Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans

An EHC Plan is a legal document prepared by the local authority that describes the specialist support children and young people with complex and long-term needs will require to make progress in their education and learning and to achieve their full potential.

The EHC plan:

  • applies to children and young people from birth to 25 years (if the person stays in education or training)
  • describes a child or young person’s strengths and needs
  • brings together in one place all the information about a child or young person and the support needed from education, health and social care
  • is designed in partnership with families to enable children and young people with complex and long-term needs to set their own goals for what they want to achieve, now and in the future
Developed by the Council for Disabled Children, an easy to follow short animation for parents, practitioners and others who want to quickly learn about the education health and care (EHC) planning process.

Address your request in writing to the City of London’s SEND EHC Caseworker, who will arrange for it to be considered by the SEND panel, a multi-agency panel of professionals from education, health and social care.

However, before you request an assessment we recommend you first talk to your child’s teacher about his or her needs and how they are being met. You may want to include the school or setting’s special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) in these discussions.

We will contact you to discuss your request and to explain what will happen next.

SEND Caseworker
Education and Early Years Service
City of London Corporation
PO BOX 270
Guildhall North Wing
London EC2P 2EJ

A small number of children do not make as much progress as they should after receiving additional support in their early years setting or school. They may need further, more significant and longer-term support.

If you think that your child may need this more significant level of support you can request that the City of London Education and Early Years Service carries out a formal assessment of your child's SEN. This is also sometimes called a Statutory Assessment.

All requests for formal assessments will be considered by the City of London and decided against consistent and rigorous criteria.

All requests will be decided against consistent and rigorous criteria which consider:

  • Whether your child has complex special educational needs and/or disability that affect their everyday life
  • Whether your child needs support that is not normally available in their school or setting
  • Whether your child needs intensive support from other services such as health and/or social care
  • What support is already in place under the Local Offer and what progress, if any, your child is making
  • Your child’s progress with the support he or she is currently receiving

We will inform you of the decision within six weeks of receiving the request.

Please note: Children or young people whose health or care needs are considered exceptional but whose educational needs can be met from the resources available to the school or setting, do not normally require an EHC plan.

We will inform you of the decision in writing and arrange to meet with you to:

  • Explain the assessment process and how you and your child will be fully involved
  • Discuss whether any additional information is required
  • Explain how this additional information will be collected
  • Arrange a meeting with you and the professionals working with you and your child to discuss your child’s strengths and needs and to agree outcomes to be achieved

If your son or daughter is over 16, we are required by law to inform them directly of our decision unless they have requested that you act on their behalf or if they are judged not to have the capacity to make their own decisions.

If an assessment is needed, you will be invited to take part in a PATH meeting.

A PATH is a creative style of meeting that uses both process and graphic facilitation to help any group develop a shared vision for the child/young person’s future. The focus will be on creating a plan that will prepare the child/young person as they grow up, creating goals for the next few years. This should look at developing their education, independence skills, being sociable and doing things they enjoy, both inside and outside of school, and being healthy.

These planning meetings will be arranged by the Local Authority SEND Team for two reasons.

  • if the child/young person is going through the Education, Health, and Care (EHC) needs assessment process. This planning meeting will be arranged once we have gathered all the assessment reports and will be incorporated into their SEND support plan or EHC plan going forward.
  • If the child/young person is transitioning onto the next key stage of education and this plan will support the transition.

The PATH session will be led by two trained facilitators: a process facilitator who guides people through the stages and ensures that the child/young person is at the centre throughout, and a graphic facilitator who creates a large graphic record of each of the steps in the PATH.

This meeting will be an informal and child-friendly style of meeting, so that we can ensure that the child/young person is comfortable to capture their views, wishes and aspirations.

There are 6 steps in the PATH process, with particular questions and conversations at each step.

We will break off into groups and consider the following:

  • What we would like to see in the child/young person’s dream future,
  • Targets we would like them to achieve in the next 3 years,
  • What things look like now for them,
  • Who needs to support them with this,
  • What skills and support we need to ensure are in place to be able to carry out this plan,
  • and what immediate actions we can each agree.

Who to invite to a PATH?
Where appropriate, we encourage that the child/young person attends this. We will discuss with you how best to support them with this. They should be allowed maximum choice and control over who attends as it is their planning meeting.

We would encourage you to invite as wide a range of participants as you can including other children/young people (if a disabled child), family and a wider range of natural supports who love and care for him/her as well as the staff team. If the child/young person is going through the EHC needs assessment process, this will include professionals who have contributed assessments to this process.

This should be kept simple as it is a planning meeting for the child/young person to have a good a life as possible…

A PATH usually lasts between 60 and 90 minutes.

Further guidance can be found here:

Where does PATH take place?
PATH often take place online, using Zoom, but can be organised face to face, somewhere the child/ young person chooses/feels very comfortable. We need space for participants and a wall space for the large graphic. A playlist can be prepared with music the young person likes to listen to.

It may be worth considering if their favourite snacks/drink can be made available.

Outcome of the meeting
During this PATH, we will have developed a plan for the child/young person to support them over the next few years.

If the child/young person is going through the EHC needs assessment process, when the Local Authority considers whether to issue an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan for the child/young person, this plan will be taken into consideration. If an EHC plan is agreed, this plan will be incorporated into the EHC plan. If it is not agreed, it is expected that their educational placement will incorporate this into their own school-based SEND support plan. You will be informed of this decision within 16 weeks of the date the request for the EHC needs assessment was made.

If this PATH has been arranged as the child/young person is transitioning to another key stage of education, this plan will be amended and incorporated into their EHC plan following their next annual review meeting.

You can find more information on the PATH process here:

We will inform you of the decision in writing and arrange to meet with you and your child’s school or setting to discuss how your child’s needs will be met within the resources available to the school or setting and through the local offer.

We will also inform you of your right to appeal the decision to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.

The purpose of the animations is to help explain the EHCP process and its important relationship with the Person Centred Connection.