Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

Legal references on this page apply to England.

Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

Introduction

EHCP format as table The place to look for special educational provision [SEP] is section F of the EHCP. Special educational provision in section F can include health and social care provision as long as the provision "educates or trains" the child/young person. Health needs relating to SEN will be set out in section C of the EHCP and social care needs relating to SEN will be set out in section D of the EHCP.

In terms of a checklist, for provision to be included in section F, there must be corresponding needs identified in sections B, C and D. (PARENTS' SURVEY APRIL 2016)

Evidence to substantiate any special needs listed in sections B, C and D will derive from reports, information and advice contained in section K.

The relevant law can be found in the Children and Families Act 2014; the Special Educational Needs Regulations, the SEN Personal Budget Regulations (+ amendments); the 2015 SEND Code of Practice. (Scroll down for links)

SEN Regulation 6. (1) says "Where the local authority secures an EHC needs assessment for a child or young person, it must seek the following advice and information, on the needs of the child or young person, and what provision may be required to meet such needs and the outcomes that are intended to be achieved by the child or young person receiving that provision"

SEN Regulation 6. (4) says "the local authority must not seek any of the advice referred to in paragraphs (1)(b) to (h) if such advice has previously been provided for any purpose and the person providing that advice, the local authority and the child’s parent or the young person are satisfied that it is sufficient for the purposes of an EHC needs assessment.

In other words, if the family does NOT agree that the authority's existing reports are fit for purpose (because eg they do not include sufficient detail about the child or young person's needs AND/OR do not provide advice about outcomes + strategies for achieving outcomes) then the authority is obliged to seek advice which IS appropriate to an EHC needs assessment.

The issue is not whether the professionals' advice is "recent" but whether it contains the necessary forward-looking information set out in Regulation 6. (1) in terms of needs; provision required to meet needs; and outcomes This may be particularly relevant where a statement is to be transferred to an EHCP and professionals have simply supplied a report looking back on progress made since the last statement review.

Where it is agreed that parents will receive money in the form of direct payments from the council to pay for the special educational provision set out in section F this will be provision which meets the needs set out in sections B, C, and D, which enables the child or young person to achieve the outcomes set out in section E. (There may be OTHER direct payments outside section F which are arranged SEPARATELY with health or social care.)


Section A

Views, interests and aspirations of the child and his parents or the young person (Reference = Regulation 12 (1))

Paragraph 9.65 SEND Code of Practice 2015 says "long-term aspirations are not outcomes in themselves – aspirations must be specified in Section A of the EHC plan. A local authority cannot be held accountable for the aspirations of a child or young person" Paragraph 9.69 SEND Code of Practice 2015 says "for children and young people preparing for the transition to adulthood, the outcomes that will prepare them well for adulthood and are clearly linked to the achievement of the aspirations in section A.".

In other words, section A can set the scene but the actual "outcomes" MUST be in section E.

Section B

Child or young person’s special educational needs (Reference = Regulation 12 (1))

What are special educational needs?

(1) A child or young person has special educational needs if he or she has a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.
(2) A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she—
(a) has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
(b) has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.

Section 20 Children and Families Act 2014

Paragraph 9.69 SEND Code of Practice 2015 says "all of the child or young person’s identified special educational needs must be specified. SEN may include needs for health and social care provision that are treated as special educational provision because they educate or train the child or young person (see paragraphs 9.73 onwards)" This part also says "provision must be specified for each and every need specified in section B. It should be clear how the provision will support achievement of the outcomes"

Paragraphs 6.28 - 6.35 SEND Code of Practice 2015 have the following "broad areas of need" carried over from the 2001 Code of Practice which are often reproduced in EHC plan templates.

  • Communication and interaction
  • Cognition and learning
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
  • Sensory and/or physical needs

Paragraphs 6.27 SEND Code of Practice 2015 says "these four broad areas give an overview of the range of needs that should be planned for. The purpose of identification is to work out what action the school needs to take, not to fit a pupil into a category. In practice, individual children or young people often have needs that cut across all these areas and their needs may change over time. For instance speech, language and communication needs can also be a feature of a number of other areas of SEN, and children and young people with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may have needs across all areas, including particular sensory requirements. A detailed assessment of need should ensure that the full range of an individual’s needs is identified, not simply the primary need.


