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Education Health and Care Plans

In this section you will find out about EHC plans. 

What to do if you have concerns.

If you feel that your child may have special educational needs and might need extra support, it can

seem really daunting. The first step is to talk to your child’s class teacher, if you have worries about

school.  If it’s a health worry then talk to your GP or another health care professional who is helping your child.

Often your child’s school or setting will be able to meet their special needs. They’ll offer your child special educational provision (SEN support). This can be additional support, small group sessions, extra resources or learning in different ways to other children of their age.

The setting will always ask you for your views when they’re planning, monitoring and reviewing your child’s educational needs.

Look at the flowchart in the downloads section. It shows how the process in school is likely to work.

What if SEN support isn't enough?

What if SEN support isn't enough?

Sometimes a child or young person with special educational needs (SEN) will be getting SEN Support from their school or setting. Sometimes, reviews may show they need more support.

If this is the case, you or the setting can ask for an Assessment. There is a link to the EHC Hub in the download section for this.  By clicking ‘request assessment’ under the log on button the young person, parent or carer can request an assessment without logging on.  Most education settings will already have a log on and be familiar with the process, so it is worth discussing it with them. If you are not attending an education setting and cannot use the EHC Hub, please telephone the EHC Team and they will be able to help you.

There is no limit to how much parents and carers can add, once the request is registered with BMBC, you will receive your own log on details and can add supporting documents and/or short video clips.

You will need to work with the school or setting to ensure that you have provided all the required evidence and information.  The education setting will also be able to log on to the request and add supporting documents and information that you will also be able to view.

Once this is done a panel of people at the Local Authority will look at the information and decide on any extra support that might be needed.

From the point of assessment, the process should take no longer than 20 weeks.

For more details of what you and the school need to do and the times things take, please look at the other sections below.

In the case of very young children who aren't yet in an educational setting, early support will usually have been provided by a range of agencies working closely with the family.

The EHC process in brief

Getting an EHC plan follows 5 steps.

Step One - Identifying

This is when it is known or suspected that a child or young person has special educational needs and/or a disability (SEND). Also, SEN support hasn't been able to meet your child’s needs.

Step Two - Assessing

An EHC Needs Assessment collects information about a child/young person's education, health and care needs. They ask parents, the child and key professionals for their opinions. From the evidence collected the Local Authority then decide if they will issue an EHC Plan.

Step Three - Planning

When it is agreed that more support may be needed, the local authority will make a plan that will explain what sorts of extra support is needed.

Steps one to three of the process must be completed within 20 weeks.

Step Four - Actioning

This step is when the plan starts, and the support is given.

Step Five - Reviewing

Every year the progress in the EHCP is looked at during an annual review. Any changes needed are agreed with parents, the young person and professionals.



What parents need to do to support the assessment process.

There are two sections in the hub, one for the young person and one for the parent carer, here you can include as much information as you like, you can even upload documents, examples of work, photos and short video clips.  This section is included in the report sent in with the main assessment to support the application. There is no limit to how much parents can submit.  You can get support with completing this information from your child’s school, the EHC Team and/or SENDIASS, who are an independent information, advice and support service which is set up to support children and young people with SEND and their parents/carers,

What the school needs to do to support the assessment.

SENCOs should ensure a detailed application. This must highlight a child or young person’s needs. It should include provision and impact against progress. More information submitted at this stage will mean a robust decision can be made. 

EHC applications should include

Detailed Needs Analysis and how the parents’ views informed the setting’s understanding of the child or young person’s needs. 

Historical information about child or young person’s developmental milestones and rate of progress. 

Current information about the nature, extent and context of the child or young person’s SEN. 

Action being taken by the setting to meet each of the child or young person’s SEN.  Where progress has been made, it has only been as the result of extra support above what is usually provided. 

Details of the child or young person’s physical, emotional and social development and health needs.

Impact of evidence from clinicians and other health professionals and actions to meet recommendations; please be sure to include your NHS number as this helps the health professionals to access your details quickly and accurately when a request for information is sent from the EHC Hub.

How QFT has been embedded. As well as details of modified activities and routines and any reasonable adjustments which have been made.

All professional reports from within the last 12 months where advice is still active and ongoing.

Applications need detailed evidence to support the request. If too little evidence is presented, the decision groups may defer. This means school will need to submit additional information. Parents must be shown the completed application and evidence being used. The parents must sign to say they have seen the application and its contents, if they cannot log on to the hub themselves.  SENCOs or the EHC Team can download and print all the reports from the EHC Hub for the parent/carers/young person, if they are unable to access a computer.  The Library Service offers access to computers, digital training and free printing at many local libraries and they are very supportive of the EHC hub.


