Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans
Nottinghamshire County Council is committed to educating children and young people with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND) in their local mainstream school or post-16 setting. The support and where needed money can be provided so that children and young people can learn alongside their siblings and friends.
If a child or young person needs more support then an EHC plan can be considered.
What is an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan?
An Education, Health and Care plan (EHC) is a legal document which describes a child or young person’s special educational needs, the support they need, and the outcomes they would like to achieve. An EHC plan looks at all the needs that a child or young person has within education, health and care. Professionals and the family, including the child or young person, together consider what educational, health and care outcomes they would like to see for the child or young person. The EHC plan identifies what is needed to achieve those outcomes.
The special educational provision described in an EHC plan must be provided by the child or young person’s Local Authority (LA).
The EHC plan does not provide any additional funding to families or schools, nor is the EHC plan any guarantee that children or young people will be given a special school placement.
All mainstream schools in Nottinghamshire have access to additional funding and support, advice and guidance from specialist teams who can support schools to provide the best provision for pupils with SEN. For further information on SEN support in schools please visit the Special Educational Needs Support page on the SEND Local Offer website
Does my child need an EHC Plan to meet their special educational needs?
Not necessarily. Schools have a duty to identify children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and/or Disabilities and put support in place for them. Most children and young people with special educational needs will have their needs meet in local mainstream settings.
An Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan are for children and young people whose special educational needs require more help than would normally be provided in a mainstream education setting (school, college, nursery).
If after a child/young person has been receiving a high level of ‘SEN Support’ and is still not making satisfactory progress, the Local Authority may be asked to complete an EHC needs assessment. This assessment is undertaken when it may be necessary for a child/young person to have support which is only available with an EHC Plan.
What is an EHC Needs Assessment? How do I request one?
What is an EHC Needs Assessment?
An EHC Needs Assessment is an assessment of a childs or young persons education, health and care needs. It is the first step in knowing if a child or young person requires an EHC plan.
The Local Authority must notify the parent or young person of their decision whether or not they will issue a plan within a maximum of 16 weeks from the request for assessment.
How do I request an EHC Needs Assessment?
In Nottinghamshire, we ask that, wherever possible, parents discuss an EHC needs assessment request with their school/educational setting. Parent/carers or a young person (if over 16yrs) can request an EHC Needs Assessment directly through the EHC Digital Hub.
We recommend that the next steps are to:
- arrange a meeting with a professional in the school/education setting, usually the SENCO
- decide if you and/or the school/education setting wish to make an EHC needs assessment request
If a decision has been made to proceed with an EHC needs assessment, this can be completed through the EHC Digital Hub
What if I can not complete the request online?
Where needed a request can be made by completing the following form which can be found under 'downloads' on this page:
- EHC needs assessment request information from parent/carer and consent form
Once completed send to the Integrated Children's Disability Service on the contact details below (please note that the email address will depend on which district you live in):
Newark, Sherwood & Bassetlaw: ICDSEHCBandNSLocality@nottscc.gov.uk
Mansfield and Ashfield: ICDSEHCMandALocality@nottscc.gov.uk
Broxtowe, Gedling and Rushcliffe: ICDSEHCBGRLocality@nottscc.gov.uk
Tel: 0115 804 1275
What if I need further support?
If you require support in requesting a EHC Needs Assessment please contact Ask Us Nottinghamshire Tel: 0800 121 7772 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The EHC Digital Hub and Guides
What is the EHC Hub?
To go straight to the hub if you already have an account please click on the following link: EHC Hub
Parent/Carers how to Register for an Account
A short video is also available here: Registering for an account
Requesting a new EHC assessment
To request a new EHC assessment please click on the following link: EHC Assessment
Managing your EHC Hub Account
Contrinbuting to an EHC Needs Assessment - Guidance for Families and Young people
How to contribute ahead of a review meeting
A video is also available here, please click the image below
Frequently Ask Question about your EHC Hub
What happens if the Request for Assessment is accepted and is agreed to go ahead?
If a ‘Yes to Assess’ decision is made then the EHC needs assessment will start. The EHC Needs Assessment involves collecting views, information and advice which will inform the decision as to whether or not a statutory EHC Plan is required.