Section C

Child or young person’s health care needs which relate to their special educational needs (Reference = Regulation 12 (1))

Why does it matter whether something is in section C?

Health needs relating to SEN listed in section C should have corresponding provision in section F. If provision is listed in section F it is ultimately the responsibility of the local authority to make sure it is delivered. Families can go to the SEN tribunal over special educational provision in section F. It is also possible to go to tribunal over social care and health (formerly called the National Trial, as of September 2021 termed "extended powers") but recommendations from the tribunal are not binding in the same way.

"Health care provision or social care provision which educates or trains a child or young person is to be treated as special educational provision (instead of health care provision or social care provision)
Section 21 (5) Children and Families Act 2014.

Decisions about whether health care provision or social care provision should be treated as special educational provision must be made on an individual basis. Speech and language therapy and other therapy provision can be regarded as either education or health care provision, or both. It could therefore be included in an EHC plan as either educational or health provision. However, since communication is so fundamental in education, addressing speech and language impairment should normally be recorded as special educational provision unless there are exceptional reasons for not doing so.
Paragraph 9.74 SEND Code of Practice 2015

"Speech and language therapy is usually recorded as education provision in section F of EHC plans (see paragraph 9.74 for further information) and where it is, it must be arranged by the local authority.
Paragraph 10.126 SEND Code of Practice 2015


Section D

Child or young person’s social care needs which relate to their special educational needs or to a disability (Reference = Regulation 12 (1))

Why does it matter whether something is in section D?

Social care needs relating to SEN listed in section D should have corresponding provision in section F. If provision is listed in section F it is ultimately the responsibility of the local authority to make sure it is delivered.

"Health care provision or social care provision which educates or trains a child or young person is to be treated as special educational provision (instead of health care provision or social care provision)
Section 21 (5) Children and Families Act 2014.

Regulation 12 (3) says "where the child or young person is in or beyond year 9, the EHC plan must include within the special educational provision, health care provision and social care provision specified, provision to assist the child or young person in preparation for adulthood and independent living.

Regulation 12 (3) says "where the child or young person is in or beyond year 9, the EHC plan must include within the special educational provision, health care provision and social care provision specified, provision to assist the child or young person in preparation for adulthood and independent living.


Section E

Outcomes sought for him or her (Reference = Regulation 12 (1))

The special educational provision set out in section F should support the child or young person to achieve the outcomes set out in section E and be backed up by advice in section K

Paragraph 9.66 SEND Code of Practice 2015 says "an outcome can be defined as the benefit or difference made to an individual as a result of an intervention... When an outcome is focused on education or training, it will describe what the expected benefit will be to the individual as a result of the educational or training intervention provided"

Paragraph 9.61 SEND Code of Practice 2015 says "in preparing the EHC plan the local authority must consider how best to achieve the outcomes sought for the child or young person. The local authority must take into account the evidence received as part of the EHC needs assessment."

Paragraph 9.64 SEND Code of Practice 2015 says "EHC plans should be focused on education and training, health and care outcomes that will enable children and young people to progress in their learning and, as they get older, to be well prepared for adulthood. EHC plans can also include wider outcomes such as positive social relationships and emotional resilience and stability. Outcomes should always enable children and young people to move towards the long-term aspirations of employment or higher education, independent living and community participation."

Paragraph 9.68 SEND Code of Practice 2015 says "outcomes will usually set out what needs to be achieved by the end of a phase or stage of education in order to enable the child or young person to progress successfully to the next phase or stage. From Year 9 onwards, the nature of the outcomes will reflect the need to ensure young people are preparing for adulthood. In all cases, EHC plans must specify the special educational provision required to meet each of the child or young person’s special educational needs. The provision should enable the outcomes to be achieved."

Paragraph 9.69 SEND Code of Practice 2015 says "for young people aged over 17, the EHC plan should identify clearly which outcomes are education and training outcomes. Paragraph 9.69 also says "for children and young people preparing for the transition to adulthood, the outcomes that will prepare them well for adulthood and are clearly linked to the achievement of the aspirations in section A."

