Educational, Health and Care Plan
July 25, 2023

What is an EHCP (Educational, Health and Care Plan)?

EHCP stands for Educational, Health and Care Plan. It is a document where the education, healthcare and social needs of a child who needs additional support in school.

The Educational, Health and Care Plan was formerly known as a ”statement of special educational needs.” Children who have an EHCP are entitled to receive personal and one-to-one support in school. In this case, agencies such as behavioral experts or physiotherapists will be involved in providing support to the child.

In public schools in the UK, support must be provided to children with special education needs (SEN) as per the standard offer. This process is called SEN support. If a child needs or requires additional support that is outside the typical capabilities of school, college, or nursery, they may need an Education Health and Care Plan.

An EHCP is basically a legal document where the special education, health and social care needs of a child or a teenager are outlined. It lists all of the special education needs of the child. This legally binding document also sets out the provision to meet each of the needs and this has to be detailed and quantified. An EHCP also lays out the location, school, and setting that will provide the provision.

Difference Between IEP and EHCP

Essentially, both the Individualized Education Program (IEP) and Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) are there to provide the child the support they need to succeed academically. If your child has additional needs or special educational needs (SEN), one of these support plans could help. Both plans focus on your child’s specific needs to help them achieve their full potential.

Special educational needs (SEN) may come into play if your child has emotional or behavioral difficulties or cognitive difficulties such as learning or understanding. SEN also encompasses speech, language, and communication problems or sensory or physical difficulties where they may have a medical condition or some visual or hearing impairments.

In terms of legal matters, a child is considered to have special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty or a disability that would require them to receive special education provision.

The difference between IEP and EHCP is that IEP is a plan where the child’s annual goals for the school year as well as any special support they would need to achieve these goals are listed out. Typically, the parents or caregivers get together to create an IEP and put it in place. A school can prepare an IEP to support any child and this is usually a step that is often done before applying to EHCP. If the school is able to provide for the child’s needs, then an EHCP may not be necessary.

An EHCP is a legal document where the special educational needs of the child are outlined in detail. Since this is a legally binding document, the local authority has a legal obligation to provide the support needed. An EHCP is drawn out if the child’s special needs are beyond what the school can provide with their resources. If the school is able to provide for the special educational needs, then the local authority will not consider the request. EHCP

What are the Benefits of EHCP?

The main idea in applying for EHCP is to have your child achieve their full potential and get the special services they need. The EHCP not only assesses the educational needs of the child but also provides an insight into what services they need across their health and care, providing an all-encompassing service.

This plan is made up for the child until their 25th age, meaning that they will have secured special services through their teenage years, except in university. Once a plan is set up specifying what they need, the law mandates that these supports listed on the plan must be provided to the child.

Additionally, the EHCP also provides additional help that the teachers, as well as students, need to ensure the integration of the student with special needs into the mainstream school. Since the plan is created with involvement from parents or caregivers, they are a big part of the process and they can voice their concerns and opinions as to their child’s needs.

Can a Child with Dyslexia Get an EHCP?

The answer to this question depends on the special educational needs of the child. If the child has a diagnosis, they may need support in school. If they are not supported in the appropriate way, then they may face the risk of not meeting their full potential.

Dyslexia is a learning difficulty. This could affect and turn into difficulties with literacy, the way we process, store, and retrieve information and many other aspects of memory and processing. It may occur with ADHD and Autism.

Under the definition of a Special Educational Need defined in the law, dyslexia is considered as a learning difficulty or disability, which requires special educational provision to be drawn up. In practical terms, this means that the child has a difficulty in learning compared to the majority of others of the same age.

Every child has the right to a local-authority maintained mainstream education. Each of these maintained schools have a set budget for each child. If the child needs additional support, there is also an additional budget for that too. If this budget is exhausted and the child’s special needs are still not met, then the child may fail.

At this stage, if your child’s needs are not being met, it is your legal right to request an EHC needs assessment. The local authority then has to assess where your child may have special educational needs. You will probably be asked to produce evidence to support this claim, including diagnosis, therapy and school reports and records. This evidence is important as the request may be rejected and you might have to appeal.

In the end, depending on your child’s needs, it might be possible that they qualify for EHCP.


This article is examined by Clinical Child Psychologist and Ph. D. Researcher Kevser Çakmak, and produced by Otsimo Editorial Team.

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This post does not provide medical advice. See Additional Information.