Education, health and care plans

This page provides information and guidance around the statutory process for education, health and care (EHC) plans for children and young people aged 0 to 25 years.

Who needs a statutory needs assessment and an EHC plan?

Not all children with special educational needs require an EHC plan. Schools can meet the special educational needs (SEN) of most children through high quality, inclusive teaching and additional SEN support.

Sometimes additional support that is put in place will be formalised in to a non-statutory plan called an early help record and plan. This can be developed in partnership with parents and other agencies from education, health and social care. It can then be monitored, evaluated and reviewed in line with the outcomes it sets out.

The Swindon Good Practice Guide 2014 sets out the graduated approach for meeting the needs of children and young people with SEN.

What is in the EHC plan?

An EHC plan is a forward-looking, aspirational statutory document that captures the long-term ambitions of a child or young person aged (0 to 25 years).

It specifies the outcomes as well as the necessary provision to meet their educational needs. EHC plans should set out how services will be delivered as part of a whole package and explain how best to achieve the outcomes sought across education, health and social care for the child or young person.

A coordinated EHC assessment brings together professionals from education, health and care to work in partnership with families to listen, understand and plan support to enable their children to achieve the best possible quality of life.

One of the aims is to improve information sharing, so that the family does not have to keep repeating their story to different professionals and organisations.

The EHC plan must be reviewed at least every year. In between reviews, there may also be other meetings as part of a multi-agency response. The annual review gathers the information discussed at interim meetings to contribute to the EHC plan and measures progress made towards the agreed outcomes.

Education, health and care plan – example document (PDF)

See also:

EHC plan Easy Read

Our Easy Read document helps people understand what an EHC plan is. 

It is designed to be easy to understand for people who may have difficulty reading standard leaflets. 

EHC plan and annual review short surveys

We need your feedback on our delivery of services to plan ahead for SEND.


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