What is an EHCP?
An Educational Healthcare Plan (EHCP or EHC) is a legal document that sets out the education, healthcare and social needs of a child or a young person who requires extra support in school beyond what the school can provide. Previously this was known as a "Statement of Special Educational Needs".
An EHCP is for any child or young person with significant and complex Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND). An EHCP is required when a child's needs cannot be met by the usual support available to them in their school or setting.
An EHCP is drawn up between the LA, Health and Social Care and the child’s family (or directly with the young person, if aged between 16 and 25). The purpose of an EHCP is to provide clear, structured support for any difficulties that the child or young person has. The EHCP will identify what a school must put in place to help the child or young person and the outcomes necessary to achieve it. The EHCP will also set a clear timeframe drawn up, during which the outcomes should be achieved, and when they will be next reviewed. As it is legally binding, this means the LA must fund any extra help identified as necessary.
An EHCP will include 12 sections of crucial information, which include:
Note, if a young person is in or beyond Year 9, the EHCP must also set out the provision for the young person in preparing for adulthood and independent living.
An EHCP should support a child or young person from birth up to 25, helping them access school, further education, training, and further support in the workplace.
An EHCP requires a review at least every 12 months. It directly affects your child, as this is the best opportunity to voice concerns, propose amendments, or ask questions. The annual review can be called early in some cases, and this can be requested by the parent, the school or the LA (Local Authority). Its purpose is to check that the EHC Plan remains relevant.
Your involvement is poignant. It is your child or young person who you must represent, sharing their feelings, opinions, wants, and needs. You should be contacted by the school about the annual review and the school should seek your written reviews, which should be shared with other attendees. The school will also provide a report for the meeting.
Remember, you can request a review at any time, you do not have to wait for the annual review. Whilst it is a requirement that the EHC Plan be reviewed on at least an annual basis, this should not put you off requesting an early review if you have concerns about your child’s progress, about their provision or about their placement.
The meeting will be scheduled by the school and they should agree a date that is suitable for the parent too. The class teacher and SEND administrator will usually host the meeting and invite everyone who is involved in the EHCP that supports your child. At the meeting we will discuss: