Education, Health & Care Plans

Education, Health Care PlansA key element of the SEND Reforms is the transition to a single Education, Health and Care Plan in place of Statements of SEN. The term EHC Plan has caused concern and a degree of anxiety amongst parents, carers and professionals who fear that some of the legal protection of the former Statements of SEN may be lost.

The Dept for Education provide a comprehensive range of information on EHC Plans, Personal Budgets and the transitionn from Statements of SEN.

Before looking at the components of an EHC Plan, it is useful to be aware of the principles behind the changes.

EHC Plan - The Principles  

EHC Plans and Legislation

An EHC plan can only be issued after a child or young person has gone through the process of EHC needs assessment. At the end of that process, the local authority has to make a decision, either to issue an EHC Plan or not

EHC Plans feature in the following key documents –

Components of an Education, Health and Care Plan

EHC Plans requirements -

Content of the Education, Health and Care Plan

The format of an EHC Plan will be agreed according to the Local Authority, but all EHC Plans must include the following information –

  1. The views, interests and aspirations of the CYP and their parents
  2. The CYP’s special educational needs
  3. The outcomes sought for the CYP including outcomes for adult life, where appropriate
  4. The special educational provision required by the child or the young person
  5. Any health or social care provision reasonably required by the learning difficulties and/or disabilities which result in the CYP having SEN
  6. The name and type of the school, maintained nursery school, post-16 setting or other setting
  7. Where there is a personal budget, the details of this and the outcomes to which it is intended to contribute
  8. The advice and information gathered during the assessment (i.e appendices). There should be a list of this advice clearly stated in the EHC plan.

Transition from Statements of SEN to Education, Health & Care Plans - Timescale 

The Dept for Education sets out clear guidance to local authorities on the transition to EHC Plans from the former system of Statements of SEN -
Implementing a new 0 - 25 system: LAs and Partners - Duties & Timescales
Here is an extract from that guidance on how local authorities must manage the transition to the new arrangements. 

"Local authorities should aim to prioritise children and young people for transfer to EHC plans prior to key transition points – such as entry to primary school, primary to secondary school, and secondary school to further education - and at year 9.

However, in order not to overwhelm the system in the first year of implementation, between September 2014 and September 2015 local authorities will only be required to transfer: • young people who receive support as a result of a LDA who request an EHC needs assessment; • children and young people who have been issued with draft EHC plans before 1 September 2014; • young people moving into further education or training from school in September 2015 (in 2014/15 this must be completed before 31 May 2015, and by 31 March in subsequent years)."

"Local authorities are not restricted to transferring only these groups should local capacity allow and should tell parents and young people what will happen and when."

Resources & Useful Links 

April 2015
Dept for Education
Children with Special Educational Needs (SEN)

SEN Code of Practice (April 2015)

IPSEA - All you need to know - Education, Health & Care Plans

March 2015
Dept for Education
Implementing a new 0 - 25 system: LAs and Partners
Duties & Timescales - what you must do and when

August 2014
Dept for Education
Special Educational Needs & Disability - A Guide for Parents & Carers

Education, Health & Care Plans

Dept for Education
15 May 2012
Support and aspiration: a new approach to special educational needs and disability - -progress and next steps

Dept for Education

SEND Pathfinder

April 2014
Co-ordinated assessment process and education health and care plan (EHC) – Version 4, April 2014.

Children and Families Act
Clauses 36, 37, 44 and 45 refer to Education (Special Educational Needs) (Assessment and Plan)

16 April 2014:
Revision to the SEN and Disability Code of Practice – 0 – 25 years

8t April 2014
SEND Reforms – letters for teachers from Edward Timpson, Minister for Children and Families
New arrangements for supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities

8th April 2014
SEND Reforms – letter for parents from Edward Timpson, Minister for Children and Families

27 January 2014
SEND Pathfinder programme evaluation: education, health and care planning pathway

January 2014
SEN and Disability Pathfinder Programme Evaluation
Thematic Report: The Education Health and Care Planning Pathway for families that are new to the SEN system

October 2013.
Consultation on transition to Education, Health and Care Plans and the local offer

4 October 2013
Increasing options and improving provision for children with special educational needs (SEN)

12 September 2013.
Letter to Pathfinders from Stephen Kingdom, Deputy Director SEN & Disability Division

28th August 2013
Children and Young People’s Development Service – Southampton City Council
Statutory Education, Health and Care Plan in place of a Statement of SEN
NB Published plan to show an example of one pathfinder’s approach to the new EHC plans – nb this is not a template and should not be used as such

Implementing the reforms to special educational needs and disability – Update July 2013


Last Updated: 22nd Aprill 2015.