An education, health and care (EHC) plan is for children and young people aged up to 25 who need more support than is available through special educational needs support.
EHC plans identify educational, health and social needs and set out the additional support to meet those needs.
An EHC plan can only be issued after a child or young person has gone through the process of an Education, Health and Care needs assessment.
Format of an EHC Plan
You can find more detailed information on the format of an EHC plan and the planning process on the IPSEA website.
Have a look at some examples of good practice from the the Council for Disabled Children.
You can read more about the SEND system in England in the following guides produced by the Council for Disabled Children:
What happens when an EHC Plan has been prepared for my child?
If a decision has been made to issue a plan the EHC Coordinator will send you a draft EHC Plan within 17 weeks of the initial request for an assessment.
It will include copies of all the reports that contributed towards the assessment. If you have any questions or concerns about the proposed plan, you can discuss these with the Coordinator who will be able to support you.
Requesting a school or educational setting
Once the draft EHC Plan has been issued you can then request a specific school or setting.
This could be a maintained mainstream school or special school. We will consult this school on your behalf. You will be asked to approve the proposed EHC plan and indicate your choice of school or setting within 15 days.
We will also need to know what your preferred secondary option is for children in year 5, 6, 9 and 11. We will ask this during the meeting at week 14.
Normally your child will continue to be educated in their local school. However, you have a right to express a preference for a school and we must name your preferred school if all of the following apply:
- The school is suitable for your child’s age, ability and aptitude and the special educational needs identified in the EHC plan.
- Your child’s attendance is compatible with the education of other pupils in the school.
- The placement is an efficient use of the Local Authority’s resources
The Children and Families Act says there are 2 key points when a parent or young person is entitled to ask for a personal budget:
- When the draft EHC plan is being prepared
- When the EHC plan is being reviewed or re-assessed
Young people that have an EHC plan and have completed Year 11 have the right to request a personal budget in their own right.
Read more in the SEND Personal Budgets page.
Once we have agreed the contents of the plan with you and consulted your preferred school, we will finalise the EHC plan.
The final EHC Plan will be issued within 20 weeks of the request being received. It will record the type of setting and the name of the school that your child will attend.
If you have not been able to reach an agreement, we will finalise the EHC plan to open your right of appeal to the SEN and Disability Tribunal. Details of your right to appeal and arrangements for an independent disagreement resolution service and mediation will be sent to you with the final statement.
When problems occur
The statutory assessment process can be a confusing time for parents and carers. It can be full of complicated jargon and capital initials. The EHC team in Trafford understands this and we try to support parents in any way we can. You can contact us to ask questions or for a clearer explanation. We will always try to work with you.
Occasionally, problems can occur that may give you cause for concern. If you are unhappy about any aspect of our service, please contact your EHC Coordinator and explain the problem. Most misunderstandings can be easily resolved.
If you have tried this approach and are still unhappy, you can speak to the EHC Manager or the Trafford SEND Information and Support Service (SENDIASS). They will see if there is anything else which can be done to help resolve the situation. You can also find more information on the disagreement resolution, mediation and SEND tribunal page.