Reports will be gathered from key people, including:
- Parent and/or those with caring responsibilties
- Child, Young Person if appropriate
- Education settings
- Educational Psychologist
- Health professionals
- Social care professionals
- Other professionals who are involved
Once requested, the reports have to be returned to the Integrated Children's Disability Service (ICDS) within 6 weeks.
If an EHC needs assessment is agreed, a Case Worker (CW) is allocated. The Case Worker will support your family with the completion of the ‘All About Me’ section on the EHC Digital Hub.
The 'All About Me' sets out the child/young person's strengths and needs; what is working well and what is not working so well; what is important to them; as well as their hopes and aspirations for the future.
What if the Local Authority decide not to carry out an EHC needs assessment?
If the Local Authority decide not to carry out an EHC needs assessment they must inform the parent or young person of the reasons why this decision was made. The decision can be discussed with the school/educational setting as there may be further support that could be requested or provided as part of the graduated response. The parent or young person can appeal this decision.
For further information on how to appeal this decision please click on the following link: here Disagreements and Complaints
You can also refer to the document on Local Authority decisions about EHC needs assessments by clicking on the icon below:
How is a decision made on whether an EHC Plan is required?
After the EHC needs assessment has taken place a group of Health, Education and Social Care Professional meet and read all the information and reports gathered during the EHC needs assessment process. They discuss:
- The child/young person’s special educational needs.
- Whether the current special educational provision is working.
- Whether the child/young person is making enough progress.
- Whether the child/young person needs something different or extra than could be reasonably be provided from within the resources normally available to mainstream settings.
The Local Authority then decides if it is necessary for the special educational provision to be made in accordance with an EHC plan.
The family will receive a letter informing them of the decision. If this is a ‘Yes to Plan’ decision, then the Case Worker will draft the plan and the process will continue.
The LA should then send the final EHC plan to the parent or young person within 20 weeks from the date the assessment was requested.
What happens if the decision is that an EHC Plan is not required?
If following assessment the Local Authority decide that an EHC Plan is not needed copies of the reports will be provided to the family and school/education setting. We suggest that you contact the school/educational setting to arrange a meeting to discuss the reports with the education staff. You may decide to use the pre-set date which was set aside for the ‘Next Steps’ meeting with school/educational setting and involved professionals. Please be aware that the Case Worker will not attend, as following the completed EHC needs assessment their role has now ended. At the meeting you can decide together how to continue supporting your child.
Legal Basis for the Decision
The Local Authority (LA) must decide whether it will issue an EHC plan for the child or young person based on the evidence it has gathered as part of the EHC needs assessment. The legal test which the LA must apply is found in section 37(1) of the Children and Families Act 2014 which says:
“(1) Where, in the light of an EHC needs assessment, it is necessary for special educational provision to be made for a child or young person in accordance with an EHC plan -
(a) the local authority must secure that an EHC plan is prepared for the child or young person, and
(b) once an EHC plan has been prepared, it must maintain the plan.”
Therefore the LA must decide, on the basis of the evidence from the EHC needs assessment, whether it is necessary for the child or young person to have an EHC plan.
If the Local Authority decide not to issue an EHC Plan
If the LA decides not to issue an EHC plan, it must tell the parent or young person within 16 weeks of the date the request for an assessment was made. The parent or young person can appeal this decision. For further information on how to appeal a decision to the First Tier Tribunal please click on the following link here Disagreements and Complaints
You can also refer to the document on Local Authority decisions about EHC Plans by clicking on the icon below:
If following assessment the panel decide that a statutory EHC Plan is not needed copies of the reports will be provided to the family and education setting. It is important that the reports are discussed with the educational setting. We suggest that you contact the educational setting to arrange a meeting to share the reports with the education staff. At the meeting you can decide together how the current support matches the recommendations in the reports. It may be that during the discussion you identify further steps to be taken to ensure that advice from professionals is used in supporting your child or young person.
What information should an EHC Plan contain?
There is no national standard format for the EHC plan. However it must have certain sections that are clearly labelled.
The sections are:
A: The views, interests and aspirations of you and your child.
B: Special educational needs (SEN).
C: Health needs related to SEN.
D: Social care needs related to SEN.
