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Information & advice

Education, Health and Care Plans

Find out all about Education, Health and Care Plans: what they are, who they’re for, and how to get one.

What is an Education, Health and Care plan?

Education, Health and Care plans are often known as EHCPs.

For some children and young people with SEND the support that a mainstream nursery, school or college can provide is not enough to help them. These children and young people may need support through an EHCP.

An EHCP is a legal document. It is a plan that outlines the needs of the child or young person, what they and their parents want them to achieve, the support they require, and who will provide this support.

The purpose of an EHCP is to ensure that the correct support is provided to help meet the child or young persons’ education, health and social care needs. As they get older it will also help prepare them for adulthood.

Who needs an EHCP?

Most children and young people with SEND can be provided with the right level of support without the need for an EHCP. This is called SEND Support.

EHCPs are needed by children and young people whose special educational needs and disabilities require more support than can be provided through SEND Support in a mainstream nursery, school or college.

An EHCP can be issued to a child or young person between the ages of 0 and 25 years.

How do you get an EHCP?

EHC plans may be issued by a local authority following an EHC Needs Assessment. That’s the process that a Local Authority undertakes to assess if a child or young person needs an EHCP.

An education setting, parent or a young person over the age of 16 can request an EHC Needs Assessment.

Easy read guide

Our easy read guide explains what an EHCP is and how you get one.


A handy infographic that you can download and print out summarising some key points about EHCPs.

EHCP Guide

Our in-depth guide to Education, Health and Care Plans.

EHC Timeline

Our timeline shows the various steps involved in getting an EHCP and how long they should take.