Form of EHC plan

According to Regulation 12(1)(a) - Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014, when preparing an EHC plan a local authority must set out—

(a) the views, interests and aspirations of the child and his parents or the young person (section A);

(b) the child or young person’s special educational needs (section B);

(c) the child or young person’s health care needs which relate to their special educational needs (section C);

(d) the child or young person’s social care needs which relate to their special educational needs or to a disability (section D);

(e) the outcomes sought for him or her (section E);

(f) the special educational provision required by the child or young person (section F);

(g) any health care provision reasonably required by the learning difficulties or disabilities which result in the child or young person having special educational needs (section G);

(h)(i) any 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(1) (section H1);

(ii) any other social care provision reasonably required by the learning difficulties or disabilities which result in the child or young person having special educational needs (section H2);

(i) 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 (section I); and

(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 (section J),

and each section must be separately identified.

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

(3) 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.

(4) The advice and information obtained in accordance with regulation 6(1) must be set out in appendices to the EHC plan (section K).

 

Here below, you can find each section of an EHC plan explained in more detail:

Section A - 'All about me'

This section describe the views, interests and aspirations of the child and their parents, or of the young person.

Details about the child or young person’s aspirations and goals for the future (but not details of outcomes to be achieved – see paragraphs 9.62 – 9.69 of the SEN Code of Practice (CoP) for more on outcomes for guidance).

 

  1. A summary of the child or young person’s history.

  2. Details about the child or young person’s aspirations for the future, including aspirations relating to paid employment, independent living, and community participation.

  3. A summary of how to communicate with the child or young person and how to engage them in decision-making.

  4. Details about play, health, schooling, independence, friendships, further education and future plans including employment (where practical).

  5. If written in the first person, the plan should make clear whether the child or young person is being quoted directly, or if the views of parents or professionals are being represented.

Additional guidance:

The plan should be focused on supporting the child or young person to achieve the aspirations set out in Section A. Historical information should be kept to a minimum.

  • The long-term aspirations of the child, young person and/or their parents should be identified as early as possible. The outcomes (Section E) in the plan should then be written in a way that supports the achievement of the aspirations in Section A

  • Aspirations are not outcomes. Local authorities and other services are not responsible for long-term aspirations in the same way that they are for outcomes.

  • As a child gets older, and particularly as they move towards adulthood, what were aspirations at an earlier stage may become achievable outcomes (e.g. getting to college may become an achievable shorter-term outcome rather than a longer-term aspiration).

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 Section B - The child or young person’s special educational needs (SEN)

  1. All of the child or young person’s identified special educational needs must be specified.

  2. A special educational need is a learning difficulty or disability which requires special educational provision. Special educational provision is educational or training provision that is additional to, or different from, that made generally for others of the same age in ordinary schools/settings, or any educational provision for a child under two.

  3. The content of this section should draw on the professional advice attached in Section K: Advice and Information. If the local authority has chosen to interpret the advice in a particular way, or if there is conflicting advice, then the local authority should set out the reasons for its conclusions in this section.

  4. SEN may include needs for health and social care provision that are treated as special educational provision because they educate or train a child or young person(see paragraphs 9.73 [of the SEN Code of Practice] onwards)

  5. Each and every SEN must be specified whether it is to be provided for by the school/FE college, the LA, the health service or any other provider.

  6. If the child needs health or social care provision that educates or trains the child or young person then the need for that provision must be specified in this section.

  7. If the same broad area of need requires more than one type of provision (e.g. physical difficulties may require both physio and occupational therapy) it must be split into more than one need, e.g. gross motor difficulties, fine motor difficulties. A judge has compared this section to a list of symptoms, each of which must be answered by an item in the list of special educational provision.

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Section C - The child or young person’s health needs which relate to their SEN

  1. The EHC plan must specify any health needs identified through the EHC needs assessment which relate to the child or young person’s SEN. Some health care needs, such as routine dental health needs, are unlikely to be related.

  2. The Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)may also choose to specify other health care needs which are not related to the child or young person’s SEN (for example, a long-term condition which might need management in a special educational setting).

  3. Section C concerns needs for health care. Educational needs arising from health issues are listed in Section B.

  4. Despite the comment in the CoP, some children and young people with SEN may need to use dentists or other health professionals trained for people with SEN/D for their dental or other health needs. Parents should try to ensure that these needs at least feed into the Joint Strategic Needs Assessments by LAs and CCGs so that commissioners of services are aware of the demand. This need could be specified in section C of an EHC plan.

  5. The health needs that must be identified in this section are those related to the learning difficulty or disability that results in a child or young person having SEN. If the child or young person has other health needs that are not related to their SEN then these should also be included in this section unless there is a good reason not to include them.

