Education, health and care (EHC) plans

The Education Health and Care (EHC) plan is a new way of working. It is led by the needs and aspirations of the child or young person and his or her parents / carers working in partnership with practitioners and other supporters. This puts children, young people and their families at the very centre of the assessment and planning process. It makes sure that their views are not only heard but also understood. This is called person-centred planning and is all about increasing families’ choices and control.

An EHC plan is for children and young people (aged 0 to 25) who have SEND and need a much higher level of support than education settings can deliver.

Most children and young people will have their needs met with support and/or services which are available as part of the Norfolk Local Offer. Before most children or young people are considered for a plan their educational setting should have evidence of at least two cycles of the Assess, Plan Do Review process.

The purpose of an EHC plan is

  • To establish and secure the best possible outcomes across education, health and social care based on the child or young person’s needs and aspirations
  • To prepare them for adulthood
  • To decide what support is required and how services will work together to meet the child or young person’s needs and achieve the agreed outcomes
  • To secure the special educational provision assessed as being necessary to meet the SEN of the child or young person

The County Council is responsible for ensuring that assessments are effectively co-ordinated.

The EHC assessment and plan replace the statutory assessment and Statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) process and Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDA). EHC plans are still legal documents that local authorities have to follow but they will include information and support for health and social care, as well as education. The plan can start from a child’s birth and continues while the young person remains in further education and/or training. Outcomes are specified in their EHC plan which have not been met and still require the special educational provision specified in the plan. For some young people this could be until they are 25 years old.

Independent Support Programme

The Independent Support Programme provides free advice and support for parents of children and young people with SEND through the statutory Education Health and Care needs assessment process.

Independent Supporters can offer information to parents and young people so that they can make the right decisions during the EHC needs assessment process. They can also signpost them to relevant agencies within the Local Offer.

In Norfolk this service is provided through:

Other organisations which may be able to help throughout the EHCP process.