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Supporting Children with Medical
and Mental Health Needs at School


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Education, health, and care plan (EHCP)


Education, health and care plan (EHCP)


Education, health and care plans, often called EHCP’s, are for children and young people aged up to 25, with special educational needs.

They are for children and young people who need more support than can be given through the usual SEN (Special Educational Needs) support in a mainstream nursery, school, or college.

An EHCP is a legal document, so your local authority must ensure that your child gets the support described in the plan. But the nursery, school or college will give or arrange it.

The views of the child or young person are really important when an EHCP is being considered and drawn up. 

What is an Education, health, and care plan needs assessment?

Before a local authority can issue an EHC Plan, it needs to see if a plan is needed.

The local authority must carry out a needs assessment if they:

· believe a child has or may have special educational needs, and

· they may need special educational support to be made through an EHC plan.

In other words, if they think a child or young person may need an EHC plan to help them achieve their best, they must do an EHC needs assessment.

Having an EHC needs assessment does not always lead to getting an EHC plan. The information that is collected as part of an assessment may show ways that the school, college, or other provider can meet a child’s or young person’s needs without an EHC plan. 

What is an education, health, and care plan review?

Over time it is important to review if things are working or not. This is why it is a legal requirement for an EHC Plan to be reviewed at least yearly.

There are particularly important times through school when important decisions must be made, such as moving from primary to secondary school or moving to college. At these times reviews must happen with plenty of time for plans to be carefully considered and made.

It is important that a child’s or young person’s views are gathered and used to inform plans and decisions.

More Information

Department for Education

Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

Council for Disabled Children

The information, advice and support services network. Find your local service to get local information, advice and support on all things SEND.


The leading charity in the field of SEND law in England. You can find a wide range of information, including letter templates. All written to be acceccible to parents/carer.

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HOPE (Hospital Organisation of Pedagogues in Europe)