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Information on Education, Health and Care Plans (EHC Plan) and Assessments

What is an Education Health and Care Plan?

An Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan) replaced what was the statements of Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Learning Difficulty Assessments in 2014. They are for children and young people up to the age of 25 who need additional support. An EHC Plan identifies educational, health, and social needs and sets out the additional support to meet those needs and they are the responsibility of the Local Authority.

The Council of the Isles of Scilly has replaced all statements of Special Educational Needs and Learning Difficulty Assessments with an Educational Health and Care Plan. If you move from out of area and still need to convert to an Educational Health and Care Plan then please get in touch by Email: or Telephone 0300 1234 105 Option 5

The video below explains what an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan is and who it is for:


Who can request an Education Health and Care Plan?

  • A parent/carers can ask their local authority to carry out an assessment if they think a child needs an Education Health and Care Plans (EHC Plan).

  • A young person can request an assessment themselves if they’re aged 16 to 25.

  • A request can also be made by anyone else who thinks an assessment may be necessary, including doctors, health visitors, teachers, parents and family friends.

How to make a request?

A request must be made in writing to:

SEND and Inclusion Lead

Children & Family Services

Council of the Isles of Scilly

Carn Gwarval
St. Mary's
Isles of Scilly

TR21 0NA

or by email to:

Please download the following IPSEA template to use:

Download making a request request for an EHCP Needs Assessment document Word.

Education Health and Care Needs Assessment and Timescales

The Assessment process takes 20 weeks. You must be notified within 6 weeks of a request being submitted as to whether an assessment will be carried out for your child.

If a request to carry out an Education Health and Care Needs Assessment is agreed

You will be contacted by a SEND Lead Practitioner within 6 weeks, who will arrange a face to face meeting with you to explain the process in more depth. This meeting will help to form a picture of you and your child’s hopes and aspirations for the future, which will help to inform the outcomes for your child’s proposed Education Health and Care Plan (EHC plan).

During the assessment you may be asked for:

  • Any reports from your child’s school, nursery or childminder

  • Any doctors assessments of your child

  • A letter from the parent/carer about your child’s needs.

Depending on whether recent assessments have been carried out, you will either be invited to attend an Assessment Meeting to meet with relevant professionals who are currently or should be involved in assessing your child’s needs.  If up to date assessments are available, you will be invited to an Outcomes Meeting where draft outcomes for your child’s plan can be discussed and agreed with professionals.

Your SEND Lead Practitioner will attend all meetings with you and your child, as they are responsible for gathering the information and drafting your child’s proposed EHC plan.

You will be notified within 16 weeks whether or not a proposed EHC plan will be issued for your child.

If a proposed Education Health and Care Plan is issued

You will be notified of the decision within 2 weeks and a proposed Education Health and Care Plan (EHC plan) will be issued. Educational Setting(s) named will need to be consulted to regarding the placement for your child.  Once this has been agreed, a final EHC plan with a named educational setting(s) will be issued.  This process should be concluded within 20 weeks.



If a request to carry out an Education Health and Care Needs Assessment is not agreed

You will be contacted within 6 weeks if it has been agreed that an Education Health and Care Needs Assessment will not be carried out for your child. You will have the opportunity to meet with a Senior Inclusion Officer to explain the decision.

If an Education Health and Care Plan is not issued for your child

You will be notified in writing explaining the reasons why an Education Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan) has not been issued.  A SEND Support plan (non-statutory) will be issued instead of an EHC Plan.  You will be able to meet with a Senior Officer to explain the decision if required.

Reviewing Education Health and Care Plans

Education Health and Care Plans (EHC Plans) are reviewed every 12 months. The review focuses on the progress of the child or young person has made towards meeting the outcomes in the plan and review whether the outcomes and targets are still appropriate. The annual review process should gather and assess information so that it can be used by the relevant professionals to support the child or young person progress. Review the provision to see if it is effective and supporting the person to make good progress. It should also consider whether the plan is still appropriate and progress made during the previous year. This could lead to a change in the EHC Plan such as changed targets, outcomes or a change in provision.


