What is an Education Health and Care Plan?
For most children and young people with special educational needs and disability (SEND) their needs can be met from extra help and reasonable adjustments that can be made from funding and resources that are already available in their mainstream early year’s setting, school or college (In Croydon this is referred to as ‘Ordinarily Available Provision’). See download available.
Some children and young people with more complex special educational needs and disability may require provision that is over and above what it is expected from this ordinarily available provision. Where this is the case the Local Authority (LA) may decide that a child or young person requires additional special educational needs provision and issue an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan. The LA will only make this decision after completing an EHC needs assessment.
Once issued, the EHC Plan is a legal document which makes clear:
- The child’s or young person’s special educational, health and social care needs
- The extra help he/she that will be given to help them learn.
- The outcomes (benefits) that he/she will be able to achieve from this extra help
- The health and social care provision that may be needed to meet these outcomes.
Further explanation about education, health and care plans can be viewed on this animated video.
Any child or young person from 0-25 years is eligible to have an EHC plan.
An EHC Plan will only be considered by the Local Authority following a request for an Education, Health and Care needs assessment.
The following people can make an EHC needs assessment request:
- A child’s parent
- A young person over the age of 16 but under the age of 25
- A person acting on behalf of the early year’s setting, school or post 16 college, this is usually the Special Needs Coordinator (SENCO).
Other agencies and people can bring a child or young person to the attention of the LA if they think an EHC needs assessment may be necessary, for example, health visitor and doctors. The LA will then take appropriate action to follow up on this.
The plan has 11 sections labelled alphabetically:
A: The views, interests and aspirations of the child or young person
B: Special educational needs (SEN).
C: Health needs related to SEN.
D: Social care needs related to SEN.
E: Outcomes - how the extra help will benefit the child or young person.
F: Special educational provision (help and support that will be available).
G: Health provision.
H: Social care provision.
I: Placement - type and name of school or other institution.
J: Personal budget arrangements.
K: Advice and information - a list of the information gathered during the EHC needs assessment.
Preparation of the final EHC Plan will involve the child or young person, parents/carers and other relevant professionals working across education, health and social care services.
The final plan should be written in a way so that everyone can understand it.
- To view EHC Plan template, please view download on your right.
- IPSEA EHC Plan Checklist
An outcomes is defined as the benefit or difference made to an individual as a result of an intervention.
An outcome should be personal and not expressed from a service perspective, for example the provision of three hours of speech and language therapy is not an outcome, the outcome is what it is intended that the speech and language therapy will help the child or young person to do that they cannot do now.
An outcome is something that those involved have control and influence over
An outcome should help children and young people move towards the aspirations defined in Section A of the plan
An outcome should be SMART, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timebound:
Outcomes can be:
- Intrinsic - valued by and relate primarily to individuals, such as happiness, self-esteem, confidence etc.
- Extrinsic - can be measured and valued by other people, including educational achievement, literacy, and numeracy or good health etc.
- Intrinsic and extrinsic outcomes are often written together.
EHC Plans must be reviewed at least once a year (every 12 months) or between 3 and 6 months if the child is under 5.
The review offers regular opportunity for everyone involved in supporting the child or young person to check how well they are progressing, whether the provision remains appropriate and if anything in the plan needs to be changed.
The review is usually organised by the child’s or young person’ school or college. Parents/carers along with professionals involved will be invited to attend and contribute to the review meeting. The child or young people may be asked to part of the review meeting or his/her views will be shared in other ways.
Everyone must be given at least two weeks’ notice of the date of the review meeting and be provided with all the information that will be discussed.
From age 14 the review meetings will focus on transition, preparing for adulthood and independent living.
After the meeting a report will be prepared and circulated to everyone who attended or provided information. A copy will also be sent to the LA.
Based on the advice and information provided in the report the LA will decide whether to:
- Leave the plan as it is with no changes
- Amend the plan (make changes)
- Cease the plan (end it)
Parent/Carers or a young person will be notified of the decision the LA has made within four weeks of the date of the review meeting.
The plan will remain in place until the child or young person leaves education or the LA decides that the child or young person no longer needs the plan to help them in their education. Any decision to end a plan will always involve a review with parents and carers and/or the child or young person as required and take account of the advice from health and social care services who know the child or young person.
The process for ending a plan is referred to as ‘ceasing a plan’.
If you disagree with a decision to cease a plan there are actions you can take (link).
If the child or young person moves to another local authority the plan will be transferred.
There is no entitlement to continued support or an expectation that those with an Education Health and Care Plan at age 18 must be allowed to remain in education or training from age 19 to 25.
Croydon LA will continue to maintain an Education Health and Care Plan for a young person aged 19-25-year where all of the following conditions apply:
- The young person wants to remain in education or training so they can complete or consolidate their learning, including accessing provision that will help them prepare for adulthood
- Special educational provision is still needed
- Remaining in education or training would enable the young person to progress and achieve their outcomes
An Education Health and Care Plan can last until a young person is 25 years of age, but for most young people the plan will finish earlier than that, unless he/she continues to benefit from remaining in education and training.
The majority of children attending special schools will have an EHC plan.
In exceptional circumstances a child may be placed in a special school without an EHC plan. This is likely to occur where a child or young person with complex SEND may have moved into the borough or where the special educational needs are the result of a recent trauma. He/she may be in the process of assessment and waiting for a final plan to be issued.
If a child or young person has an EHC plan there is no entitlement to have school transport provided. Any arrangements to support the child or young person getting to and from school are considered individually and agreed based on eligibility criteria.
Please click on the link for details of eligibility criteria and other information and advice on home to school travel assistance.