  6. The local authority has the final decision about the content of Section C of a plan, but should base this decision on the medical advice attached in Section K: Advice and Information. All the health needs identified during the EHC assessment should be listed in Section C.

  7. The content of this section should draw on the professional advice attached in Section K: Advice and information. If the local authority has chosen to interpret the advice in a particular way, or there is conflicting advice, then the local authority should set out the reasons for its conclusions in Section C.

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Section D - The child or young person’s social care needs which relate to their SEN or to a disability

  1. The local authority must gather advice from relevant professionals about the child or young person’s care needs and care provision that may be required to meet identified needs and achieve desired outcomes (SEND CoP paragraph 9.46)

  2. The local authority may also choose to specify other social care needs which are not linked to the child or young person’s SEN or to a disability (SEND CoP paragraphs 153-158)

  3. Advice and information requested by the local authority must be provided within six weeks of the request (SEND CoP paragraph 9.52)

  4. Section 36(2) of the Children and Families Act 2014 states that an EHC assessment is an assessment of the education, health care and social care needs of a child or young person.

  5. Section D must specify all social care needs identified during the assessment which relate to the special educational needs or to a disability. At this stage it is not necessary to specify which of these needs are eligible for support.

  6. Whether a child or young person has eligible needs under the relevant legislation will need to be determined after the assessment process has been completed and in accordance with the relevant statutory guidance and any local authority policy.

  7. Once the evidence has been gathered, a local authority will need to satisfy itself whether or not the child or young person has eligible needs under:

    the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 (CSDPA);

    the Children Act 1989;

    the Care Act 2014 (for a young person over 18).

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 Section E - The outcomes sought for the child or the young person

The SEND CoP (paragraphs 9.62 - 9.67) says:

  1. Outcomes are defined by the benefit or difference made to an individual as a result of an intervention. Outcomes are not a description of service being provided.

  2. Outcomes will usually set out what needs to be achieved by the end of a phase or stage of education.

  3. Outcomes should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound (SMART).

  4. The EHC plan should also specify the arrangements for setting shorter term targets at the level of the school or other institution where the child or young person is placed. Professionals should, wherever possible, append these shorter term plans and targets to the EHC plan.

  5. When an EHC plan is ceased for a young person aged over 18, regard must be taken of whether the education and training outcomes have been achieved. Therefore for young people aged over 17, the EHC plan should identify clearly which outcomes are education and training outcomes (SEND Cop p. 153-158)

Additional guidance:

Outcomes should be written in a way that helps children and young people towards the achievement of their aspirations (Section A). The plan should be clear how SMART outcomes link to their longer term aspirations.

• Outcomes should be challenging and be based on high expectations of what a child or young person can achieve.

• Outcomes are not provision.

• Outcomes can be joint across education, health and social care. For young people over 17, the education and training outcomes need to be separately identified.

• The Code states that outcomes will usually set out what needs to be achieved by the end of a phase or stage of education. Sitting beneath the outcomes in Section E, it may be helpful to identify steps that might be taken to move towards the outcomes.

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 Section F: The special educational provision required by the child or the young person

What the SEND CoP says (p. 153 - 158):

  1. Provision must be detailed and specific and should normally be quantified, for example, in terms of the type, hours and frequency of support and level of expertise.

  2. This section must specify all the special educational provision that the LA considers appropriate to meet each and every need identified in Section B (special educational needs).

  3. There should be a clear link between the special educational provision and the outcome it is intended to support.

  4. It should be clear how advice and information gathered has informed the provision specified. Where the local authority has departed from that advice, they should say so and give reasons for it.

Paragraphs 9.73 - 9.76, SEND CoP:

  1. Health or social care provision which educates or trains a child or young person must be treated as special educational provision and included in Section F of the EHC plan.

  2. As communication is so central to education, speech and language therapy must normally be recorded as educational provision unless there are exceptional reasons for not doing so.

  3. This section should not include terms such as regular, often, access to, now and again, when required.

  4. Rather than allocate undifferentiated hours of support, local authorities should divide the hours of teaching, specialist teaching or support assistant time into activities designed to meet the outcomes in the plan.

  5. Local authorities should ensure that provision specified in Section F is actually special educational provision, and not provision that is ordinarily available. For example, reference in a plan to a ‘broad and balanced curriculum’ is not necessary, as this is part of universal educational provision.

  6. The local authority is responsible for arranging all the provision in Section F, irrespective of who actually delivers it.

 Additional guidance:

This section should not include terms such as regular, often, access to, now and again, when required.

  • Rather than allocate undifferentiated hours of support, local authorities should divide the hours of teaching, specialist teaching or support assistant time into activities designed to meet the outcomes in the plan.

