What education, health and care plans are for

Some children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) will be given additional support from their education setting to meet their needs.

If your child or young person has been identified as having, or possibly having SEN, an agreed approach to support them will be put in place. Their education setting will involve you throughout this process.

This means that most children with SEND don’t need an education, health and care (EHC) plan.

Before you request a needs assessment

Talk to your child or young person's education setting

Your child or young person's school is best placed to request an EHC needs assessment as they are required to provide evidence to support it. If they are attending an early years setting you should speak with your child's key person to discuss what support is needed.

You should speak to the school's SENCO about any concerns around their progress or support they are currently receiving. They will be able to discuss with you what additional support is available and advise the best next steps.

If you need additional confidential and impartial information, advice and support, you can contact Information, Advice and Support Kent.

Find out what support your education setting should be providing

Every education setting has an obligation to support children and young people with SEND to support their potential and to make sure that they're included at every opportunity, as outlined in the:

How can an EHC plan help

An EHC plan may be needed if:

  • your child or young person's needs cannot be met through the support they are currently getting in their mainstream educational setting. Your education setting has done everything they can and your child or young person requires additional support.
  • despite the support provided, your child or young person isn't making progress in their learning or development, or when the progress they are making is due to significant levels of support.

Download an easy read guide to understand what an EHC plan is from IASK.

An EHC plan

  • is written by Kent County Council

  • sets out clearly the parent, child or young person’s views and aspirations for the future

  • includes information and advice from the education, health or social care professionals who know or are working with the child or young person

  • describes the child or young person’s special educational needs and their strengths

  • states the outcomes that the EHC plan will support the child or young person to achieve

  • sets out clearly the support to be given to enable the child or young person to achieve the outcomes that are written in their EHC plan

  • is a legal document issued by the local authority that the education setting must follow

  • prepares the child or young person for adulthood

Request an EHC needs assessment

If you have spoken to your child or young person's education setting about your concerns and despite the support provided, your child or young person isn't making progress in their learning or development, or when the progress they are making is due to significant levels of support, an EHC needs assessment can be requested.

Any parent or any young person over the age of 16 can request an EHC needs assessment.

If you need additional advice and support whilst completing your request, you can contact Information, Advice and Support Kent.