For home educators, there is an important distinction in the new Code between "outcomes" and "targets". EHCP "outcomes" are medium to long term, whereas targets are more short term, and - crucially for home educators - targets are set "at the level of the school or other institution where the child is placed" (see paragraph 9.6 SEND Code of Practice 2015). In other words targets are not applicable in the home setting.


Section F

special educational provision required by the child or young person (Reference = Regulation 12 (1))

For provision to be included in section F, there must be corresponding needs identified in sections B, C and D. "Health care provision or social care provision which educates or trains a child or young person is to be treated as special educational provision (instead of health care provision or social care provision) Section 21 (5) Children and Families Act 2014.

Section 21 Children and Families Act 2014 says "Special educational provision" ... means educational or training provision that is additional to, or different from, that made generally for others of the same age in— (a)mainstream schools in England, (b)maintained nursery schools in England, (c)mainstream post-16 institutions in England, or (d)places in England at which relevant early years education is provided."

The significance of provision being listed in section F rather than elsewhere in the EHCP is that ONLY educational provision is enforceable.

See my other website for more about tribunal appeals.

For young people over 16, the appeal is brought in the young person's name and the parent is either a "helper" or an "alternative person".

Regulation 12 (3) says "where the child or young person is in or beyond year 9, the EHC plan must include within the special educational provision, health care provision and social care provision specified, provision to assist the child or young person in preparation for adulthood and independent living.


Section G

Health care provision reasonably required by the learning difficulties or disabilities which result in the child or young person having special educational needs (Reference = Regulation 12 (1))

SEN Regulation 12 (2) says The health care provision specified in the EHC Plan in accordance with paragraph (1)(g) must be agreed by the responsible commissioning body.

"any health care provision reasonably required by the learning difficulties and disabilities which result in him or her having special educational needs"
Section 37 (2) (d) Children and Families Act 2014.


H1

Social care provision which must be made for the child or young person as a result of section 2 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 (Reference = Regulation 12 (1))

H2

Any other social care provision reasonably required by the learning difficulties or disabilities which result in the young person having special educational needs (Reference = Regulation 12 (1))

"any social care provision reasonably required by the learning difficulties and disabilities which result in the child or young person having special educational needs, to the extent that the provision is not already specified in the plan under paragraph (e) (ie Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970)"
Section 37 (2) (f) Children and Families Act 2014.

Paragraph 8.70 SEND Code of Practice 2015 says local authorities must set out in section H2 of the EHC plan any adult care and support that is reasonably required by the young person’s learning difficulties or disabilities. For those over 18, this will be those elements of their statutory care and support plan that are directly related to their learning difficulties or disabilities.


Section I

The only permissible contents of Section I are the name of the school, maintained nursery school, post-16 institution or other institution to be attended by the child or young person and the type of that institution or, where the name of a school or other institution is not specified in the EHC plan, the type of school or other institution to be attended by the child or young person. (Reference = Regulation 12 (1))

Derbyshire County Council v EM and DM established that it is not always necessary to name a school or type of school if there is no school to be attended and where Section I may be left blank. Subsequent case law in 2021 NN v Cheshire East set out the EOTAS-type scenarios where Section I must be left blank.

The new SEN Code envisages two different types of "home education." One option - set out in 10.32 - is where parents take responsibility for making provision, with no help from the LA, which is what home educators would usually understand as "home education". The other possibility - set out in 10.31- is where the local authority agrees the arrangements and takes responsibility for funding the provision. See https://edyourself.org/articles/newcode.php#ehecomment


Section J

Where any special educational provision is to be secured by a direct payment, the special educational needs and outcomes to be met by the direct payment (Reference = Regulation 12 (1))

Reference for direct payments can be found in section 49 of the Children and Families Act 2014; SEN Personal Budget Regulations (The Special Educational Needs (Personal Budgets) Regulations 2014) AS AMENDED BY The Special Educational Needs (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2014 No. 2096.

