What an EHC plan is used for, what it means for you and your child, and how it's set out.

An Education, Health and Care plan is a legal personalised document.

It sets out the education, health and social care needs of a child or young person:

  • aged 0 to 25 years old with special educational needs or disabilities
  • who needs more support in their educational setting beyond the usual resource they provide

They replace Statements of SEN and Learning Disability Assessments.

The plan will focus on what the child or young person wants to achieve and what's needed to achieve those outcomes.

Families and professionals work together to consider the outcomes they would like to see and how best to meet them.

The plan focuses on making sure children can access education, training, health and care services. This helps them to reach their individual potential and be fully prepared for adult life.

Read our pdf Easy Read guide on what is an EHC plan (1.95 MB) .

Does your child need an EHC plan

If your child does not have educational needs, they won't need an EHC plan. Your child's social care needs will be met through a care plan. Your child's health needs will be met through a health care plan. 

If you think your child is eligible for an EHC plan, they must have had an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment.

The EHC Needs Assessment is a legal procedure for identifying your child's special educational needs and deciding if they require extra support. 

An EHC Needs Assessment doesn't always lead to a EHC plan being written. 

What EHC plans must include

EHC plans must include certain information, which must be set out in the following separate sections:

  • Section A: The views, interests and aspirations of the child or young person
  • Section B: The child's or young person's Special Educational Needs
  • Section C: Any health needs relating to their SEND
  • Section D: Any social care needs relating to their SEND
  • Section E: The intended outcomes for the child or young person, which should be joined across education, health and social care where appropriate
  • Section F: What special educational provision is needed for the child or young person's SEND
  • Section G, H1, H2: What provision is needed from health or social care services
  • Section I: Name and type of education placement
  • Section J: Details of any agreed personal budgets
  • Section K: Advice and information gathered through the EHC needs assessment

The SEND Code of Practice (from page 164) describes what's included in each section of the EHC Plan in detail.

The Children and Families Act 2014 (section 37) describes what an EHC plan is and what it must include.