Educational Health & Care Plan (EHCP)

This is the legal document, that describes a child or young person’s special education needs and disabilities (SEND), the support they need to meet those needs and the outcomes they would like to achieve. An EHCP can start before your child starts school and can cover up to the age of 25. This means EHCPs cover the start of school and then all transitions to secondary schools and possibly college placements. The plan should be reviewed and revised each year at the Annual Review to reflect your child’s development and changing needs.

All children with Down’s syndrome will need an EHCP and it is provided by the Local Authority, in Buckinghamshire this is Buckinghamshire Council. The process involves a needs assessment and reports from the professionals involved with your child. You will also contribute to the assessment process. Bucks Council Special Educational Needs (SEN) team then considers the information and drafts the EHCP for you to agree. Parents may request the needs assessment is started for their child at any time, if they feel their child will require additional support in nursery or on starting school. Do not be put off by professionals telling you that it is too soon. Advocacy services also exist which can help support you through this process.

The EHCP should contain the types of provision (help and support) your child will need, for example equipment, individual teaching support hours, specialist teaching and therapies such as Speech and Language as well as naming the school, nursery or college that your child will attend. You will have a say in all of this, including some legal rights, and there is a process, including tribunal if you do not agree with your child’s draft EHCP.

The EHCP process can be complicated, and we recommend that you read and understand your child’s EHCP before agreeing it. There is support out there, some of which is free, and some of which you would pay for. This includes professional help with EHCP assessments and appeals. Below are some useful sources of information and support.


is a very useful organisation that provides all kinds of free support to families and carers including information on assessment, model letters, a tribunal help line and tribunal support.


Provides free, confidential, impartial advice on all matters relating to SEN and disability in Buckinghamshire.

01296 383 754 or emailing
[email protected].

Emma Hopkins Consultancy

Emma and her team provide expert support on the EHCP process, including supporting appeals and tribunals. There is a professional fee for services. Contact via
[email protected]

Buckinghamshire Council

Bucks Council is responsible for the EHCP process and funding your child’s education.