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Education Health and Care Plans

What is an EHCP?

An EHCP replaces the statement of SEN. It also replaces the learning difficulties assessment (which applies in most post-16 settings).

An EHCP is a document that says what support a child or young person who has special educational needs should have.

EHCP annual review resource for children and young people

Amy, a member of the Council for Disabled Children's Youth advisory group FLARE, has created an incredible resource to support children and young people who have an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP).  The resource explains to children and young people what an EHCP annual review is, who should be invited, how to prepare for it and how children and young people can get their views, experiences and opinions across.  It's so important that children and young people understand that they should share their views in which ever way is most comfortable for them.  Children and young people have the right to be involved in their EHCP annual reviews and this resource will provide support and guidance on the different ways thay they can be involved in their annual reviews.  

You can download the resource from the Council for Disabled Children's website  

Who will need and EHCP ?

Not all children with special educational needs and/or disabilities will need an EHCP.

EHCPs are only for children and young people who need a lot more support than their school or college can usually give them.

What will an EHCP look like?

What will an EHCP look like?

If your child has an EHCP it will say: 

  • what they need support with
  • what education support they will get to help them to learn
  • what health support they will get
  • what social care support they may need
  • what things they want to do in the future

When should an application for assessment be made?

When should an application for assessment be made?

The majority of children and young people with special educational needs can have their needs met through the resources normally available in their educational setting and/or community.

The local offer will enable families and practitioners to find out what is available locally and further afield and should help everyone to make the most of many services and opportunities that are available without the need to have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan.

Where provision cannot reasonably be provided through services and resources that are normally available, it may be necessary to apply for an EHC assessment.

It is usually best for families to talk to their child's setting or a professional working with their child before a request is made. Settings and professionals who are familiar with the family should be able to help the family to decide whether an assessment is needed.

When a request is made it really helps those making the decision to know why the family think an assessment is needed. It also helps to have good information about the journey for the child so far. There are questions on the request form that help to gather this information. You may be contacted by our parent engagement officer who can help with this.

Sometimes families may find it helpful to talk to the Salford Independent Advice and Support Service, telephone 0161 778 0343 or 0161 778 0349, or other voluntary support services when a request for an Education, Health and Care assessment is being considered.

Who can apply?

Families and young people aged 16 and over have the right to apply for an Education, Health and Care assessment independently.

Schools, colleges and other bodies can also request assessments but they can only do this with the knowledge and agreement of the parent or young person where this is possible.

What is the eligibility criteria?

The criteria for carrying out an Education, Health and Care assessment is the same as it was for carrying out an assessment for a statement of special educational needs (SEN).

The child or young person has to have a special educational need that is severe and/or complex and has persisted in spite of the school or other setting taking all expected steps, including using the highest level of its resources to identify, assess and meet the need. The panel also considers whether or not the difficulties are having an effect on the child or young person's emotional well being.

The criteria for issuing an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is the same as it was for issuing a statement of SEN. The panel considers both the child or young person's SEN and the special educational provision already being made. It decides whether the information from the assessment confirms the information available on the nature and extent if the child or young person's SEN and whether the special educational provision being put in was well matched to the SEN of the child or young person.

The panel also has to consider whether the special educational provision required to meet the identified needs can be reasonably provided from within the resources normally available to mainstream institutions or whether it may be necessary for the local authority to make special educational provision in accordance with an EHCP.

How Education, Health and Care Planning works

The Education, Health and Care (EHC) videos above provides details about how the assessment process works.

If a plan is agreed, it will be reviewed every six months for a child aged under five or once a year above age five, although parts of the plan can be reviewed more frequently.

The plan will stay in place until it is no longer needed. That will be when the educational or training outcomes have been achieved and the child or young person needs the SEN provision specified in the plan.

Support and advice on EHC planning is available throughout the process from the Salford Independent Advice and Support Service (SIASS) who can be contacted via the online referral form or email