Support for SEND

EHC plans and annual review

The Education, Health and Care plan

An EHC plan describes a child or young person's special educational, health and care needs. It sets outcomes that will help the child learn and prepare for the next stage of their education and adulthood - the outcomes will relate to their future:

  • skills and abilities
  • employment or higher education
  • independent living
  • good health
  • joining in with the community

The plans are legal documents that belong to the child or young person. They can start from birth and could continue into further education and training, so from the age of 0 to 25 years. They are reviewed every year so that they can adapt to the child's needs as they develop.

The SEND Code of Practice says:

The purpose of an EHC plan is to make special educational provision to meet the special educational needs of the child or young person, to secure the best possible outcomes for them across education, health and social care and, as they get older, prepare them for adulthood.   (9.2)

This animation below is a short introduction to EHC plans.

Annual Review of an EHC plan

When a child or young person has an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC plan) there is an ongoing requirement for the EHC plan to be reviewed by the local authority at least once a year. This is called the Annual Review. The local authority must decide whether to keep the plan as it is, make changes, or cease to maintain it within four weeks of the review meeting.