"Provision for which a local authority is not required to prepare a personal budget Amended Regulations
4A. (1) For the purposes of section 49(2), the particular provision to be secured by an amount identified in a personal budget does not include provision that is specified, or proposed to be specified, in an EHC plan (the "specified provision")—
(a)which the local authority secures, or proposes to secure, under arrangements within the meaning of paragraph (2); and
(b)where the conditions in paragraph (3) apply.
(2) "Arrangements" for the purposes of this regulation means any arrangements between the local authority and a third party under which the local authority pays an aggregate sum for special educational provision which includes the specified provision.
(3) The conditions are that—
(a)the aggregate sum paid by the local authority under the arrangements includes a notional amount for the specified provision; and
(b)the notional amount cannot be disaggregated from the aggregate sum because the disaggregation—
(i)would have an adverse impact on other services provided or arranged by the local authority for children or young people with an EHC plan; or
(ii)would not be an efficient use of the local authority's resources."
.

See also Home Education Direct Payments


Section K

The advice and information obtained in accordance with regulation 6(1) must be set out in appendices to the EHC plan (Reference = Regulation 12 (1))

SEN Regulation 6 (1): EHC Needs Assessment, Advice and Information

6.—(1) Where the local authority secures an EHC needs assessment for a child or young person, it must seek the following advice and information, on the needs of the child or young person, and what provision may be required to meet such needs and the outcomes that are intended to be achieved by the child or young person receiving that provision—
(a)advice and information from the child’s parent or the young person;
(b)educational advice and information—
(i)from the head teacher or principal of the school or post-16 or other institution that the child or young person is attending, or
(ii)where this is not available, from a person who the local authority is satisfied has experience of teaching children or young people with special educational needs, or knowledge of the differing provision which may be called for in different cases to meet those needs, or
(iii)if the child or young person is not currently attending a school or post-16 or other institution and advice cannot be obtained under sub-paragraph (ii), from a person responsible for educational provision for the child or young person, and
(iv)if any parent of the child or young person is a serving member of Her Majesty’s armed forces, also from the Secretary of State for Defence;
(c)medical advice and information from a health care professional identified by the responsible commissioning body;
(d)psychological advice and information from an educational psychologist;
(e)advice and information in relation to social care;
(f)advice and information from any other person the local authority thinks is appropriate;
(g)where the child or young person is in or beyond year 9, advice and information in relation to provision to assist the child or young person in preparation for adulthood and independent living; and
(h)advice and information from any person the child’s parent or young person reasonably requests that the local authority seek advice from.

(2) Where it appears to the authority, in consequence of medical advice or otherwise, that the child or young person in question is either or both—
(a)hearing impaired;
(b)visually impaired,
and any person from whom advice and information is sought as provided in paragraph (1)(b) is not qualified to teach children or young people who are so impaired, then the advice sought shall be advice given after consultation with a person who is so qualified.

(3) When seeking advice in accordance with paragraph (1)(b) to (h), the local authority must provide the person from whom advice is being sought with copies of—
(a)any representations made by the child’s parent or the young person, and
(b)any evidence submitted by or at the request of the child’s parent or the young person.

(4) The local authority must not seek any of the advice referred to in paragraphs (1)(b) to (h) if such advice has previously been provided for any purpose and the person providing that advice, the local authority and the child’s parent or the young person are satisfied that it is sufficient for the purposes of an EHC needs assessment.
Regulation 6

Paragraph 9.51 of the SEND Code of Practice 2015 says "the evidence and advice [for section K] submitted by those providing it should be clear, accessible and specific. They should provide advice about outcomes relevant for the child or young person’s age and phase of education and strategies for their achievement The local authority may provide guidance about the structure and format of advice and information to be provided. Professionals should limit their advice to areas in which they have expertise. They may comment on the amount of provision they consider a child or young person requires and local authorities should not have blanket policies which prevent them from doing so"


Checklist Part 3 Children and Families Act 2014 (unamended)

