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Education, health and care (EHC) plan

We use EHC assessments to decide if a child or young person needs an EHC plan.

The purpose of an EHC plan

The EHC plan explains the support a child or young person will get in school. It can also describe support from health or social care, if they're involved. It also shows what friends, family and others in the community will do to help. 

The plan focuses on the education and training, health and care outcomes  that help with learning and preparing children and young people for adulthood.

Outcomes will help them progress their long-term wishes of:

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

Find out more about the EHC plan in this short video:

The EHC plan format

An EHC plan must have specific sections. These sections are set out in the SEND Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years.

Young people and families from Dorset have helped to design the EHC plan template we use. Have a look at:

Read our guide to help you understand what EHC plans look like. This guide is for children and young people and their parents or carers.

Families have input to the draft plan

We ask the child or young person and their parents or carers for their views.

You as the family can tell us:

  • your hopes
  • the outcomes you want 
  • the support you feel the child or young person needs

Once we've drafted the plan with you, we give the proposed plan to you or the young person to look at. You have 15 days to tell us which school or setting your child or young person prefer to be named on the plan. Most children and young people with EHC plans attend their local mainstream school. You can find local school records, including those for special schools, on our Family Information Directory.

We'll approve the school or setting, unless it's unsuitable for the child or young person's:

  • age
  • ability
  • aptitude
  • special educational needs

We won't approve the school or setting if the attendance of the child or young person would:

  • be incompatible with the education of others
  • prevent the efficient use of resources

Find an approved list of independent special schools and colleges in Dorset. 

Requesting a personal budget

Parents or carers and young people can request a personal budget if they have an EHC plan. They can use this money to secure all or some of the support in an EHC plan.

How long an EHC plan lasts

EHC plans stay in place until you no longer need them. An EHC plan can last up until the young person is 25.

We review the EHC plan every year to make sure it's working. 

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