An Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP) is a legal document which describes a young person’s SEND , setting out extra support they need to progress academically, emotionally, and socially. An EHCP is for children and young people from 0-25 years and covers pre-school, school years, college and training.
When a child is unable to progress with the resources provided in school through SEN Support, a school or parent, or young person over the age of 16 years old, can apply for an EHCP. Requests can also be made by family friends, doctors and health professionals.
If there is enough evidence to apply for an EHCP, the school or parent carer will first apply to the Local Authority (LA) for an EHC Needs assessment. They can apply by a letter saying why the child’s needs cannot be met at school without extra support.
After reviewing all the evidence at a Panel, the LA will decide whether to agree to assess or not. If they agree to assess the child or young person, they will then decide at the end of the assessment period whether to issue an EHCP or not. If they decide not to agree to an assessment, the parent carer or school can appeal against this decision, if they have enough evidence to contest the decision not to assess.
Once the LA has agreed that an EHCP is needed, they must make sure a plan is prepared and issued within 20 weeks from the EHC Needs Assessment.
An EHCP is written by the Local Authority (LA) and includes the views of the child/young person, the parent/carer, the SENCO and other professionals involved, including Psychologists, Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language professionals. An EHCP includes 12 sections of information, covering education, health and social care needs and provision necessary to provide for a child/young persons SEND.
For more information about the EHCP process, please refer to our factsheet on requesting an Education Health Care Needs Assessment and our factsheet and flowchart on the Education Health Care Needs Assessment process.