19.Local authority functions: supporting and involving children and young people
20.When a child or young person has special educational needs
21.Special educational provision, health care provision and social care provision
22.Identifying children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities
23.Duty of health bodies to bring certain children to local authority’s attention
24.When a local authority is responsible for a child or young person
25.Promoting integration
26.Joint commissioning arrangements
27.Duty to keep education and care provision under review
28.Co-operating generally: local authority functions
29.Co-operating generally: governing body functions
30.Local offer
31.Co-operating in specific cases: local authority functions
32.Advice and information
33.Children and young people with EHC plans
34.Children and young people with special educational needs but no EHC plan
35.Children with SEN in maintained nurseries and mainstream schools
36.Assessment of education, health and care needs
37.Education, health and care plans
38.Preparation of EHC plans: draft plan
39.Finalising EHC plans: request for particular school or other institution
40.Finalising EHC plans: no request for particular school or other institution
41.Independent special schools and special post-16 institutions: approval
42.Duty to secure special educational provision and health care provision in accordance with EHC Plan
43.Schools and other institutions named in EHC plan: duty to admit
44.Reviews and re-assessments
45.Ceasing to maintain an EHC plan
46.Maintaining an EHC plan after young person’s 25th birthday
47.Transfer of EHC plans
48.Release of child or young person for whom EHC plan previously maintained
49.Personal budgets and direct payments
50.Continuation of services under section 17 of the Children Act 1989
61.Education otherwise than at school


Checklist SEN Regulations 2014

3.Consideration of request
4.Determination whether or not special educational provision may be necessary
5.Decision whether or not to conduct an EHC needs assessment
6.Information and advice to be obtained of EHC Needs Assessments
7.Matters to be taken into account in securing an EHC needs assessment
8.Duty to co-operate in EHC needs assessments
9.Provision of advice, information and support to parents and young people
10.Decision not to secure an EHC plan
11.Preparation of EHC plans
12.Form of EHC plan
13.Timescales for EHC plans
14.Sending the finalised EHC plan
15.Transfer of EHC plans
16.Change of responsible commissioning body
17.Restriction on disclosure of EHC plans
18.Circumstances in which a local authority must review an EHC plan
19.Conduct of reviews
20.Review where the child or young person attends a school or other institution
21.Review of EHC plan where the child or young person does not attend a school or other institution
22.Amending an EHC plan following a review
23.Other circumstances in which a local authority must secure a re-assessment
24.Circumstances in which it is not necessary to re-assess educational, health care and social care provision
25.Notification of decision whether it is necessary to re-assess educational, health care and social care provision
26.Securing a re-assessment of educational, health care and social care provision
27.Amending or replacing an EHC plan following a re-assessment
28.Amending an EHC plan without a review or reassessment
29.Circumstances in which a local authority may not cease to maintain an EHC plan where the person is under the age of 18
30.Circumstances in which a local authority may not cease to maintain an EHC plan where the person is aged 18 or over
31.Procedure for determining whether to cease to maintain EHC plan
32.Information to be included in notices sent by a local authority
33.Requirement to consider mediation
34.Where a parent or young person does not wish to or fails to pursue mediation
35.Mediation – health care issues
36.Mediation – no health care issues
37.Arrangements for mediation
38.Attendance at the mediation
39.Mediation certificate under section 55(5)
40.Training, qualifications and experience of mediators
41.Expenses
42.Steps to be taken by a local authority
43.Powers of the First-tier Tribunal
44.Compliance with the orders of the First-tier Tribunal
45.Unopposed appeals
46.Academic year
47.Disclosure of EHC plans in relation to higher education
48.Remaining in a special school or special post-16 institution without an EHC plan
PART 3 Duties on schools
PART 4 Local Offer
PART 5 Approval of independent special schools and special post-16 institutions
PART 6 Parents and young people lacking capacity
SCHEDULE 1 Information to be included in the SEN information report
SCHEDULE 2 Information to be published by a local authority in its local offer
SCHEDULE 3
Explanatory Note


Personal Budget SEN Regulations 2014

SEN (Personal Budgets) Regulations 2014

Personal Budget Amended SEN Regulations 2014

Amended Personal Budget Regulations (The Special Educational Needs (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2014)

SOS-SEN EHCP Information Sheets

SOS-SEN https://www.sossen.org.uk/information_sheets.php

Link Reference

This article is http://edyourself.org/articles/EHCPlayout.php. The following links to other websites are contained in the article, displayed as citations to aid you in printing the document.