EHC Plans Improve Outcomes for Children and Young People into Adulthood

Published: May, 2013

Surrey Special Educational Needs and Disability Pathfinder – using  Education Health Care Plans to Improve Outcomes for Children and Young People....

Ministerial Press release 5th March 2013......

Children and young adults with special educational needs will benefit from a new legal health duty.


Children and young adults with special educational needs (SEN) will benefit from better access to health services, the Government announced today.

Clinical commissioning groups are GPs who plan local health services. The new duty will mean that they will by law have to secure services in education, health and care plans for children and young adults. This will include specialist services like physiotherapy, and speech and language therapy. At present councils have a legal duty to make sure that children and young adults with the most complex needs get the support they need to develop and become as independent as possible later in life. However, some parents have complained that health services can fall between the gaps.

Edward Timpson, Children and Families Minister, said:

We are putting health at the centre of our reforms in bringing in this legal duty. It is a significant step forward for children and young adults with special educational needs, and I know that many parents will welcome it.

The duty will mean that parents, and children and young adults with complex special educational needs, will get the health services that are right for them.

This legal duty will mean in practice that health services work better with education and care services. It will, together with other reforms, give valuable reassurance to parents of children and young adults who will have education, health and care plans. The duty will help to ensure that councils, health professionals and volunteers come together to organise services, and set out a clear expectation of what parents, children and young adults with special educational needs will get.

This measure is a part of an overhaul of provision for SEN which will put parents and their children firmly in control. The reforms, which are being trialled in 31 pathfinder council areas, include:

  • personal budgets which put parents firmly in charge;
  • the extension of support until the age of 25 to stop the cliff-edge effect;
  • the replacement of SEN statements with more comprehensive education, health and care plans; and
  • better cooperation between all the services that support children and their families.

Summary of discussion May 16th Guildford Children’s Centre

Speaker:           Jane Raca                     [email protected]

Jane Raca, lawyer and author of Standing Up for James, spoke about her experience of raising a severely disabled child, and the lack of joined up services which reduced her family to breaking point. She took her local authority to court to get her son into a residential school. She outlined how the Children and Families Bill, currently going through Parliament, will affect health professionals, who will have to work with  education and social care departments to produce joint plans setting out the needs of disabled children with SEN. The Bill will also impose  a new statutory duty on health services to deliver what is in the plans.

Panel:                    Jane Raca                           [email protected]

                                Tania  Tirraoro                    [email protected] 

Co- chair of Family Voice Surrey and owner of  Special Needs Jungle

Tania spoke of her involvement with the Surrey SEND Pathfinder and encouraged us all to liase with Susie Campbell.   She referred to Ed Timpson’s You Tube Clip  as a useful summary.


                                Lindsey Rousseau             [email protected]

NatSIP website

NatSIP template Forms and Better Assssments, Better Plans, Better Outcomes can be found at : :

NatSIP partners believe that the starting assumption is that  EHC Plan should be as good as, if not better than, a statement. The next NatSIP working day will be held on 4th June 2013 in London where further information and details of the contract work will be made available.  The theme is around Early Years and Post 16 provision and also implications of the National Curriculum reforms for SI learners. There is a NatSIP working day arranged for Tuesday 1st October (at Friends House, Euston Road, London) which will have a theme about Joint Commissioning and working together across agencies to improve outcomes for SI CYP. This may be of special interest to health colleagues.

                                Stephen Haynes                [email protected]

Learning Disability Lead for the Prison Service in Surrey

Stephen spoke of the hidden need for children and young people with Learning Disability who come into contact with the criminal justice system. We touched on how the EHC Plan could be used to improve outcomes for this vulnerable group.

                                Sarah Temple                    [email protected]

GP and co founder of EHCaP


Proposals to reform provision for children and young people with special educational needs were first set out in the special educational needs (SEN) and disability green paper Support and Aspiration, published in March 2011, and the subsequent Next Steps document published in May 2012. The reforms propose that Statements of Educational Need are substantially altered and replaced by Education Health Care Plans (EHC Plans). The EHC Plans enable improved outcomes for children and young people by having the child and family at the heart of what happens, by having collaborative partnerships between Education, Health and Care as well as with the community voluntary sector, parents and young people. The EHC Plans cover the age range 0-25 years which broadens the reach of statutory input covering transition into schools and into adult life post 16. Apprenticeships are included as are Colleges of Further Education. An additional  two sections enable focus on the most vulnerable children eg Looked After Children/ Children in Contact with Youth Offending Teams/ the Criminal Justice System and expansion of Personal Budgets.

The Plans have been tested  in 20 pathfinder areas, covering 31 local authorities and their health partners. The DfE working with the  DH has, as a result, produced Principles of Emerging Practice for SEND which can be found at :

Scroll down through for a link to Susie’s You Tube Video and the SE7 Assessment and Planning Framework

An extension for ‘champion’ pathfinders has been agreed with an expected completion date of September 2014. Legislation is going through parliament in the Children and Families Bill- an amendment of interest to commissioners will place an obligation on CCGs to provide the health needs  identified within the EHC Plan.


Comments and Feedback to [email protected]

Future Meetings; 11th June- Guildford, 3rd July- Woking, 8th October -Guildford

NatSIP Working Days- 4th June, 1st October Euston Road London






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