SENDIAS - What should an EHCP include?

The EHCP document outlines any special educational needs a child or young person has and the provision a local authority must put in place to help them. An EHCP is a lawful document and must be followed by the setting providing the provision. The EHCP document outlines any special educational needs a child or young person has and the provision a local authority must put in place to help them. An EHCP is a lawful document and must be followed by the setting providing the provision.

The Local Authority is responsible for drafting all EHCPs but it is everyone's responsibility to ensure that the EHCP is good quality. It should take into account the following good practice measures: 

  1. Decisions about content should be made jointly between everyone concerned
  2. Children or young people should contribute to the plan - their views should always be reflected
  3. EHCPs should be clearly written, accessible and outcomes focused
  4. The strengths and needs of children and young people should be made clear
  5. Portray strengths and needs

The SEND Code of Practice says that EHC plans should:

  • be based on decisions made openly, and with parents, children and young people
  • describe what the child or young person can do
  • be clear, concise, understandable and accessible
  • consider how best to achieve the outcomes for the child or young person. They must take into account the evidence from the EHC needs assessment
  • specify clear outcomes
  • consider alternative ways of providing support if a parent or young person wishes it. This could include having a Personal Budget
  • show how education, health and care provision will be co-ordinated
  • be forward looking – for example, anticipating, planning and commissioning for important transition points in a child or young person’s life
  • describe how informal support as well as formal support from statutory agencies can help in achieving agreed outcomes

Central to the effectiveness of EHCP is the need to support individual children, young people and families by making sure that their feelings and experiences are considered in the development of the EHCP and the annual review.

The following sections provide further information to help you make sure that the EHCP is good quality and meets the needs of you or your child.

What are the different sections of an EHCP?

EHCPs must include the following sections. 

Section A     The views, interests and aspirations of the child and his parents or the young person
Section B The child or young person's special educational needs (SEN)
Section C The child or young person's health care needs that relate to their SEN
Section D The child or young person's social care needs that relate to their SEN
Section E The planned outcomes or outcomes sought for the child or young person
Section F The special educational provision (provision which ‘educates or trains is not health or social care provision it is educational).
Section G Any any health care provision reasonably required by the learning difficulties or disabilities
Section H Any social care provision that must be made for the child or young person under 18
Section H2 Any other social care provision required that is related to their SEN
Section I The name of the school or other institution to be attended, and the type of that institution (or just the type if no specific institution is named) 
Section J Details of how any personal budget will support particular outcomes and the provision it will be used for
Section K Copies of all of the advice and information obtained as part of the EHC needs assessment

What are the key points to look for?

The key things to check are that:

  • All of the child's or young person’s special educational needs (SEN) are detailed in Section B
  • All of the special educational provision for each need should be recorded in Section F
  • The school or college to be attended by the child or young person is set out in Section I.

This is because:

  • If a need is included in Section B, then there must be provision for that need set out in Section F
  • If provision is included in Section F, then the LA must ensure that this provision is made; and
  • If a school, college or other setting is named in Section I, then it must admit the child or young person for whom the EHC plan is maintained (this duty applies to almost all schools and other settings

Key points

Section F of the plan should mirror Section B. Special educational provision must be specified, quantified, detailed and appropriate for every need identified in Section B.

All special educational provision which is included in Section F must be provided. It should be specified and quantified. This means that there should be no doubt how much and how often the provision will be given. For example, if the EHCP states that you, or your child require individual speech and language support, for 1 hour each week - this is clear and precise. On the other hand the inclusion of words such as ‘access to‛, ‘opportunities for‛, ‘up to x hours‛ or not sufficiently detailed and can result in different interpretations of provision.

Getting this right at the start of the process is really important and  can prevent problems further down the line.

IPSEA have provided further useful information to help you with this. 

Person centred practice

A person centred approach ensure that parents, children and young people are genuinely involved in all aspects of planning and decision making. When children and young people are meaningfully involved in activities such as writing and reviewing their EHCP - this can bring about positive change as they see themselves as active partners whose voice and opinions count.

You might find the following video from the Council for Disabled Children (CDC) helpful:

Further information

Further information can be found:


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Last updated: 01 September 2022 08:33:06

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