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Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP) (England)

An EHCP assessment can be requested, at any time, if a child or young person has a learning difficulty or disability which is preventing them from achieving at school or college and the parents of the child or the young person, or they themselves, believe that the school or college is not able to provide the help and support which is needed.

An EHC Plan is issued following an EHCP assessment. The request for an EHCP needs assessment can be made by a:

  • Parent
  • Young person
  • School/college

Following this request, the LA needs to consider if the child/young person may have special educational needs and whether they may need a special educational provision made through the EHCP. If both are true then the LA must carry out an EHCP assessment (Children and Families Act, 2014, section 36(8).

This is conducted by the Local authority (LA) and they are required under the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 r6 (1) to seek advice from:

  • the child’s parent or the young person
  • educational advice (usually from the head teacher, principal, SEN teacher)
  • medical advice and information from a health care professional
  • psychological advice and information from an educational psychologist
  • advice and information in relation to social care
  • advice and information from any other person the local authority thinks appropriate
  • 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.
  •  Advice from anyone in education, health or social care can be requested by the parent or young person so long as it is a reasonable request. This can include professionals such as a speech and language therapist (SALT), occupational therapist (OT) or from the child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) SEN R6 (1) (h).
  • The LA should engage the parents and child or young person and take into account their views, wishes and feelings.


The function of the EHCP is to describe a child or young person’s special educational needs as well as the support that they need and the outcomes they would like to achieve. This is a legal document.

The child or young person’s Local Authority (LA) are required to provide the special educational provision that is described in their EHCP.

This can include extra support during their education as well as about the choice of setting the child or young person can attend.

For further information, help and support contact IPSEA.

Links to official sites regarding educational support for those with additional needs:

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