Education, Health and Care Plans explained

Legal requirements

An ECHP is a legal document describing a young person's needs; what should happen to meet those needs and the suitable educational placement.

The plan must be person centred, focusing on the needs and hopes of the child or young person. The EHCP may continue beyond school into further education (eg college or an apprenticeship) and training, although not for university. Some young people may have their plan extended up to the age of 25 years old to support them into adulthood.

The Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: (Section 9.151) states:

“A local authority may cease a plan for a 19-25-year-old if it decides that it is no longer necessary for the EHCP to be maintained. Such circumstances include where the young person no longer requires the special educational provision specified in their Education, Health and Care plan.”

Education, health and social care services are required to co-operate in assessing needs and securing the provision recorded in the EHCP.

Early Years providers, schools and post-16 settings will continue to be required to use their 'best endeavours' to meet the needs of those with SEND in their local offer. They will also:

  • publish information on how they meet SEND in their Local Offer
  • ensure they have an SEN co-ordinator who is a qualified teacher (schools)
  • inform young people or parents if they believe they or their child has SEND