E: Outcomes – how the extra help will benefit your child
F: Special educational provision (support).
G: Health provision.
H: Social care provision.
I: Placement – type and name of school or other institution (blank in the draft plan)
J: Personal budget arrangements.
K: Advice and information – a list of the information gathered during the EHC needs assessment.
The different sections may at first seem confusing. It can help to understand that there are three sections on needs (i.e. your child’s difficulties) that are matched by corresponding provision (the help your child will get) to meet those needs:
“Section B: Special educational needs” are met by “Section F: special educational provision”.
“Section C: Health care needs” are met by “Section G: health care provision”.
“Section D: Social care needs” are met by “Section H: social care provision”.
Does the EHC Plan get reviewed?
EHC Plans must be reviewed at least annually and it is usually the school/education setting that will arrange this. Reviews should involve the child/young person as much as possible. From Year 9 onwards there must be a focus on Preparing For Adulthood.
Annual Review Guide for Young People produced by the Council of Disabled Children
Amy, from Nottinghamshire and a member of Council for Disabled Children’s youth advisory group FLARE, has made a leaflet that will help young people understand this meeting, what they should do, how they could prepare and where they can find free independent advice and support about it.
It’s really important that young people understand what these meetings are and how to prepare for them so they can get their thoughts and experiences across. Amy has shared some suggestions on how young people can prepare to share their views for their annual review meeting.
It’s vital that young people have their views and ambitions shared in the way they want them to be, so using this resource could help organising their thoughts or if they don’t really understand what the meeting is for.
Please click here to view the guide or on the image below:
Personal Budgets (EHC Plans)
Children and Young People with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan have the right to request a personal budget. Personal Budgets are intended to give young people and/or families greater control over the resources that are available to support them.
What can be included in a personal budget will develop and evolve over time. Parents and/or the young person must always be involved in planning the Personal Budget.
Personal Budgets enable the Council and Health to share decisions about support and provision with children or young people and their families with the belief that if people have more control over the resources available to them they will find the best solutions and support that works best for them.
Who Can Have a Personal Budget?
If your child has an EHC plan issued by Nottinghamshire you may request to have a personal budget to meet the outcomes detailed in the plan. Some part of the Personal Budget could be taken as a direct payment to you, or a suitable person on your behalf. A direct payment is the allocation of funding, which is sufficient to meet your assessed needs and can give you much more freedom to arrange the services you want from the companies or carers you prefer.
Sometimes the Local Authority may not agree to a Personal Budget. If that happens, the Local Authority will tell you why.
What Can You Use a Personal Budget For?
To pay for resources to help meet the outcomes identified in your EHC plan. This may include services or other items including equipment which are needed to provide support.
How Do You Get a Personal Budget?
The Integrated Children's Disability Service (ICDS) Assessment Team and other professionals involved will help by talking to you about the outcomes and the support that your child may need to help them reach their goals as they progress through the EHC plan pathway.
The ICDS Assessment Team, together with you and your child, will write an EHC plan that describes outcomes and goals. The plan will also describe how these can be achieved and the resources that are required to meet the outcomes. The ICDS Assessment Team will advise you on those resources which may be taken as a direct payment.
Will my child be entitled to any other financial support?
For further details of other financial support including welfare benefits please click here Money Matters and Personal Budgets
Disagreements and Complaints
When Local Authorities make certain decisions about the education and/or training of a child or young person with special educational needs and/or a disability (SEND), there is a right of appeal to the First-tier Tribunal. This includes:
- Decisions about whether to carry out an EHC needs assessment
- Local Authority decisions about Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans
For further information on how to appeal a decision to the First Tier Tribunal please click on the following link: Disagreements and Complaints
Where can I get further information, advice and support?
Ask Us Nottinghamshire
This service offer free impartial and confidential information, advice and support for parents/carers of children/young people with special educational needs and disabilities. This service is also available directly for young people. They can offer telephone support but also face to face support can be arranged if appropriate e.g. help with completing certain forms, writing letters and attending school meetings.
Their helpline operates Mon, Weds & Fri 9:00 - 13:00. Tues & Thurs 13:00 - 17:00.
Tel: 0800 121 7772 or email: email@example.com