Content of an EHC Plan
Education, Health and Care Plans don’t have a prescribed “look”, but they legally must contain certain sections and content. Read more details about what each of these sections are and what they should contain in our lists shown below.
The EHC plan should be written in a way that makes it clear, to parents, young people, schools, colleges and Local Authorities (LAs), who is required to do what, when it has to happen and how often it should be reviewed.
What is included in an EHC Plan?
The views, interests, and aspirations of the child/young person and parents
- This section is an introduction to your child.
- It may be written in the first person, but it must be clear who’s words are who’s.
- This section is not legally enforceable, so you will need to ensure that any key points mentioned here are reflected elsewhere in the EHC Plan.
- It should include any relevant history, as well as a summary of how to communicate with the child/young person – with means to engage them in decision making processes.
The child/young person's Special Educational Needs (SEN)
- This is the section where every individual educational need is listed.
- It must include ALL educational difficulties that are identified in the reports during assessment/Annual Review etc.
- Make sure each report is analysed and highlights each difficulty with specificity and detail.
- Each need should be numbered in turn so that it can be matched with the appropriate provision in Section F.
The child/young person's Health Needs relating to their SEN
- This section is where every individual health need is listed.
- If any of these needs impacts on the child’s education, then they need to be listed in Section B as well.
The child/young person's Social Care needs relating to their SEN
- This section is where every individual social care need is listed.
- The child/young person needs to be known to Social Care service, even if it is not required.
- These needs must be clearly identified by a social care assessment, during the statutory assessment process.
The Outcomes sought for the child/young person to achieve
- This section is where the intended outcomes for the child/young person in reciept of special educational provision are listed. What do you want to achieve?
- An “outcome” is a benefit/difference made as a result of intervention. These should be personal and match the SMART criteria. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely).
- There must be a clear distinction between “outcomes” and “provision”.
- There should be a matched provision and outcome for each need.
- These will be aspirational aims, with thoughts about looking ahead.
The Special Educational Provision required to meet their SEN
- This section details the provision required to meet every single need listed in Section B.
- Each provision must be quantifiable and specific, leaving no room for doubt.
- This must include details of the specific type, hours per week, frequency of the provision and the level of expertise required by the person(s) carrying out the provision.
- This section must include details of therapies required. The LA has a legal duty to secure these provisions if they are listed here.
The Health Care Provision required to meet the child/young person's needs
- This section details the agreed health provision that is reasonably required by the child/young person’s disability and/or learning difficulty which results in their special educational needs.
The Social Care Provision required to meet the child/young person's needs
- This section details the agreed social care provision that is reasonably required by the child/young person’s disability and/or learning difficulty which results in their special educational needs.
- A social care assessment must be done even if it is not needed.
The Educational Placement
- This section details the named school/educational institute that the child/young person will be attending.
- This must include the name and the type of school
- This section must be left blank when in the draft stage. The parent or young person must confirm their preferred choice.
The Personal Budget
- This section outlines the Personal Budget to be used to pay for the provision in Section F.
- This is by means of Direct Payments.
- This should highlight what outcomes are to be met by the Personal Budget.
- This should also include arrangements, and the LA must provide the exact number.
The Advice and Information
- This section is a list of reports and individual documents that were gathered during assessment. (Appendices)
- You should check that all the information in these documents has informed the EHC Plan.
Find out more about what should be in an EHCP and good practice from the table in paragraph 9.69 of the SEND Code of Practice, which is statutory guidance for organisations which work with and support children and young people who have special educational needs or disabilities.
How detailed does an EHC Plan have to be?
The EHCP must describe the needs and support your child must receive in enough detail so that the reader can clearly tell what must be delivered, how often, how long for, and by whom. This detail is referred to as specificity.
- Does Section B list all of your child’s needs?
- Does Section F list specific provisions for each individual need in Section B?
- Are the outcomes in Section E up-to-date and appropriate?
- Watch out for woolly phrases such as:
“access to”, “opportunities for”, “input from”, “may benefit from” etc.
The Children and Families Act 2014 is statutory law and Section 37(2) states that the EHCP is a plan “specifying” the child/young person’s SEN, outcomes, and provision.
The difference between a Draft EHCP and a Finalised EHCP
Changing the contents of your EHC Plan
Potential reasons for making changes
How to request changes
At Draft EHCP stage
Once you receive your draft EHCP following assessment or review, you will have 15 calendar days to make representations. This is your opportunity to check through the draft and either agree to it or annotate and query your disagreements.
At Final EHCP stage
Once you receive your final EHCP following assessment or review, and if you still disagree with anything and want to challenge a decision, you can lodge an appeal to the SEND Tribunal. You will have 2 months from the date of the LA’s decision letter, or 1 month from the date of a mediation certificate, whichever is later.
At Annual Review
Information must be gathered about the child/young person and their EHC plan and then circulated two weeks before the Annual Review meeting. This must be obtained from professionals as well as from the parent(s) or young person. This is your chance to highlight whether you think something in the EHCP needs to change.
Any other time
If for example, an Annual Review is not yet due, or has been conducted unlawfully, you can request an interim/early Annual Review if there are problems with the education your child is receiving and/or content of their EHCP. The Annual Review is a statutory process which opens your right to appeal.
Find out more about EHCPs
Resolving Issues & Appeals
Are there problems with your EHCP and/or the process? Find out how to resolve these here
EHC Needs Assessment: Requests
You must request an EHC Needs Assessment in order to obtain an EHC Plan. Find out more here
Do you have concerns over the money side of things? Find out more about funding for children with EHCPs here
Our extensive information resources are available as downloadable PDF files in our Factsheets section