The Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan looks at all your child's needs and brings together education, health and care services to achieve agreed outcomes. The focus is very much on what is important for children and young people - what they and you want to achieve now and in the future. EHC plans are available from birth to 25 while the child or young person is receiving an education.
The EHC plan puts children, young people and families at the centre of the assessment and planning process. This is called person centred planning and is all about increasing your choice and control. 16-25 year-olds should be especially involved in the planning.
The EHC plan includes the aspirations of and the outcomes to achieve as well as a description of your son or daughter's needs, their barriers to learning and the provision required to overcome these. The plan can cover health and social care services alongside education if appropriate for the individual.
The Local Authority is responsible for making sure all the services are brought together and that the plan is well co-ordinated.
The following people have a specific right to ask the local authority to conduct an EHC needs assessment for a child or young person aged between 0-25 years:
- The child's parent
- A young person over the age of 16, but under 25 (on their own behalf)
- A person acting on behalf of a school or post-16 institution (this should be with the knowledge and agreement of the parents or young person where possible)
In addition anyone else can bring a child or young person who has (or may have) SEN to the attention of the Local Authority, particularly where they think an EHC needs assessment may be necessary. This could include:
- Foster carers
- Health and social care professionals
- Early years practitioners
- Youth offending teams
This should be done with the knowledge and agreement of the parents or young person, where possible.
All requests for assessment are considered at the multi-agency SEN panel, which informs the decision made by the Local Authority as to whether an EHC needs assessment is required.
If the Local Authority agree to an assessment the complete process takes a maximum of 20 weeks. A named case worker is allocated who will arrange a meeting with parents and the young person. They will also contact any professionals involved.
The EHC team is divided into locality teams to cover each area of Northamptonshire. Please email the team that covers your education setting's area:
For more information about applying for an assessment for an EHC plan, please visit NCC's dedicated webpages.
- Contact - Factsheet: Education, Health and Care Needs Assessments (PDF 226KB)
- Contact - Factsheet: Education, Health and Care Plans (PDF 200KB)
- Council for Disabled Children - A Step-by-Step Guide to EHC Plans (Link)
- Council for Disabled Children - EHC Outcomes Pyramid (Link)
- Council for Disabled Children - What Are Education, Health and Care Plans? (Video)
- Council for Disabled Children and KIDS - FLARE: How to Share Your Views for Your Annual Review (PDF 16.36MB)
- National Deaf Children's Society - Education, Health and Care Plans (Video)
- NCC Children, Families, and Education (CFE) - Early Years SEND Descriptors (PDF 232KB)
- NCC Children, Families, and Education (CFE) - Further Education (FE) SEND Descriptors (PDF 501KB)
- NCC Children, Families, and Education (CFE) - Northamptonshire SEND Descriptors (PDF 1.75MB)
- NCC Children, Families, and Education (CFE) - Primary SEND Descriptors (PDF 813KB)
- NCC Children, Families, and Education (CFE) - Secondary SEND Descriptors (PDF 888KB)
- NCC EHC Team - Completing the ‘All about Me’ Section of EHC Plans: A Parents' Guide (PDF 449KB)
- NCC EHC Team - Co-ordinated Assessment and EHC Plan Process Northamptonshire (607KB)
- NCC EHC Team - EHC Assessment Process: At a Glance (PDF 663KB)
- NCC EHC Team - EHC Process Guide for Young People (PDF 1MB)
- NCC EHC Team - EHC Assessment Process (PDF 608KB)
- NCC EHC Team - Guide to Annual Reviews (PDF 937KB)
- NCC EHC Team – One Page Profile Template for Children and Young People Who Are Electively Home Educated (Word 111KB)
- NCC EHC Team - One Page Profiles and EHC Assessments and Plans (PDF 1.68MB)
- NCC EHC Team - Personal Budgets for EHC Plans (PDF 608KB)
- NCC EHC Team - Procedure for Young Offenders with an EHC Plan Entering Custody (PDF 421KB)
- NCC EHC Team - Template for Annual Reviews of EHC Plans (Word 180KB)
- NCC EHC Team - Terms of Reference for RSA and EHC Decision Panels (PDF 437KB)
- NCC EHC Team - The Voice of the Child in RSAs, Guidance for Schools (PDF 577KB)
- NCC EHC Team - Transferring to a Secondary School for a Child Who Has an EHC Plan (PDF 653KB)
- NCC EHC Team - Year 9 Transition Plan Template (Word 102KB)
- NCC Local Offer - Completing Section A of the EHC Plan ('All About Me') for Parents and Carers, Easy Read (PDF 5.39MB)
- NCC Local Offer - Completing Section A of the EHC Plan ('All About Me') for Young People, Easy Read (PDF 5.34MB)
- Special Needs Jungle - Flowchart 1: SEN Support in Schools (PDF 1.17MB)
- Special Needs Jungle - Flowchart 2: Requesting an EHCP Needs Assessment (PDF 1.11MB)
- Special Needs Jungle - Flowchart 3: Conducting an EHCP Needs Assessment (PDF 1.52MB)
- Special Needs Jungle - Flowchart 4: What You Can Do If You Disagree (PDF 932KB)
- Supportive Parents - All About Education Health and Care Plans (Video)