EHC (Education, Health and Care) plans

An EHC plan is the document which replaces Statements of SEN and Learning Difficulties Assessments for children and young people with special educational needs.

The IPSEA EHC plan checklist sets out what legally must be included as a minimum in any Education, Health and Care Plan (“EHC plan”) issued by a Local Authority. Our EHC plan FAQs can be found here.

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.

If the LA refuses to issue an EHC plan, the parent/young person must be informed of the reasons and that they have the right to appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.

If the decision is to issue an EHC plan, the LA must first issue a draft EHC plan for the parents or young person to consider. Only at this stage will parents/young person be asked to name the type of school/college they want e.g. mainstream or special school and the individual school/college they want to have named in the EHC plan.

The LA will then consult with that school/college about being named in the EHC plan.

As well as the special educational needs and special educational provision of the child/young person, the draft EHC plan should also detail:

  • Health care provision that has been assessed as reasonably required;
  • Social care provision which is being made for the child/young person under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 and any other social care provision that has been assessed as reasonably required.

The LA will then finalise the EHC plan.

The LA will then have the legal duty to “secure” the educational provision specified in the EHC plan, that is, to ensure that the provision is delivered.

The local health care provider will have the legal duty to “arrange” the health care provision specified in the EHC plan, that is, to ensure that the provision is delivered.

If the EHC plan specifies social care provision provided under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970, the LA will have a legal duty to make that social care provision under that Act (but not any other social care provision in the EHC Plan not resulting from that legislation).

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For more detail about EHC Plans follow these links:

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Information service

This operates as a signposting service and is for general legal queries. By completing our online Information Service form, you will get a quick response, signposting you to factsheets and links to information on our website.

Advice Line

This provides next step advice on: problems with schools, requesting statutory assessment, statements and Education, Health and Care Plans, annual reviews, disability discrimination and exclusion. Please click here to book an appointment to get one of our advisers to call you back.

Tribunal Helpline

Our Tribunal Helpline Gives next step advice on SEN appeals and disability discrimination claims to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. When you call we will also assess whether you need casework support. Please click here to book an appointment to get one of our advisers to call you back.

IPSEA training

IPSEA provides a wide range of SEN training for Parents, School Staff, Parent Forums, Support Groups, Local Authority SEN teams, Parent Partnership Schemes, School Governors and other groups / organisations. Click here for details.