Checking your Draft Plan


Your final plan is a legally binding document and the provision in it must be provided

  - It is important you have received all the reports listed in Section K as you will not be able to check the draft plan without them.

  - You will have at least 15 working days in which to respond to the Local Authority.

  - There should be clear and direct links through the aspirations, outcomes, needs, and provision.  This is sometimes referred to as a Golden Thread.

This can be achieved by thinking about outcomes as steps on the journey towards the aspirations that your child or young person may have as they move towards adulthood.

The Council for Disabled Children (CDC) document ‘Developing Outcomes in Education, Health and Care Plans’ has some useful examples and can be found on our webpages at under Useful Links.  You may find this Developing Outcomes template useful.  A selection of different coloured highlighters may help you to differentiate between needs, provision and outcomes.

The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Code of Practice 2015 (CoP) in Chapter Nine explains Education, Health and Care needs assessments and plans. This can be viewed at


What should your plan contain?

Section A

The views, interests and aspirations of the child and their parents, or of the young person

Section B

The child or young person’s special educational needs (SEN)

Section C

The child or young person’s health needs which relate to their SEN

Section D

The child or young person’s social care needs which relate to their SEN

Section E

The outcomes sought for the child or the young person

Section F

The special educational provision required by the child or the young person

Section G

Any health provision reasonably required by the learning difficulties or disabilities which result in the child or young person having SEN

Section H1

Any social care provision which must be made for a child or young person under 18 resulting from section 2 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 (CSDPA)

Section H2

Any other social care provision reasonably required by the learning difficulties or disabilities which result in the child or young person having SEN

Section I


Section J

Personal Budget (including arrangements for direct payments)

Section K

Advice and information

Step One - Reports

  - Go through the reports and highlight each of your child or young person’s educational health and care needs. You may find it useful to put these needs onto the Delivering Outcomes in EHC Plans sheet at the end of this document

  - Check that these cover all your child’s needs.  Is anything missing?

  - Repeat with outcomes. Remember an outcome is the benefit or difference made to an individual as a result of an intervention. It should be personal and not expressed from a service point of view.  Outcomes should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Bound.

  - Go through the reports and, using a different colour, highlight all the provision. EHC plans must specify the special educational provision to meet each of the child’s special educational needs

  - Every need and outcome should have corresponding provision. Again you may find it helpful to use the Delivering Outcomes in EHC Plans sheet to match them up.

  - Provision should be detailed, specific and normally quantified, in terms of type, hours and frequency of support and level of expertise, including where this support is secured through a personal budget.  See our Personal Budgets factsheet at for more information.

  - If there is no specification or quantification you can contact the report author and ask for them to include this. If they are unsure ask for a minimum amount. If you do this by email you can copy in your SEND Lead Practitioner. If by phone it is a good idea to let your SEND Lead Practitioner know.

  - Be clear about the help. To be clear about what your child’s help will amount to on a typical day at the educational setting, ask yourself the following:

         - What type of help my child will get? e.g. equipment, learning support, teaching programme, speech therapy.

          - Who specifically will give the help?

          - Do they need particular qualifications or experience?

          - How many hours of extra help are there?

          - How often will the help happen?

          - Is help for playtimes and lunchtimes included where necessary?

          - Will your child get help for self-care if needed e.g. around eating or continence?

          - What strategies will staff use?

          - Will support be targeted to individual need or in small groups, and with whom?

  - Make a note of any gaps, anything that is unclear or anything you do not agree with or understand.

  - Beware of ‘weasel’ words or phrases which leave it up to someone else to decide what it means or your child may not get the specific support they need. The plan should avoid words such as:

          - access to…

          - regular help…

          - help as required…

          - where necessary…

          - throughout the school day…

          - opportunities for…

          - would benefit from …

  - It’s very important that the EHC Plan says precisely how much help your child will get and how often.

Step Two - The Draft Plan

  - Once you have a table or list with needs, outcomes and provision check that all of these have been included in the draft plan.

  - If you have any queries contact your SEND Lead Practitioner for clarification.

  - If you are not happy send your requested amendments to the SEND Lead Practitioner. Remember to contact your SEND Lead Practitioner within 15 calendar days.

  - You may find it helpful to email any questions to your SEND Practitioner or to follow up phone calls with emails.

  - If you are happy with the draft, inform the SEND Lead Practitioner.

Step Three - Naming an Educational Setting

  - Your draft plan should not have an educational setting named on it. Once you have agreed the plan contents you ask the SEND Lead Practitioner to consult with the educational setting of your choice on whether they can meet your child’s needs based on the plan.

  - A school or post-16 institution can only refuse a place to a child or young person for a limited number of reasons. These are set out in law in section 39(4) of the Children and Families Act 2014, please see

  - If the Local Authority does not agree with a school or post-16 institution’s reasons for refusing a place they can direct the school or post-16 institution to take the child or young person and name that placement on the final plan.

The law says that parents or the young person has a right to request that a particular school or post-16 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 educational setting or college in the SEND Code of Practice sections 9.78 to 9.90.


Next Steps

  - If you and the SEND Lead Practitioner cannot agree on changes you can request a meeting with a Senior Inclusion Officer.

  - If you cannot agree on a final draft with the Local Authority once the plan is finalised, you can go to Tribunal only over sections B, F and I. However, there is currently a national trial looking at Health and Social Care outcomes in EHC plans, but you can only go to Tribunal regarding these areas if there is educational need.

  - You must consider mediation before any appeals to Tribunal except when the appeal is about Section I (educational setting place) only.


Useful Webpages

SEND Code of Practice

SEND Code or Practice: Guide for Parents and Carers



For a printable version of the Factsheet please view the attached document



We have made all reasonable efforts to ensure that the information contained in this leaflet is accurate and up to date at the time of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and the SEND Partnership Service cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of any reliance placed upon it.