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What is an education, health and care (EHC) plan?

Important - Not all children with special educational needs (SEN) need an education, health and care (EHC) plan to have their needs met. Most children with SEN have their needs met with SEN Support in a mainstream education setting. Find out more about:

An EHC plan is for children and young people who have complex special educational needs and disabilities. 

An EHC plan:

  • Specifies special educational, health and social care provision and support that is needed for a child or young person to achieve their best possible outcomes
  • Is based on a child or young person’s needs and aspirations
  • Specifies how services will work together to meet a child or young person’s needs and achieve agreed outcomes
  • Is a legal document
  • Can start from a child’s birth and can remain in place until a young person is 25
  • Is used to secure the provision which is assessed as being necessary

To reiterate, an EHC plan is for children and young people with complex needs, which cannot be met with SEN Support.

Before you request an EHC needs assessment

You should:

  1. Check that the child is receiving SEN Support and the educational setting is using the graduated approach, also known as ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review’
  2. If you do not agree with the existing SEN Support in place, try disagreement resolution  

EHC needs assessment requests

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