If the result of your education, health and care (EHC) needs assessment is that we (Hertfordshire County Council) decide to issue an education, health and care plan (EHCP) then the first step is for us to send you a draft version. Once the draft version has been agreed, the final version will be issued.

When you receive your draft plan

The plan will include information about your child or young person’s education, health and care needs, the provision required to meet those needs, and the outcomes that should be achieved. It’s also a record of your child or young person’s views and ambitions.

Your plan will look like this (PDF 316kb) Opening a new window

When issuing the draft, we'll give notice that the parent or young person has 15 days to:

  • request that a particular school or other institution is named in the final plan
  • make comments or suggest amendments to the draft EHCP or any reports attached to it
  • request a meeting with us to discuss the draft.

Meetings to discuss the draft EHCP

  • Before the meeting, write down the points you want to discuss and any questions you have
  • Send a copy to your SEN officer prior to the meeting, or leave a copy as a reminder to them
  • Consider taking someone along with you for support


Sections of the EHCP

When you receive your draft EHCP this is your opportunity to check whether it contains everything it should.

Under Regulation 12 of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 (SEN Regs) an EHCP must have the following sections:

  • Section A: the views, interests and hopes of the child and their parents or the young person
  • Section B: the child or young person’s special educational need (SEN)
  • Section C: health care needs relating to their SEN
  • Section D: social care needs relating to their SEN or to a disability
  • Section E: the what the outcomes of the support are hoped to be
  • Section F: the special educational provision needed to meet their SEN
  • Section G: any health care provision needed to meet the child or young person's needs
  • Section H: any social care provision required from social services under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970, and/ or to meed the needs of the child or young person
  • Section I: the name of the school to be attended by the child or young person, and the type of place of education (this should be left blank on the draft document and is only put into the final document)
  • Section J: details of any direct payments
  • Section K: copies of all of the advice and information as part of the EHC needs assessment.

Where the child or young person is in or beyond Year 9 the EHCP must also include provision needed to assist in preparation for adulthood.

Support for checking your draft EHCP

EHCPs are long and complicated documents. Checking your draft matches the legal requirements can feel like a difficult and overwhelming task, but there are services that can support you.

  • Contact SENDIASS for help checking your draft EHCP.
  • SOS!SEN - offers a free, friendly, independent and confidential telephone helpline for parents and others looking for information and advice on Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND). 0300 302 3731
  • The charity IPSEA has produced a useful EHCP checklist that can be used to check whether your draft EHCP complies with the law. Also offers an advice line and events and workshops throughout the year as an opportunity to learn more about EHCPs.

The final EHCP

Once the final EHCP has been produced, your child or young person is legally entitled to the provision set out in the plan.

If you requested a particular school or college to be named then they should appear in the final plan. The institution named must then admit the child or young person and put the educational provision specified in the EHCP into place.

The final plan must be issued within a maximum of 20 weeks from the request for an EHC needs assessment.

If you don't receive your final plan within this time frame, you have the right to complain.

Generally, parents who have been involved throughout the EHC assessment and EHCP development process will be happy with the final plan. If you’re not however, it’s always good to speak to your SEN officer and explain your thoughts, and to speak to your child’s SENCo to get their thoughts about it.

You have the right to appeal or pursue mediation as a way of resolving disagreements about any of the sections of the EHCP. Contact SENDIASS if you'd like more information.