What is an Education, Health & Care Plan (EHCP)?
An Education, Health & Care Plan or EHC Plan is a document which sets out the education, health and social care needs of a child or young person aged 0-25, and the support that is necessary to help them achieve outcomes. While EHC Plans may describe quite significant health and care needs and resultant special educational provision in a child or young person's life, EHC Plans will only ever be made when that child or young person has special educational needs that require special educational provision to be made for them, that is additional and different to that which can be made for any other child or young person, from the resources already available within an education setting. A child or young person has a learning difficulty if they have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children or young people of about the same age.
Who needs an EHC Plan?
An EHC Plan is part of the graduated approach described in the SEND Code of Practice. EHC Plans are only intended for children and young people aged 0-25 who have the most complex special educational needs and/or disability that cannot be met by the significant support that is already available at their nursery, school or college.
Most children and young people with special educational needs will have their needs met without the need for an EHC Plan. This is called SEN support.
The purpose of SEN support is to help children achieve the outcomes or learning objectives that have been set for them.
How do I get an EHC Plan?
An EHC Plan can only be issued after a child or young person has gone through the process of EHC assessment. At the end of that process, the local authority SEN Service has to decide if a child or young person can continue to have their needs met at SEN Support or if they require additional and different special educational provision that is beyond what the nursery, school or college can provide from their own resources. Only then can the decision to make a child or young person an EHC Plan be made.