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Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans


The Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice states that local authorities must conduct an assessment of education, health and care needs and prepare an Education Health and Care (EHC) Plan when it considers that it may be necessary for special educational provision to be made for a child or young person. This is likely to be where the special educational provision required to meet the child or young person’s needs cannot reasonably be provided from within the resources normally available to mainstream early years providers (for example, nurseries), schools and post 16 institutions (for example, colleges). 

Education, Health and Care Plans (this is sometimes referred to as a Single Plan in Gateshead) replaced statutory statements of SEN across the UK. The main difference between an EHC Plan and a statement is that an EHC Plan covers the age range 0-25 years and includes health and social care support that is required as well as education.  

How to request an EHC (Single) Plan assessment

In most cases, children and young people identified as having complex SEN will be referred for an EHC (Single) Plan assessment by a relevant professional, for example; a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO), teacher, educational psychologist, health worker, etc. However, parents and carers can also request that the local authority carry out an EHC Plan assessment.  

How long does it take to complete the EHC (Single) Plan assessment process?

The whole process from initial referral to getting a decision about whether the child/young person will receive an EHC (Single) Plan should take no longer than 20 weeks. This workflow diagram highlights the EHC Plan assessment process, indicating the key stages of the 20 week assessment timescale. You can find more detailed information about what happens during the 20 week assessment process in this EHC (Single) Plan guidance leaflet for families, which includes an A-Z of key contacts. The local authority Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Team will keep parents/carers informed at key stages of the assessment process and whether the child/young person will receive an EHC Plan. 

When will my child's Statement of SEN be converted to an EHC (Single) Plan?

The government has informed all local authorities that Statements of SEN need to be converted to an EHC Plan by September 2018 and Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDA's) need to be converted by September 2016. More information about how we are managing the conversions in Gateshead:   

Statements to EHC Plan conversions (22Kb)

20 week transfer process diagram (53Kb)

During the academic year 2014/15, we converted 131 statements to Single Plans. During the 2015/16 academic year we converted a further 423 statements to Single Plans. So far during the 2016/17 academic year, we have converted 37 statements to Single Plans and will convert a further 171 by the end of the year.

What kind of support is available for children and young people with an EHC (Single) Plan?

You can find more information about the support available in Gateshead for children/young people aged 0-25 with SEN or disabilities, whether they have an EHC Plan or not, by clicking on the links below:

Special Educational Needs and Disability Team
Gateshead Council
0191 433 3626

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