EHC Plans must be reviewed before a child moves from early years setting to primary, primary to secondary or secondary to post-16 education. It must be done in enough time to allow the new setting to plan the support needed.

Education, Health and Care Plan Annual Review

The Children and Families Act expects the annual review to look at things from a personal-centred point of view, which means the parents, children and young people should be fully involved and able to share their views, wishes and feelings.

The review meeting must focus on the following seven points:

  1. Focus on progress made towards achieving the long-term outcomes

  2. Establish if the long-term outcomes are still appropriate, and if necessary agree new ones

  3. Review the short-term targets and set new ones

  4. Check that the special educational provision, and the arrangements for delivering it, is still appropriate and meaningful progress can be made

  5. Review the health and social care provision

  6. Check if the aspirations have changed

  7. Check if the parent/young person would like to request a personal budget

In addition to this, all annual reviews from year 9 onwards must include a focus on preparing a child/young person for adulthood.

Planning must be centred on the child/young person’s aspirations and abilities, what they want to be able to do when they leave further education and how they can be supported. Children and young people should have the information they need to move onto the next stage of their lives.  

Additional meetings should be arranged to review the plan at least termly as part of a pupil-centred approach to planning, support and intervention. These meetings aren't part of the annual review of the EHC Plan, but will provide an opportunity for parents and the educational setting to evaluate the impact of support and intervention.

It's important that the EHC Plan remains appropriate, and if amendments to the plan are needed an interim review may be called. This will normally be requested by the educational setting, but should be with the agreement of parents/carers/young person.

When the finalised annual review paperwork is sent to you, there will also be a survey for you to complete. Please complete this survey as it gives you the opportunity to have your say on how the annual review process has been and gives us feedback so we can look at improving services.

Please watch the short video below for an overview of what an Education Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan) annual review is, the timeline of what needs to happen and when during the eight week process.

Children and Young people being educated out of area and Education Health and Care Plans

If a child or young person has an Education Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan) and is being educated out of area, it is the responsibility of the local authority to ensure the special educational provision is being met and they must review EHC Plan annually. Also, if the child or young person is placed at an independent special school, non-maintained special school or independent specialist provider the LA must pay the appropriate costs. If it is a residential school then the LA should try to secure a place near the child’s home but equally must take into consideration the wishes and views of the child or young person and their families. The LA must also provide reasonable transport or transport assistance, which might include reimbursement of transport costs, petrol costs or a travel pass.


Information, Advice and Support

  • Independent, impartial information, advice and support is available to help parents and young people through the Education Health and Care Needs Assessment process.  You can contact Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Special Educational Needs Disability Information Service (SENDIASS) website:  e-mail: via contact form  or Tel: 01326 331633.  There are three local advisors and their contact details can be found: 

  • You can also speak to your local Children and Family service team:

Children & Family Services

Carn Gwaval Wellbeing Centre


Isles of Scilly

TR21 0NA

Telephone: 0300 1234 105 Option 5


Mediation and disagreement resolution

Occasionally, disagreements may arise between families, schools and the Local Authority. The Council of the Isles of Scilly has commissioned Global Mediation to provide mediation services on its behalf to support children, young people and their families through the Education Health and Care Plan process and disagreements that may arise.

Further details of the tribunal and mediation process can be found in following link to Mediation and disagreement resolution

Personal Budgets

Introduction to a personal budget:

A personal budget is an amount of money specified in the Education Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan) of children and young people with SEND to deliver provision set in their EHC Plan.  This gives you control on how the money is used for care and support; how it is spent over education, health and social care in order for the child and young person with SEND to develop, thrive and succeed.


Who can have a personal budget?

A personal budget can be requested by a parent or young person, once the local authority has agreed to prepare a draft EHC Plan or during a review of an EHC Plan; although a personal budget cannot be offered to young people or families who have been required by the law to undergo treatment for drug or alcohol abuse.

