHCP process, and ensure all necessary steps are taken. We can also explain how to win a SEND tribunal case.

Get in touch with our Education Solicitors specialising in Education, Health, and Care Plans

The information given here is intended for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice.

For specific guidance relevant to your situation and to arrange an initial fixed fee education law consultation, with one of our special educational needs lawyers please contact our education law senior administrator, Rachael, on 01895 207230 or email educationteam@ibblaw.co.uk. Rachael will explain the process and if you want to proceed with a fixed fee consultation, she will send you a link to enable you to book an online appointment, for a day and time that is most convenient to you.