How to Apply for an EHC Needs Assessment – Information for Parents

You do not need to be able to log on to the hub to submit a request for an EHC.  Click on ‘request for needs assessment’ under the ‘log on’ button and you can submit a request. There is no limit to how much parents can submit.  Once the case has been registered with the EHC Team, you will be given log on details and be able to submit additional information and read any evidence submitted by education, health or social care professionals.


Including a Young Person’s Views

In the application there should be a recorded discussion of the child or young person’s needs. It should include any help and support and what more they need. There is a section on the EHC Hub for this.


How to Apply for an EHC Needs Assessment – Information for Parents

There is a separate form provided for this. Parents and child must complete and submit this with the application. There is no limit to how much parents can submit.


Including a Young Person’s Views

In the application there should be a recorded discussion of the child or young person’s needs. It should include any help and support and what more they need. The EHC team have made a template but schools can present this in a format that fits the child/young person’s age, stage of development and preferred communication method. Submit all as attachments with the application.

How long will it take?

The whole process will take a maximum of 20 weeks. There are legal requirements to complete certain parts of the process within that time.

Week 1

The application is received by the EHC Assistant Coordinators. They will review the information received and may ask for further evidence.

Weeks 2-6

The EHC Portal Group meets and decides whether to agree to carry out the Needs Assessment.

Weeks 4-6

Following the decision to carry out a Needs Assessment, an EHC Coordinator will be allocated to the family. They will contact the family/ young person to introduce themselves. They will explain the process and discuss suitable methods of contact.

Weeks 4-12

The Needs Assessment will be carried out. The coordinator gathers the information provided from all professionals. Next, the parents/carers/ young person will be given the chance to meet with the EHC Coordinator to discuss the information received.  This information will form the content of the EHC plan. This can be with the child/young person’s setting or in a separate meeting.  

Week 14

The case is sent to the Outcomes and Resources Group (ORG) by the coordinator from the EHC Team.

The group examine and discuss the information presented. They will decide whether an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is appropriate or not at this time. Parents/carers/young person and setting are informed of the outcome of the meeting. The EHC Coordinator will explain the next steps in the process.

Weeks 14-19

The EHC coordinator will put all the information into an EHC plan. They will issue a Draft version of the EHC plan to parent/carers/young person and settings. They have 15 days to respond with any thoughts or views. Once the content of the Draft is decided, the EHC Coordinator will begin discussions with settings. Settings have 15 days to agree if they can meet the needs of the child/young person outlined in the EHC Plan. The Local Authority will consider the parent/carers/young person’s preference for setting, along with local qualifying settings. They will consider representations made by the settings before naming them in the EHC Plan.

Week 20

The final plan is issued and sent out to parents/carers/young person and settings. The plan will be reviewed within 12 months of the issue date. If parents/carers/young person do not agree to the plan, they have the right to mediation and tribunal. The EHC Coordinator can explain this process and what to do next.

Annual reviews.

Annual reviews are carried out every year. They look at the child or young person’s progress in achieving the outcomes in the EHC Plan.

The review MUST also consider whether the outcomes and supporting targets remain appropriate.

Reviews will:

• Gather and look at information. This is so it can be used by Early Years settings, schools, colleges or other providers to support the child/young person’s progress and their access to teaching and learning

• Look at the provision made for the child or young person. Then see if it ensures access to teaching, learning and good progress

• Look at the health and social care provision made for the child or young person. Then see if it ensures good progress towards the outcomes

• Consider the appropriateness of the EHC Plan. This is based on the child or young person’s progress during the previous year. It also considers changed circumstances. It will decide whether changes are required. These may include changes to outcomes, enhanced provision, changes of educational placement, or whether the EHC Plan should be stopped.

• Review any short-term steps to achieve targets set by the setting

• Set new steps to achieve and the provision required

It is the setting’s responsibility to organise the Annual Review. This is unless the child or young person is electively home educated and then the EHC Coordinator will facilitate the meeting. It is important that:

• Dates for reviews are planned well in advance. It is recommended that the process of gathering

information should start at least 6 weeks before the date of the review.

• Enough time will be allowed to complete the review meeting

• The review meeting MUST be completed at least 4 weeks before the anniversary of the issue of a plan.

• If the child is under 5 years old, the reviews should be held every 6 months


Annual Review Paperwork

The annual review is managed on the EHC Hub, the existing plans can all be accessed on the hub.

Personal Budgets for children and young people with an EHC plan

A personal education budget is an amount of money that can be provided to deliver some of the provision in an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.

There are several ways a personal education budget can be managed.

  • By the child’s parents
  • By the LA, school or college
  • By a third party
  • A combination of all the above

Please note that personal education budgets must be agreed with the school/setting and/or the EHC Team.  You do not have to have a personal education budget. You or your child will not be worse off by not having one.

Personal education budgets can be asked for when agreeing the EHC plan. They can also be asked for at EHC plan review meetings.

The level of the budget and what it will fund will be agreed with you.  The outcomes of the Personal education budget must support your child to achieve. These will also be agreed with you.  You will be given an idea of the level of funding that is likely to be needed to meet the provision in the draft EHC plan.