Funding Arrangements for a personal budget:

You can receive funding for a personal budget in different ways:

  1. Direct payments. This is where you receive the money directly yourself to buy the support your child needs as outlined in the EHC Plan. This payment method means you have greater control over the choice of how your child needs are met but also means more responsibility for managing these services. E.G. you may decide to use a personal budget to employ a personal assistant to support your child and this would mean you would have the legal responsibility as an employer

  2. A budget held by a third party. This is where the money is paid to a named individual or organisation to manage on the young person’s or their family’s behalf. This options still gives you control on how services are provided but without having to take on the organisational or managerial responsibility for the services. 

  3. A ‘notional’ or ‘virtual’ budget. This is where a young person or their family do not handle the money directly but can tell the local authority how they would like the money to be spent. This does mean though you might have less control on how your child’s needs are met than the other options. 

  4. A combination of the above. So some of the services for your child might be directly controlled by you or the young person through the personal budget and some might be through a third party.

Personal Budgets 0-25



The SEND Code of Practice 0-25 states that:

‘A Personal Budget is an amount of money identified by the Local Authority to deliver the provision set out in an Education, Health & Care Plan (EHC plan)’ 

(CoP 9.95 p 178)

The provision set out in the EHC plan is primarily to meet the child/young person’s special educational needs. The EHC Personal Budget is therefore used to support the child/young person’s education.

Depending on needs it is possible for a small proportion of families to have an ‘education direct payment’. 




Children and young people who have ‘continuing health care’ needs and have a ‘Health Care Plan’ have the option of having a Personal Health Budget. 

Personal Health Budget 

A personal health budget describes the amount needed to fund a child or young person’s NHS healthcare and support needs.


A ‘health direct payment’ is one way of managing these budgets, where the young person or their family get the cash to buy the agreed care and support they need. 


SOCIAL CARE under 18 Year of age


Following a social work assessment, children and young people who meet the threshold for social care support, may be eligible to receive resources to meet their identified social care needs.

The provision to meet these assessed needs is described in their ‘Child Plan’.

Resources to meet identified needs may be made available as a ‘direct cash payment’, may be directly commissioned, or arranged, by Isles of Scilly Council and paid directly to the organisation providing the agreed support. 


SOCIAL CARE over  18 years of age

 If an adult has social care needs, and they are assessed as being eligible, they can have an Adult Social Care Personal Budget.

An indicative budget is agreed and the adult with social care needs is involved in planning the support and provision payed for by this budget.

This is described in the adult’s ‘Care and Support Plan’.

It is possible for an adult to have part of their personal budget as a ‘direct payment’. This can be managed by the adult themselves or someone on their behalf. 

On the Isles of Scilly if a child or young person has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan), they or their family can request a Personal Budget StatementThis statement sets out the additional funding available for the provision identified in the EHC Plan.

This statement brings together in one place the EHC personal budget (to meet educational needs), the health personal budget and the children/adult’s social care personal budget.

Direct payments may be an aspect of one, some or all the budgets. 

What is an Education Health and Care Plan Personal Budget Statement?

If a child/young person has an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC Plan) they or their parents/carers can request a Personal Budget Statement. This statement sets out the additional funding available for the provision identified in the EHC Plan.

The Personal Budget Statement gives clarity about how much additional funding has been allocated and if any of this is available as a direct cash payment.

Requesting a Personal Budget Statement is optional and when allocated does not mean there will be extra funding in addition to that allocated to support the EHC Plan. It is separate from the EHC Plan as it is not a statutory document.

Depending on the needs of the child/young person a Personal Budget Statement may or may not include elements of a Social Care Personal Budget and/or a Personal Health Budget. It is prepared by the Isles of Scilly Council.

What can a personal budget cover?


Social Care can come under Children Social Care and Adult social Care under the local Authority. Local Authorities must offer direct payments for social care services as an alternative to getting support arranged by social services but at the moment they are not obliged to offer a personal budget to a child under the age of 18. They are obliged to offer personal budgets for people aged 18 and over with SEND and who are assessed as needing social care as this promotes independent living and gives the person more choice and control over the support they need.


