An EHC plan is a legally binding document outlining a child or young person’s special educational, health, and social care needs. The document will give an up-to-date picture of a child or young person’s needs, based on assessments carried out by education, health and social care professionals. It will show which provision will be put in place to meet each of these needs and any provision listed must be specific, detailed and measured. The plan will name the educational setting to deliver the provision.
Before an EHC plan, and working alongside the EHC plan, there should be a clear graduated response to SEND.
‘Where the pupil is identified as having SEN, schools should take action to remove barriers to learning and put effective special educational provision in place. This SEN support should take the form of a four-part cycle through which earlier decisions and actions are revisited, refined and revised with a growing understanding of the pupil’s needs and of what supports the pupil in making good progress and securing good outcomes. This is known as the graduated approach. It draws on more detailed approaches, more frequent review and more specialist expertise in successive cycles in order to match interventions to the SEN of children and young people.’ CoP 6.44
You can find more information and guidance on what this should look like within the Somerset Graduated Response Tool and supporting documents.
An EHC plan details the individual support the child or young person requires to meet their needs to achieve their hopes and aspirations for the future. The EHC plan will detail the Special Educational Provision needed which is above and beyond what the school can offer through SEN support.
Once a plan has been finalised, any change must be agreed through the Annual Review process. The EHC plan may remain in place until the young person finishes education or at the end of the academic year they turn 25 in. The local authority may stop the EHC plan if it decides that the Special Educational Provision detailed in the plan is no longer needed.
An EHC plan can support young people attending further education colleges and apprenticeships but does not cover education at universities.
You can find more information for young people attending universities here: Help if you are a student with a learning difficulty, health problem or disability – GOV.UK