Applying for an education, health and care plan (EHCP)

Most children with special educational needs (SEN) will have needs that can be met by high-quality teaching and differentiated teaching.  These are the general teaching methods and approaches that teachers use in education settings to help your child learn.  Some children need additional SEN support through a graduated approach.

For example:

  • Assess
  • Plan
  • Do
  • Review  

The vast majority of children with SEN are supported this way using the graduated approach. If your child has received support through various interventions but is still not making progress, they may need an education, health and care plan (EHCP).

Page contents:

What is an education, health and care plan (EHCP)

An education, health and care plan (EHCP) is for children and young people who have complex and long term needs and may need additional support to be specified in such plan.

The plan is a legal document that reflects your child’s aspirations, needs, outcomes and provision.  It sets out the additional support needed to meet their needs, and long-term outcomes usually based over key transition stages, that is early years to reception and primary to secondary school and post 16. The council have a legal responsibility to coordinate and maintain this plan.

An EHCP brings together education, health and care services to develop a plan that looks after the needs of your child.  The EHCP is written together with you and your child, and focuses on developing and achieving agreed outcomes.

Understanding what an outcome is and how to write them can be confusing, as outcomes can be confused with aspirations or targets.  Helen Sanderson Associates has written a blog to help explain what outcomes mean and how to write them.  

You can watch a video produced by the council for disabled children which gives an overview of education, health and care plans and what support may be available.

How long the EHC plan process takes 

To get a plan, your child will need to have an education health and care (EHC) needs assessment.  This is used to decide if they will meet the conditions for a plan.  You or your child’s education setting will need to request an education, health and care needs assessment from the council. 

Find out how to request an EHC needs assessment  from the council. 

How to apply for an education health and care plan 

To get a plan, your child will need to have an education health and care (EHC) needs assessment.  This is used to decide if they will meet the conditions for a plan.  You or your child’s education setting will need to request an education, health and care needs assessment from the council. 

Find out how to request for an EHC needs assessment to the council. 

Further Information  

Supportive Parents provide the information, advice and support service (SENDIASS) for children, young people and families in South Gloucestershire. 

IPSEA is the Independent Provider of Special Education Advice.  They provide information about education, health and care plans on their website 

Contact is a national charity who support families who have children with disabilities. There are details about the EHCP process on their website.    

Templates and guidance relating to education, health and care plans can be found in The South Glos Way Inclusion Toolkit. You can read more about the Inclusion Toolkit in this article

Beta This is our beta website, your feedback can help us improve it.