Other than excluded services (e.g. GPs, surgical procedures, and emergency services) a personal health budget can be given to anyone who needs to receive healthcare funded by the NHS where the benefits of having a budget for healthcare outweigh any additional costs associated with having one. You can find out more about health budgets and the NHS Kernow clinical commissioning group at on the NHS Kernow website: 



The personal budget for education will only include funds to buy more specialist or individual support than the school or college is expected to provide but does not cover funding for the placement or extra help that the school/college/LA is expected to provide for all children with SEND as part of the Local Offer. Personal educational budget can include provision funded from the school’s/college budget share and from the LA’s high needs funding. The budget can also be used to commission services from the school and thus, depending on what your chosen school offers, will affect the amount of personal educational budget you receive. For example at a special school or college they may offer specialised provision as part of their core service which is not normally available in a mainstream school or college. If you chose to go to the specialist school or college where the service is available this may reduce the scope of educational personal budget you receive than if you chose to go to a mainstream school or college.

Examples of how a personal budget may be used:

  • A child who attends secondary school has mobility issues that can affect making the most of learning opportunities and it has been identified that she needs a care support worker at home and a learning support worker for at school. The child though has said she only wants a learning support worker for learning needs only and wants a care worker to help with personal care such as eating in school. The family now manage the budget and make sure the care worker is trained and DBS checked. They employ and insure the care worker and the school has agreed that the carer can work on the school premises.

  • A child who has Autism is thriving at school is struggling adjusting on the return home and finds it hard expressing their emotions and feelings from the day. The child enjoys dancing and it is found to be a good calming influence on the child and a release for them. It is identified in the EHC Plan that converting the family shed into a little dance studio for the child would benefit them. With discussion with the family and child about what they would like is discussed and a budget set. The family take responsibility for the budget to convert the shed into a dance studio.

  • A child who had been settled and thriving at primary school is struggling with the transition into secondary school. This is causing the child to lash out at home and be mean and to his younger siblings by calling them names, disrupting their games and hitting them. Mum asked for help from Children’s Social Care who allocated the family a short break care package. Mum decided to receive this money as a direct payment and used it to employ someone to come into the house and help her look after the older child a few times a week after school. This person helps the older child, unwind after school, helps them with homework whilst mum spends time with the other children and doing the house chores. The outcome is that all children are happier at home and more settled and doing better at school. Mum has also found that the person employed to help her has been through a unsettled time with his children at school and can offer her advice and support which has led to her feeling less isolated and more confident in dealing with the presenting behaviour.


How much will I receive in a personal budget?

A personal budget is based on the needs and support that are identified in an Education Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan).  A personal budget is to deliver provision set out in a child or young persons EHC plan, based on the level of support that they have been assessed as needing. 


If you feel that the personal budget allocated will not buy the support required for a child’s or young persons need, then you can challenge this. Depending on whether your personal budget is for special educational needs, social or health care will determine how you go about challenging, for further information on this you can visit the Contact website or telephone: freephone 0808 808 3555.

Can I be refused a personal budget?

In certain circumstances, the Local Authority can refuse to identify a personal budget. They may do so when the special educational provision is being provided as part of a larger budget (for example, a contract with the NHS to provide all speech and language therapy or occupational therapy) and the LA can’t separate out or ‘disaggregate’ the personal budget from that overall larger budget.

The LA can refuse to make a direct payment if they don’t believe the person receiving the payments would be capable of managing the money, or if they do not believe it would be used in an appropriate way. 

A personal budget cannot be offered to young people or families who have been required by the law to undergo treatment for drug or alcohol abuse.

They can also refuse where it would negatively impact other services provided by the LA for children with EHC Plans, or if it would not be an efficient use of resources.

Where the provision proposed to be replaced by a direct payment takes place in a school or college setting, the consent of the professional in charge must be gained. If they refuse consent then the Local Authority will be unable to make a direct payment.

Further information on personal budgets

For further information and support on personal budgets visit the following organisations have resources:


Direct payments for special educational provision, health care and social care provision are subject to separate regulations and you can find out more under:

  • The Community Care, services for Carers and Children’s Services (Direct Payments) Regulations 2009 (the 2009 regulations will be replaced by those made under the Care Act 2014)

  • The National Health Service (Direct Payments) Regulations 2013

  • The Special Educational Needs (Personal Budgets) Regulations 2014

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