Education, health and care (EHC) plan

An EHC plan identifies a child's special educational needs, together with health and social care provision when these services are involved. 

The focus of an EHC plan is on what is important for the child or young person – what they want to achieve now and in the future.​

Education, health and care plan

The EHC plan includes the aspirations of and outcomes for the child or young person as well as a description of their needs, barriers to learning and provision required to overcome these.

The plan may cover health and social care services alongside education, if appropriate, for the individual child or young person.

The required sections of a plan are described in the SEN Code of Practice 2015 chapter 9 (content of EHC plans).

The guides below can support parents, carers and young people with completing the All About Me section of the EHC plan.

A personal budget is an amount of money identified by the local authority to deliver provision set out in an EHC plan where the parent or young person is involved in securing that provision.

Any requests for a personal budget must be discussed with the SEN officer at the draft stage of the process. They are optional and will require the agreement of the Local Authority and education provider.

Request a personal budget

You can request a personal budget by downloading the form:

Useful information

When the Local Authority issues a draft plan, parents or carers are invited to identify a settingl for the young person. If the request for a place in a:

  • maintained school
  • maintained nursery school
  • academy school
  • alternative provision academy
  • pupil referral unit
  • non-maintained special school
  • independent educational institution approved under section 41 of the Children and Families Act

Then the local authority must comply with that preference and name the school or college in the EHC plan unless:

  • It would be unsuitable for the age, ability, aptitude or SEN of the child or young person.
  • The attendance of the child or young person there causes disruption to the efficient education of others or the efficient use of resources.

The local authority must consult the governing body, principal, or proprietor of the school or college concerned and consider their comments very carefully before deciding whether to name it in the child or young person's EHC plan. A copy of the draft plan will be sent to the school or college to inform the consultation. If another local authority maintains the school concerned they too must be consulted.

The nursery, school or college and, where relevant, the other local authority, should respond within 15 days.

Parents and young people may make a representation for a place at a non-maintained early years provision, independent schools, specialist colleges or other post-16 providers. The local authority must consider this request, but are not under the same conditional duty to name the provider. 

What if I disagree with the content of the EHC plan?

Opportunities to amend the EHC plans are made available to parents, carers or young people at the draft stage. We would hope that any disagreements can be resolved at this stage by liaison with the allocated case worker and SEN Officer.

However, parents, young people and carers have the legal right to appeal under specific circumstances.

Find out more about mediation and disagreement resolution arrangements.

EHC annual review process

Education, health and care (EHC) plans should be used to actively monitor children's and young people's progress towards their outcomes and longer term aspirations.

EHC plans must be reviewed by the local authority a minimum of every twelve months. These reviews must focus on the child and young person's progress towards achieving the outcomes specified in their plan. The review must also consider whether these outcomes and supporting targets remain appropriate.

​The 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.

Review the special educational provision made and the impact this has had on access to teaching and learning and progress. This could include the need to obtain additional professional advice or reports.

Review the health and social care provision (if relevant) made and its effectiveness in ensuring good progress towards outcomes. This could include the need to get additional professional advice or report.

The meeting convener must give at least two weeks' notice of the date of the meeting to relevant attendees. These should include:

  • the child's parents or the young person
  • a representative of the school or institution attended
  • a local authority SEN officer
  • a health service representative
  • a local authority social care representative
  • any other individuals relevant to the review

Information gathered in anticipation of the annual review should be issued to all invitees two weeks prior to the review meeting taking place. Anyone unable to attend the meeting can submit a report, or their views, to be considered.

Following the review meeting, the school will send a copy of the report to the local authority, parents and all those invited to attend the meeting.

​Within 4 weeks of the review meeting the local authority must decide whether it proposes to keep the plan as it is, amend the plan or cease to maintain the plan and notify the child's parent or the young person and the educational establishment.

If it is agreed that the plan needs to be amended, the local authority will start this process without delay. If the local authority decides not to make the recommended amendments to the plan or decides to cease the plan, the child's parent or the young person will be given information on their right to appeal and the time limits for doing so and the requirements to consider mediation intervention.

It should be noted that EHC plans are not expected to be amended on a very frequent basis.

​Reviews where a child or young person does not attend a school or educational institution

Annual reviews for these children and young people are convened and held by a local authority representative. The meetings themselves will be held at a venue agreed with the parent or the young person and the local authority. The process is as described above.

​All reviews taking place from year 9 at the latest and onwards must include a focus on preparing for adulthood including employment, independent living and participation in society. This transition planning must be built into the EHC plan and where relevant should include effective planning for young people moving from children to adult health and care services. It is particularly important in these reviews to seek and record the views, wishes and feelings of the child or young person.

The year 9 transition plan template can be used to help plan for the future. The Preparing for Adulthood website provides a helpful tool Key Topics to cover from year 9 onwards (PDF 427KB) that can also be used for more ideas.

The review meeting organiser should invite representatives of post-16 institutions, particularly where the young person has expressed a desire to attend a specific institution. Review meetings taking place in year 9 should focus on considering options and choices for the next phase of education.

As the young person is nearing the end of their time in formal education, and the plan is likely to be ceased within the next 12 months, the annual review should consider good exit planning. Support, provision and outcomes should be agreed that will ensure the smooth transition to whatever they will be doing next, for example moving to higher education, employment, independent living or adult care

​Part of the commitment to make Northamptonshire a person-centred authority is to obtain the opinion of children and young people with special educational needs about their lives. Viewpoint, as an approved international provider and designer, has been commissioned by the local authority to create an online survey for children and young people who have a current Education Health and Care plan.

The survey is to be completed by each child or young person when their annual review is due, as to inform the SEN Officer who will review the EHC plan. The survey has been developed with the help of local young people with SEND and local school staff. Details for students unique and secure logon and password are distributed to the school or education setting by the EHC admin team.

The school will be able to view the individual's results and a report about their school. Schools can be provided with their own 'manager access'.

There are two styles, one for those who struggle with reading and comprehension and one for students who don't. Both surveys can be listened to, as well as read.

Young people should be able to complete the survey independently, but will need encouragement to participate.

Visit the Viewpoint login page, the organisation is NhantsEHC, then enter the student login ID and password that was issued with the annual review letter.