Education and Health Care Plans

Updated: 19/08/16

The Education Health and Care (EHC) plan is a new way of working, led by the needs and aspirations of the child or young person and his or her parents / carers working in partnership with practitioners and other supporters. This puts children, young people and their families at the very centre of the assessment and planning process, making sure that their views are not only heard but also understood. This is called person-centred planning and is all about increasing families’ choices and control.

An EHC plan is for children and young people (aged 0 to 25) who have a Special Educational Need or a Disability (SEND) and who need a much higher level of support than education settings can deliver on their own.

Most children and young people will have their needs met with support and/or services which are available as part of the Norfolk Local Offer and before the majority of children or young people are considered for an EHC plan it is expected that their educational setting will have evidence of at least two cycles of the Assess, Plan Do Review process.

The purpose of an EHC plan is

  • To establish and secure the best possible outcomes across education, health and social care based on the child or young person’s needs and aspirations, and,
  • as they get older to prepare them for adulthood
  • to specify the provision required and how education, health and care services will work together to meet the child or young person’s needs and support the achievement of the agreed outcomes
  • to secure the special educational provision assessed as being necessary to meet the SEN of the child or young person

The County Council is responsible for ensuring that assessments are effectively co-ordinated.


The EHC assessment and plan replace the statutory assessment and Statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) process and Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDA). EHC plans are still legal documents that local authorities have to follow but they will include information and support for health and social care, as well as education. The plan can start from a child’s birth and continues while the young person remains in further education and training, with outcomes specified in their EHC plan which have not been achieved and still requires the special educational provision specified in the EHC plan. For some young people this could be until they are 25 years old.