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Education Health and Care Plans

Education Health and Care Plans ( EHCP) are legal documents which set out a child or young person’s special educational needs and the support that is required to meet these needs. This includes  a suitable education setting ( nursery/school/college).
EHCP’s focus on  outcomes ( long and short term goals) and the steps that need to be taken to achieve those outcomes.

Education Health and Care (EHC) Needs assessment

Before a child or young person is given an EHCP, an assessment of their needs must be completed. An assessment of need is carried out if the information given to the Local Authority evidences that the child may have a special educational need and may need the support of an EHCP.
When completing an EHC needs assessment the local authority will gather professional advice as well as views from parent carers, children and young people to determine what needs the child or young person has. This information is used to decide whether an EHCP is needed.

Outcome of EHC needs assessment

If the assessment demonstrates that the child / young person has significant, complex and long-term Special Educational Needs that require provision which is additional and different to that available to the majority of their peers then it is likely that the local authority will issue an EHC plan for the child / young person. The EHC plan will then be reviewed on annually through the Annual Review process.

EHCP Frequently asked questions

What is the criteria for an Education, Health and Care Plan?

Children and young people aged 0 to 25 years will be eligible for an EHC plan if there is evidence from the EHC needs assessment that their needs cannot be reasonably provided for within the resources normally available to mainstream early years settings, schools and post-16 education providers.

Who can ask for an Education, Health and Care needs assessment?

The following people have a specific right to ask a local authority to conduct an Education, Health and Care needs assessment for a child or young person aged between 0 and 25: 

the child’s parent, 

a young person over the age of 16 but under the age of 25, and 

a person acting on behalf of a school or post-16 education provider (this should ideally be with the knowledge and agreement of the parent or young person where possible)

How can a parent carer or young person ask for an EHC needs assessment?

Parents and Young People can make a direct request to the local authority for an EHC needs assessment by writing to the SEN Team at:

Portsmouth City Council
Inclusion Service: SEN Team
Floor 2, Civic Offices,
Guildhall Square
Portsmouth, PO1 2EA.


Once the request has been received the SEN Team will contact the child / young person’s
educational setting to request the information detailed above

What happens if my child or young person does not get an EHCP?

Not all EHC needs assessments will end up with the child or young person getting an EHCP. Usually, this will be because the outcome of the assessment shows that the child / young person’s Special Educational Needs can be met  at ‘SEN Support’ level.

If this is the decision, the local authority will issue a ‘Summary of Assessment’ for the child / young person. This will hold all of evidence gathered in the EHC needs assessment and the suggested recommendations made by professionals.

However, the summary of assessment is an advisory document only – it does not have the same legal status or offer the same protections as an EHC plan and the education setting, local authority or health authority partners cannot be compelled to implement the recommendations.

The Summary of Assessment will not name an educational setting.

How do I appeal a decision not to undertake an EHC needs assessment or issue an EHCP?

If you do not agree with a decision not to complete an EHC needs assessment or issue an EHCP there are a number of steps you can take.

You can contact the SEN team and discuss your concerns first.

If you still are not happy you can then appeal the decisions.

Before you can appeal you will need to consider mediation – this can be done by contacting Global Mediation services. If you do not think mediation will be helpful you will need to ask for a mediation certificate before you can formally lodge an appeal with the First Tier Tribunal.

You have 2 months from the date of the formal  letter from the Local Authority or 30 days from the date on the mediation certificate ( whichever is greater) to lodge an appeal.

If you would like some help you can contact Portsmouth IASS for further information and advice.




Portsmouth SENDIASS

An impartial service providing information, advice and guidance on SEND.

Portsmouth SENDIASS


IPSEA offers independent legally based advice, support and training to help get the right education for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

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Portsmouth Parent Voice

Helping parent carers of young people aged 0-25 with additional needs and disabilities to shape and improve local services

Portsmouth Parent Voice

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