A personal education budget may be used for the following provision:

Special Educational Provision.

Please contact the SEN Team on 01226 773966 for further information.

Personal health budget.

Continuing Health Care Criteria are applied to see if you can have a personalised health budget. The decision support tool (DST) will help with this. For more information please contact a health officer e.g. health visitor, school nurse, designated clinical officer, etc.

Short Breaks.

Access to short breaks is based on short breaks eligibility criteria. Please contact your social worker or the Disabled Children’s Team on 01226 774050 for further information.

The final amount of funding and the provision to be funded will be made by one of our multiagency Panels.

The members of the panel include education, health and social care representatives and one of our joint commissioners (who commissions services for children and young people with SEN and disabilities).

The criteria for agreeing the special educational provision element of Personal Budgets are being reviewed and will be published once the review is complete.

The EHC team.


The EHC team.

The EHC Team keeps children, young people and their families at the centre of what we do. We believe in a person-centred approach. This ensures that children, young people and parents are involved throughout the planning and decision-making process. We treat everyone as individuals and listen to what’s important to them.

We understand the difficulty surrounding SEND and EHC. We believe in a ‘share it once’ policy. We aim to reduce bureaucracy and share information sensitively and effectively. We coordinate the important information from families and other professionals to support the child or young person.

Effective communication is crucial to us. We have changed our process so that schools, families and other service users understand the steps we are taking and why we are taking them. By being clear and fair, we aim that everyone involved with the EHC Service receives an equitable service. This is no matter where you are based or who you are dealing with. Our processes are redesigned to be robust. This means that everyone can understand the decision or outcomes and why it was made.

Who We Are?

Every child or young person has a dedicated EHC Coordinator who will act as a guide through the EHC processes. They will support the family to achieve best outcomes. However, you can contact any

member of the EHC Service for support.

The EHC Service works within two age phases. These are split across the education settings.

Phase 1 supports children and their families from 0 to 14 years

Phase 2 supports young people and their families from 14 to 25 years.

At the end of Year 9, the Phase 1 Coordinator will pass the case on to the Phase 2 Coordinator. They will introduce themselves to the family. This allows discussions on preparation for adulthood and long-term outcome planning.

Complaints and Appeals



If your child has an EHCP, the local authority is responsible for making sure the support set out in the plan is being provided.  They will look into your complaint and the support in place for your child.

If it is about a draft plan contact the SEN Team on (01226) 773966. They will discuss any changes you wish to make.

If you need support with the process or issues with your child's EHCP, SENDIASS can help. They are an independent service that helps parents and young people deal with SEND issues.

If you are worried about the provision in an existing plan, then:

1:  Explain your concerns to the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) or the EHC Officer named on your letter.

2: If you feel your concern or complaint has not been sorted then follow the setting’s complaints procedure. You will usually have to put your complaint in writing to the school.

3. If you are still not happy then take your complaint to the governors of the school. If the school is an academy, take it to the trust of the school.

For more detailed information see ‘Complaints about schools'.

If you are still concerned about the support your child gets, then complain to the local authority using this online form.


You can appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST) if you disagree with a decision your local authority has made about an Education, Health and Care Plan.

You can find out about it by clicking here. 

Further advice

Further Advice

If you have more questions about the EHC process, contact the EHC team on 01226 773966. 

Or look online at EHCP Journeys. This website shows families’ views of the EHC process. 

EHC Team contact information during Covid19


Please feel free to get in touch with us if you have an EHCP question or a query and we will be

more than happy to support.

Our telephone number is: 01226 773966

Our team email is:

Please note that due to the unusual circumstance that we are currently working in, we can only be

contacted via telephone during the following times:

Monday to Thursday – from 10am until 12noon and then from 2pm until 4pm

Friday – from 10am until 12noon and then from 1:30pm until 3:30pm

Alternatively, if you know who you wish to speak to, you can contact the member of the team directly.

Assistant Coordinators

Linda Cooper   

Amanda Jukes

Rory Perry-Whitworth

Jo Dawson

Phase One Coordinators

Sue Yardley           

Amy Joyner

Ellen Rich                  

Harriet Sinclair


Phase Two Coordinators

Debra Keane

Cheryl Cooper-Jones

Daisy Bedford     


Placements and Planning Manager

Sarah McCarthy


Senior Coordinators

Mel Dyson    

Sarah Cairns

Lisa Burton      

Sean Cumminskey


Team Manager

Sara Barnett

Local Offer Guide - this is available in a printed format if families request it, email or call 0800 0345 340 Do you need help to use our website? Family Fund Apply now! - emergency funding for families on low incomes raising disabled or seriously ill children BMBC Guidance on Education, health and care needs assessments and plans due to temporary legislative changes relating to COVID-19
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