What is an Education Health and Care (EHC) assessment?

The EHC plan is for children and young people who have complex and severe special educational needs and disabilities and where an assessment of education, health and social care needs has been agreed by a multi-agency group of professionals. It is available from birth to age 25.

Guidance says that EHC plans should be issued when the local authority considers the special educational needs of the child cannot be reasonably provided for within the resources available to mainstream early years provision, school and post 16 institutions.

About 1 in 5 children will need extra help at school at some time in their education. Some children will have extra help for all the years they are at school. Other children will only need help for a short time.

Most children’s SEND should be able to be supported effectively in mainstream settings. This would be through SEN Support. At this stage the school uses its own resources and brings in other professionals to support the child. However, a small number of children have significant needs which schools cannot be expected to meet without extra resources from the Local Authority (LA). In these cases the LA may need to carry out an  Assessment of special educational needs and Disability and then consider whether or not to issue an EHC plan.

The Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan is an exciting new way of working that puts you – children, young people and families – at the very centre of the assessment and planning process, to make sure that your views are not only heard but also understood. This is called person centred planning and is all about increasing your choice and control. This new process focuses on what is important for children and young people – what they and you want to achieve now and in the future. Young people and families have helped to design the plan.

From September 2014 all Halton children and young people who have significant special educational needs, and meet specific criteria within a graduated response, may undergo an Education Health and Care (EHC) Assessment, which could lead to an EHC Plan. An EHC plan will replace the current Statements of SEN and Learning Disability Assessments.

For more information about EHC plans (Including how to apply) please go to Halton Local Offer: http://localoffer.haltonchildrenstrust.co.uk/ or the IPSEA website http://www.ipsea.org.uk/what-you-need-to-know/ehc-plans