Education, Health & Care Plans (EHCP)


Useful videos produced by the Council for Disabled Children which explain EHC Plans and Annual Reviews


An Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) describes your child's needs (what he or she can and cannot do) and what needs to be done to meet those needs by education, health and social care services. 

The majority of children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) will have their needs met through universal mainstream provision. Children and young people with the highest level of need will be assessed for an EHCP, which will set out an overview of the child’s needs. The EHCP replaces SEN statements and Learning Difficulty Assessments (for older children) and will be for children and young people 0-25 years of age.

An EHCP needs assessment should not be the first step in assessing a child or young person’s special educational needs. It will usually follow on from planning already done with parents and young people with help from an early years provider, school or post-16 institution or other provider.

The EHC Assessment Team receive all requests for EHC Plans and work with parents and carers as children and young people go through the process. The team write the EHC Plans from the advice that comes in from the assessment. They work with schools to review plans and make sure that children's and young people's needs are met with the resources given to nurseries, schools and colleges. They answer questions and queries from settings and parents and carers.

What are the differences between EHC Plans and Statements?

EHC Plans Statements
EHC Plans, as the name suggests looks at your child’s needs across Education, Health and Social Care. That doesn’t mean your child will have needs in all three of these areas, but if they do, then the assessment and the plan should be joined up. Statements predominantly look at just your child’s education needs.
An EHC Plan Co-ordinator will guide you through the assessment and planning process, and if you want, you can also request help from an independent person called a mentor. SEN caseworkers are predominantly office based with little contact with the child and family.
EHC plans use a person centred approach and takes into account the views of the child and the family when they are created. Parents and carers can give views in writing
Parents and carers are involved alongside the EHC Plan Co-ordinator whilst they are writing the EHC plan – they are engaged throughout the process. Parents have the right to comment on the statement after it has been issued.
An EHC plan will clearly identify the resource available to meet the needs of the child. There are clear outcomes identified across the three areas of Education, Health and Social Care. The plan makes it clear what needs to be done to meet these outcomes. Resources are provided directly to the school, and they make the required provision.
With an EHC plan, you have the right to ask for a personal budget. This will not be appropriate in all cases, however the use of a personal budget could help to achieve a more flexible and personal approach to meeting the needs of the child. There is no right to ask for a personal budget for statements.
The EHC Plan will be written in easy to understand language. Statements tend to be written in more formal language.
The new legislation sets out to complete the whole assessment and planning process in no more than 20 weeks from referral through to completed plan. The current statutory assessment and statement process takes up to 26 weeks.

EHC Process Flowchart

How to request an EHC needs assessment for a child or young person

  • An EHC needs assessment can be requested for any child or young person who has or may have special educational needs requiring additional support to access the educational provision normally available from mainstream early years providers, schools and post 16 institutions.
  • A referral for an assessment will usually be made by the educational setting. However, parents (or an advocate on their behalf) and other professionals can also make a referral. Young people over the age of 16 (or an advocate on their behalf) also have a right to request an EHC needs assessment.
  • The relevant request form should be completed, supporting reports/documents attached, and then sent to the EHC Assessment Team (address details at the end of the form). EHC request forms are available here
  • Anyone who is unfamiliar with the EHC needs assessment process should contact the EHC Assessment Team on 01925 444071 for advice prior to making any referrals.
  • Once a request is received the Local Authority (LA) will consider the evidence submitted and make a decision. Locally agreed criteria will be used to support this process. Once the decision has been made an EHC Plan Co-ordinator will contact the parents and referrer with the decision.
  • Following the decision being made the EHC Plan Co-ordinator will contact the parent/young person to arrange a meeting to begin to collect information and get to know the family/young person. This person will maintain contact and offer support to the family/young person throughout the process.
  • Once all the information has been collected, the EHC Plan Co-ordinator will draft an EHC plan for consideration by parents/young person.
  • At this stage, parents/young person may be able to request a personal budget depending on their circumstances. This is an allocation of money to provide support to meet identified needs. The personal budget must support the outcomes identified in the EHC plan.
  • From receiving the submission to issuing the final plan, the LA has 20 weeks in which to complete the plan.


Some children and young people will not make appropriate progress despite the school having taken relevant and purposeful action to identify, assess and meet their special educational needs. The school or parent (or others) may wish to consider a request for an EHC needs assessment. The following criteria are guidelines which will help the local authority to decide when it is necessary to carry out an EHC needs assessment.

Click here for further details

EHC Request Form

Mediation and disagreement resolution services

Wherever possible Warrington Borough Council and/or Health Commissioners will try and fix issues or areas of disagreement by meeting and talking with those involved. This includes not only the parents and carers but also the children and young people themselves.

It is recognised that sometimes it's not possible to reach a resolution without the help of a third party. 

Local Authorities MUST make available INDEPENDENT mediation provision. Kids SEND Mediation and Disagreement Resolution Service provides this for Warrington Borough Council.

Services will be available to all families of children with special educational needs and/or disabilities additional needs and, if appropriate, will be available directly to young people over the age of 16.

Families wanting further information about services available should contact their Case Co-ordinator within the Inclusion Service.

Contact Details

Name: EHC Assessment Team

Address: New Town House, Buttermarket Street, Warrington, WA1 2NH

Telephone: 01925 444071

To find out more, including how to submit a comment, compliment or complaint, plus the policies and procedures for general complaints, and complaints relating to adult social care, schools or councillors, visit the council website complaints section

SEND appeals tribunal

The role of the tribunal

The first-tier tribunal is overseen by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service. It hears appeals against decisions made by local authorities in England about children and young people’s education, health and care needs assessments and Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP). It also hears disability discrimination claims against schools and local authorities.

Click here for further details

Single Route of Redress - National Trial


The Government are extending the powers of the First-tier Tribunal (SEND), sometimes referred to as the ‘SEND Tribunal’, to make non-binding recommendations about the health and social care aspects of Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans as part of a two-year trial. The trial will apply to decisions made or EHC plans issued/amended from 3 April 2018.  

To date, you have only been able to appeal the educational aspects of EHC plans. The trial gives you new rights to request recommendations about the health and social care needs and provision specified in EHC plans, in addition to the educational aspects, when making a SEND appeal. This gives you the opportunity to raise all your concerns about an EHC plan in one place.

It is only possible for the Tribunal to consider the health and/or social care aspects of the EHC plan where you are already making an appeal in relation to the education aspects of the EHC plan and the education aspect must remain live throughout the appeal.

Click for further details


Contact Us

EHC Assessment Team - Main Contact 

Address: Integrated Services c / o New Town House, Buttermarket Street, Warrington, WA1 2NH

Telephone: 01925 442917

Other useful links and documents