Frequent questions about EHC

​Frequently asked questions

The law says that parents or the young person has a right to request that a particular school, college or other institution is named in the EHC plan. The Local Authority must agree to this request unless:

  • it would be unsuitable for the age, ability, aptitude or SEN of the child or young person, or
  • the attendance of the child or young person there would be incompatible with the efficient education of others, or the efficient use of resources

You can find out more about your rights to request a particular school or college in the SEND Code of Practice sections 9.78 to 9.90.

The SEND Code of Practice says:


Local authorities must consult the child and the child’s parent or the young person throughout the process of assessment and production of an EHC plan.



Reviews must be undertaken in partnership with the child and their parent or the young person, and must take account of their views, wishes and feelings, including their right to request a Personal Budget.

Your views, and your child’s views, are really important. The local authority, school or college should help you take part and involve you in decision making. If you would like help to do this please contact Information Advice and Support Service for SEND in Northamptonshire for impartial advice and support. We can also give you information on other sources of help, and on what to do if you do not feel that you have been heard or listened to.

The local authority must review the EHC plan at least once every 12 months. This must be done in partnership with you and your child or the young person, and must take account of your views, wishes and feelings.

The local authority must decide whether to keep the plan as it is, make changes, or cease to maintain it within four weeks of the review meeting. You have a right of appeal if the local authority proposes to cease the EHC plan.

For some young people an EHC plan will continue until they are 25. However, the plan will stop if the young person:   

  • goes to university
  • gets a job
  • tells their local authority they no longer want their EHC plan, or
  • no longer needs special help and the local authority decides that the EHC plan should cease

You can find out more about reviews of EHC plans in Northamptonshire on the county council website - Annual Review Process.

The local authority is responsible for ensuring that the special educational needs set out in the EHC plan are met and that the special educational provision is made, whatever their funding arrangements or agreements with other service providers.

All young people with an EHC plan and all parents of children with an EHC plan can ask for a Personal Budget.

The SEND Code of Practice says:


A Personal Budget is an amount of money identified by the local authority to deliver provision set out in an EHC plan where the parent or young person is involved in securing that provision.

Sections 9.110 to 9.118 of the SEND Code of Practice tell you more about what can be included in a Personal Budget.

Northamptonshire Local Offer can give you more information on local funding arrangements and on Personal Budgets, including Direct Payments.

Children and young people who have a Statement will gradually transfer to the new system. Local authorities must complete this process by 1 April 2018.

The SEND Code of Practice says: is expected that all those who have a statement and who would have continued to have one under the current system, will be transferred to an EHC plan – no-one should lose their statement and not have it replaced with an EHC plan simply because the system is changing.

Every local authority should publish a local transition plan, showing when and how statements will be transferred to the new SEND system. It also includes information for young people in further education and training who receive support through a Learning Difficulty Assessment.

Young people who already have an LDA will transfer to an EHC plan by 1 September 2016.

Find out about the Northamptonshire transition plan:

Read more about the SEND reforms:

The first step is to contact the school, college or local authority to discuss your concerns.

IASS can give you impartial advice and support and explain your options. This may include independent disagreement resolution, mediation or going to appeal.

Find out more 

If you plan to move to another local authority area you should contact the ‘old’ and the ’new’ local authorities so the support specified in the EHC plan will be in place. The ‘new’ authority will amend the plan and name the new school or college.

The ‘old’ local authority must transfer the EHC plan on the day of the move, as long as it has had 15 working days notice.

You can read about Education, Health and Care plans in Chapter 9 of the SEND Code of Practice.

The Local Offer tells you about the local arrangements for special educational provision, including EHC plans.

IASS offers:

  • information, advice and support to explain the process and to help you take part in EHC plan needs assessments
  • advice and support about EHC plans
  • information, advice and support to help you take part in reviews of EHC plans
  • support to help you find out more about the funding and provision for SEND made for your child
  • information, advice and support about Personal Budgets if your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan
  • information about other organisations, support groups and information services that may be of help
  • information, advice and support about your rights to make a complaint, seek independent disagreement resolution or mediation and appeal to the SEND Tribunal.​