Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan)

The Education, Heath and Care Plan is a legal document which describes a child or young person’s special educational needs, the support that they need, and the outcomes they would like to achieve.

The purpose of the EHC Plan is to put you and your child at the very centre of the assessment and planning process, to ensure that the correct provision is in place to support your child to meet the outcomes laid out in the plan.

The Process of the EHC Plan

In order to receive an EHC plan an Education, Health and Care needs assessment must be made to the local authority in which you and your child live.

Applying for an assessment

Ordinarily the initial request will be made by the school that your child attends by submitting a draft letter along with evidence such as; Occupational Therapy reports, Speech and Language reports, Educational Psychologist reports or medical evidence.

However, in the case that the school disagrees with the decision to submit a request, parents have the right to submit a request independent if they feel they can evidence the need for a plan. Children do not need a full diagnosis to apply for a plan if a long-term disability can be demonstrated as well as need for further provision. You can obtain a draft letter from:

Once the request has been received by the Local Authority

Once the Local Authority is requested to carry out an EHC needs assessment by a parent, young person, school or college, they must consider:

  • whether the child or young person has or may have special educational needs (“SEN”); and
  • whether they may need special educational provision to be made through an EHC plan

If the answer to both questions is yes, they must carry out an EHC needs assessment.

This test is set out in the law (section 36(8) of the Children and Families Act 2014). This means these are the only questions the LA should be asking when considering whether to carry out an EHC needs assessment or not.

When will I hear from the Local Authority?

The Local Authority have six weeks in which to respond to the original request and should respond to the parent directly. It is a good idea to make a note of the deadline.

Next steps

Depending on the outcome of the initial request, parents will be advised of next steps to take via the local authority.

If the request is successful and the Local Authority have agreed to complete an assessment, they will send a copy of the request approval to the school setting that your child attends. During the process the Local Authority will obtain further information from professionals, this may include separate assessments and reports which will be carried out within your child’s school setting.  You will also be assigned a caseworker who will provide you with support throughout the process and work closely with you and the school to set out the recommendations and outcomes to be included in the final plan.

Of course, ADHD symptoms vary, age to age, gender to gender and are usually completely individual.

If the Local Authority refuse

If the Local Authority refuses to carry out an assessment, you have the right to appeal against this decision. The letter should explain that there is a right to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) and should contain details of a mediation service for you to contact.

How long should the process take?

The entire process should take no longer than 20 weeks from the agreement date to carry out the assessment. Parents are encouraged to make note of the deadlines.

For further information about EHC Plans please see