What are Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans?

An Education, Heath and Care (EHC) plan is a legal document. It describes a child or young person’s educational, health and social care needs. It sets out the specialist provision needed. This is to meet the child or young person's needs and achieve agreed long-term outcomes. The local authority issues them after an EHC needs assessment.


Most children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) do not need an EHC plan. They can be supported through SEN Support.

EHC plans are for a small minority of children and young people who need more support for their SEND. This is more than a mainstream school can normally provide through existing resources.

This section tells you how to request an EHC needs assessment. It will tell you what happens at each stage. Watch the below video for more information.

See our flowchart in the links and documents section of this page. This is on the right-hand side of this page if you are on a computer or tablet.  On a mobile phone these will show at the bottom. These explain the EHC needs assessment process. Information in alternative languages is also provided. 

Please note

Special schools and Integrated Resources only admit pupils with EHC plans.

An EHC plan does not always mean that a child will need a specialist placement. Many pupils with EHC plans get successful support in mainstream schools.