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Education, Health and Care Plans

If a child/young person (aged 0-25) with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) requires more help than a mainstream school, college or nursery can offer they may need an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

In the case of those with more severe and complex needs, an EHCP sets out a child/young persons special educational, health and social care needs and what is required from education, health and social care services to achieve the outcomes that are important to them.  It is a legal document detailing the extra help that will be given and explaining how that help will support them to meet their needs.

Do I need an EHCP?

Education, Health and Care Plans are for children and young people (0-25) whose special educational needs require more help than would normally be provided in a mainstream setting. 

Please note:  Although the plan can include health and/or social care needs, if your child only has health or social care needs that do not affect their education, they will not receive an EHCP.  They may still be eligible for health and/or social care needs through social care assessment.

How do I request an EHC assessment?

You, your child's school, or your child (if over 16 but under 25) can refer for an EHC plan needs assessment.

Prior to any referral we do advise that you seek further advice from:

  • your child’s educational setting, if they have one
  • the Dudley SEN Team – who manage the statutory assessment process.  Telephone:01384 814360.  Email:
  • SENDIASS: (formerly Dudley Parent Partnership) offer impartial advice and support to children/young people and their families on matters relating to special educational needs.  Telephone: 01384 817373

You should arrange for a discussion with any or all of the above to establish the reasons why an EHCP may or may not be appropriate.

Please note: Anyone else can bring a child or young person who has/may have SEN to our attention, particularly where you think an EHC needs assessment may be necessary. This should be done with the knowledge and where possible, the agreement of the child's parent or the young person themselves. For more information please refer to the SEND Code of Practice.

How long does it take?

Once a request is received from either you or the educational setting, a 20 week 'clock' begins. 

Week 6 - you will know if an assessment will be carried out.

Week 10 - you will know if we have agreed to issue an EHCP based on a completed assessment. 

Week 14 - if an EHCP has been agreed, you should have received a draft EHCP for consideration and will have the opportunity to state your preference for a setting, college or training provider. We will then consult those settings.

Week 20 - the final plan should be issued to you.

The EHC assessment process

To get an EHCP you will need to have an EHC needs assessment which involves a process of gathering information from the relevant people or agencies, including the views, interests and aspirations of you and your child/young person.

EHC assessment process

How long does an EHC plan last?

An EHCP will remain in place until your child leaves education (up to age 25). Following this they may be eligible for other care / support through Adult Social Care services.

Workshops and Events

We organise a range of events to help parents, carers and young people develop their knowledge and understanding of special educational needs and disability issues.

If you are a parent/carer of a child with SEND or a young person with SEND and are concerned about the support that is in place to help your child in school/college? Our Workshop on accessing the right support including information on EHCP's may be for you. 

Additional documents