  • Local authorities should ensure that provision specified in Section F is actually special educational provision, and not provision that is ordinarily available. For example, reference in a plan to a ‘broad and balanced curriculum’ is not necessary, as this is part of universal educational provision.

  • LAs should resolve conflicts between advice from different sources and state why they have reached their resolutions.

  • If the child is in or beyond Year 9 (broadly speaking,14 years old or older) this section must also set out the provision required to assist in the preparation for adulthood and independent living, for example, support for finding employment, housing or for participation in society. The special educational provision specified in the EHC plan must facilitate the development of the child or young person to achieve the “best possible” educational outcome (one of the new legislation’s four underpinning principles).

  • Therapies which educate or train a child/young person must be specified in this section and may also appear in the health care provision or social care provision sections. For instance, where occupational therapy is required for educational activities, e.g. to enable stable sitting at a desk or gripping pens, manipulating objects etc., the provision must appear in this section.

  • A useful test: if the provision was not delivered would the child or young person still be able to receive education and/or training on a par with those without SEN/disabilities? If this is in doubt then the provision must be included as special educational provision.

Examples:

  • speech & language therapy;

  • physiotherapy;

  • occupational therapy,

  • CAMHS services (child and adolescent mental health services)

These are often so fundamental to education they must be recorded as educational provision unless there are exceptional reasons for not doing so.

  • Case law has established that speech and language therapy is normally special educational provision.

  • Once specified in this section, the LA must “secure” the provision, i.e. they must ensure that it is made. If a health body ceases to make the provision, the duty falls on the LA. An LA may well delegate funding to a school or post 16 institution, but if those institutions cannot make the provision out of that funding, then the LA is legally obliged to do so.

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 Section G: Any health care provision reasonably required by the learning difficulties or disabilities which result in the child or young person having SEN

The SEND CoP (p. 153 - 158) says: 

  1. Provision should be detailed and specific and should normally be quantified, for example, in terms of the type, hours and frequency of support and level of expertise.

  2. There should be a clear link between the health care provision and the outcome it is intended to support.

  3. It should be clear as to how advice and information gathered has informed the provision specified.

  4. Health care provision reasonably required may include specialist support and therapies, such as; medical treatments and delivery of medications, occupational therapy and physiotherapy, a range of nursing support, specialist equipment, wheelchairs and continence supplies. It could include highly specialist services needed by only a small number of children which are commissioned centrally by NHS England.

  5. The local authority and CCG may also choose to specify other health care provision reasonably required by the child or young person, which is not linked to their learning difficulties or disabilities, but which should sensibly be co-ordinated with other services in the plan

Paragraph 9.71, SEND CoP:

  • The health care provision specified in section G of the EHC plan must be agreed by the CCG (or where relevant, NHS England) and any health care provision should be agreed in time to be included in the draft EHC plan sent to the child’s parent or to the young person.

Paragraph 9.141, SEND CoP

  • CCGs will need therefore to satisfy themselves that the arrangements they have in place for participating in the development of EHC plans include a mechanism for agreeing the health provision, which would usually be delegated to the relevant health professionals commissioned by the CCG. CCGs may however wish to have more formal oversight arrangements for all EHC plans to which they are a party.

Additional notes:

This section should specify all the health care provision that the local authority and the responsible commissioning body agree is appropriate to meet the needs identified in Section C: Health Needs.

  • This section should clearly set out in practical terms how the provision will contribute to meeting the outcomes set out in Section E.

  • Health provision that is commissioned by a CCG or NHS England but "educates or trains a child or young person" must be placed in Section F (special education provision).

  • Local partners should adopt an approach where all the health provision required by the child or young person is included in Section G unless there is a good reason not to do so.

  • This provision in this section may involve any services, including all universal, targeted and specialist services, commissioned by a CCG or NHS England.

  • Under section 26(3)(g) of the Children and Families Act 2014, local authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) must have disagreement resolution procedures in place. These should be used where there is a disagreement between the local authority and the responsible commissioning body about the health care provision to be specified in an EHC plan.

  • There should be a clear process for the responsible commissioning body to exercise it’s responsibility where the provision within an EHC plan is of a type or quantity not normally available.

  • The responsible commissioning body (CCG or NHS England) is responsible for arranging all the health care provision in Section G, irrespective of who actually delivers or provides it.

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Section H1: Any social care provision which must be made for a child/ YP under 18 resulting from s.2 Chronically Sick & Disabled persons Act 1970 (CSDPA)

According to the SEND CoP. 153 - 158:

  1. Section H1 of the EHC plan must specify all services assessed as being needed for a disabled child or young person under 18, under section 2 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 (CSDPA).

  2. Provision should be detailed and specific and should normally be quantified, for example, in terms of the type, hours and frequency of support and level of expertise.

