Launch Recite Me assistive technology

Accessibility Tool

Education, Health and Care plans and processes (EHCPs)

The majority of children and young people with SEND will be supported within their mainstream school through The Graduated Approach, quality first teaching, targeted and personalised support. Read more about how your child can be supported.

Some children, with more complex or long term needs that are impacting on their ability to access learning and develop independence, may require an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

What is an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP)?

An EHCP covers children and young people from 0 to 25 with long term and complex needs which impact on their access to education. The EHCP  is holistic and centred on the child or young person’s needs. The EHCP will be planned with parents and professionals and sets out a child or young person’s educational, health and care needs, and the provision they require in order to make progress. Read our guide to EHCPs, or read some examples of EHCPs produced by the Council for Disabled Children.  The EHCP is then reviewed at least annually to make sure the plan continues to reflect their progress and needs and the provision they need in order to achieve their potential and aspirations. 


Applying for an EHC Needs Assessment

A request for an EHC Needs Assessment for a child or young person up to the age of 16 years can be made by parent, carer, school, setting or other relevant professional. A request will generally only be made once support has already been put in place through the child or young person’s setting/school and at least two 'Assess, Plan, Do and Review' cycles (part of The Graduated Approach) have been completed. The parent, carer, school or setting can then request an EHC needs assessment. The case will be discussed at the SEND Inclusion Forum and if it is agreed that an assessment would be appropriate the LA will then coordinate the assessment and next steps.

If you feel that your child would benefit from an assessment, please read our guidance.   

All necessary documentation for schools and setting can be found in our EHCP documents for professionals section.

In addition, we have produced the following guidance document to provide more detailed information about what difficulties children and young people who qualify for an EHCP might experience. 

Guidelines for Assessment for Education, Health and Care Plan - Please check back regularly for updated versions

How long will it take?

At least two Assess, Plan, Do and Review cycles are usually completed before considering next steps and further support for a child or young person (each APDR cycle is between four and six weeks). With the SEN Support document schools will be able to evidence the targeted interventions they have provided, with regard to the graduated approach document and the EHC guidelines.

See our EHCP timescale flowchart and use our EHCP timescale calculator as a guide to how long the process may take.

Choosing a school for a child or young person with an EHCP

Most children with an EHC plan can be taught within mainstream schools - read more about choosing a school

If a child or young person has more severe or complex needs then they may need to go to a special school, or a special unit within a school - this will be discussed at the inclusion and EHC panel meeting and decided by the special school panel, which is made up of education, health and social care professionals.  

Find out about how to request a change of placement.

EHCPs Post 16

Students aged 16 - 18 should be accessing education or training and their EHCP will continue as long as the young person continues to make progress against educational outcomes. EHC Plans would ordinarily be reviewed prior to the Local Authority making a decision to cease the plan.

Students aged 16 to 25 with EHC plans who are continuing in education or training may have a range of options, including attending:

  • stay in full time education at
    • mainstream or special school sixth form
    • sixth form college
    • college of further education
    • specialist college for students with special educational needs
  • volunteer or work part time and study

Young people should be supported to exercise choice and control over their lives, including the four ‘preparing for adulthood’ outcomes:

  • moving into paid employment and higher education
  • independent living
  • having friends and relationships and being part of their communities
  • being as healthy as possible

More information on the four ‘preparing for adulthood’ outcomes can be found in chapter 8 of the SEND Code of Practice.

Information on SEND: 19-25 year olds' entitlement to EHC Plans can be found on The Gov website.

Further information about options with an EHCP can also be found on the National Careers Service website

What if I disagree?

If you disagree with any part of the proposed EHCP you should talk to your SEND officer. You can also:

  • talk to SENDIAS on 01908 254518 – an impartial source of information, advice and support
  • consider independent mediation - Global Mediation offers further information  
  • access an independent supporter through the Pre-School Learning Alliance - call 01908 263700.  

If no resolution is reached, the final plan will be issued and you will have the right of Appeal to the SEN tribunal.

What is an Annual Review?

When a child or young person has an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC plan) the Local Authority must review the plan as a minimum every 12 months. The review must focus on the child or young person's progress towards achieving the outcomes in the plan and must also consider whether these outcomes and supporting targets remain appropriate. This is often referred to as the Annual Review. (CoP 9.166)

The Local Authority has produced a timeline for EHCP reviews following SEND Code of Practice guidance. This will give more detail on expectations. 

For children aged 0 - 5 Local Authorities should consider reviewing the EHC plan every 3 to 6 months (CoP 9.178). Within Milton Keynes this review is ordinarily every 6 months. 

The Annual Review is more than just a review meeting, it is a process that must be completed within 12 months of the date when the EHC plan was first issued and then within 12 months of any previous review. (CoP 9.169)

An Annual Review must be undertaken in partnership with the child and their parent or the young person, and must take account of their views, wishes and feelings. (Cop 9.168)

Further information on Annual Reviews can be found on the Council for Disabled Children website.


EHCP Documents for professionals


SENDIAS contact information

Civic, 1 Saxon Gate East, Milton Keynes MK9 3EJ

EHCP team

EHCP team contact information

Civic, 1 Saxon Gate East, Central Milton Keynes MK9 3EJ

Feedback Form