  3. It should be clear how the provision will support the achievement of the outcomes.

  4. It should be clear as to how advice and information gathered has informed the provision specified.

Additional notes:

  • If any social care needs have been identified in Section D, the local authority needs to establish which of these needs are ‘eligible’ needs under the CSDPA which the local authority has a duty to meet. Provision to meet these needs must then be included in Section H1.

  • The range of social care services that can be provided under CSDPA is very wide. The services specified under CSDPA are:

 

  1. Support at home, for example with personal care or eating;

  2. Support to access the community such as after-school clubs or play schemes. This includes community based short break schemes;

  3. Assistance with travel to access the community;

  4. Help with adaptations to the home; and

  5. Help with the costs of holidays, meals and/or telephones.

  • If a need identified during the assessment can be met with the provision of one of these types of services, the local authority must decide whether it is ‘necessary’ for them to meet this need. In reaching this decision the local authority should take into account the family’s circumstances, including the situation of the parents and the needs of other children in the family.

  • Services assessed as required under CSDPA must be provided regardless of resources. Once a child/family has been assessed as eligible for support under the 1970 Act there is a specific duty to provide them with services to meet their assessed need.

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Section H2: Any other social care provision reasonably required by the learning difficulties or disabilities which result in the child or young person having SEN. Regulation 12(1)(h)(ii) - Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014

According to the SEND CoP p. 153 - 158 this section should contain the following information: 

  1. Social care provision reasonably required may include provision identified through early help and children in need assessments and safeguarding assessments for children.

  2. Section H2 must only include services which are not provided under Section 2 of the CSDPA. For children and young people under 18 this includes residential short breaks and services provided to children arising from their SEN but unrelated to a disability.

Further guidance:

  • If social care needs have been identified in Section D, but the local authority does not consider that there is a duty to meet these needs under Section 2 of the CSDPA, provision to meet those needs should be included in Section H2. This includes any services being provided under:

  1. the Children Act 1989; or

  2. the Care Act 2014 (for a young person over 18).

  • If a young person is eligible for adult care and support under the Care Act 2014, they must receive an adult care and support plan. Where they also have an Education Health and Care plan, the adult care and support plan should be incorporated into Section H2.

  • Social care provision contained in Section H2 will be any other social care provision reasonably required (by the child or young person’s learning difficulties or disabilities which result in SEN). Note that this is only provision "reasonably" required, so LAs can take into account cost and convenience, unlike the provision in Section F.

  •  
  • If the child is in or beyond Year 9 (broadly speaking, 14 years old or older) the social care provision required to assist in the preparation for adulthood and independent living must be included here. For example, support in finding employment, housing or for participation in society.

  • The social care provision specified in the EHC plan must facilitate the development of the child or young person to achieve the "best possible" social care outcomes (one of the new legislation’s four underpinning principles) 

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Section I: Placement - Regulation 12(1)(i) - Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014

The SEND CoP (p. 153-158) says:

  1. The name and type 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.

  2. These details must be included only in the final EHC plan, not the draft EHC plan sent to the child’s parent or to the young person.

Additional notes:

Once a draft plan has been received, parents or young people can request that a particular education institution is named in the plan. A local authority must name the education institution requested unless they believe that the child or young person’s attendance would:

  • not meet their special educational needs;

  • be incompatible with the efficient education of others; or

  • be incompatible with the efficient use of resources.

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Section J: Personal Budget (including arrangements for direct payments) - Regulation 12(1)(j) - Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014

The SEND CoP (p. 153 - 158) says:

  1. This section should provide detailed information on any Personal Budget that will be used to secure provision in the EHC plan.

  2. It should set out the arrangements in relation to direct payments as required by education, health and social care regulations.

  3. The special educational needs and outcomes that are to be met by any direct payment must be specified.

  4. Where a direct payment is proposed for special educational provision, local authorities must secure the agreement of the early years setting, school or college, if any of the provision is to be delivered on that institution’s premises.

 Additional notes:

  • Any amount of money specified in this section must be enough to secure the provision specified. It is, therefore, essential that type and amount of provision is adequately specified, e.g. as well as amount of time per week, the qualifications and experience and therefore grade of a specialist teacher.

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Section K: Advice and information - Regulation 12(4) - Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014

The SEND CoP says:

  • The advice and information gathered during the EHC needs assessment must be set out in the appendices to the EHC plan. There should be a list of this advice and information.

Additional notes:

  • The list should include brief details of who gave the advice and when, e.g. Peter Smith, NHS speech and language therapist, 10 March 2015.

  • Copies of all the advice and information gathered during the statutory assessment process should be attached to the EHC plan as appendices. 

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 For further information and guidance about the sections of an EHC Plan, please have a look at the following links:

Council for Disabled Children - Guide to EHC Plans

IPSEA: EHC Plans check list