Outcomes of an EHC needs assessment

Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans focus on education, training, health and care outcomes that enable children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disability (SEND) to progress in their learning and be well prepared for adulthood.

EHC Plans can also specify wider outcomes.  These could include forming positive social relationships and developing emotional resilience.

Outcomes should always support long-term aspirations as the child or young person prepares for adulthood.  Outcomes in this area would include preparing for employment, having good mental and physical health, living independently and being part of a community,

The Definition of an Outcome

An outcome is the benefit or positive difference made to an individual as a result of an intervention. 

An outcome should also be SMART.  This means it should be: 

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time bound.

It should be personal to the child or young person, not described from a service perspective.

A good outcome states plainly something the child or young person will be able to do that they cannot do now as a result of an intervention.

EHC Plans and Outcomes

Outcomes underpin and inform the detail of EHC plans. Outcomes set out what should be realised by the end of a phase or stage of education in order for the child or young person to progress successfully to the next phase.

EHC Plans must specify the special educational provision required to meet each of the child or young person’s special educational needs. The provision should enable the outcomes to be achieved.

EHC Plans also specify shorter term targets, usually for one year. These are reviewed and amended regularly to ensure that the individual remains on track to achieve the outcomes specified in their EHC plan.

Outcomes should be aspirational.  If a child or young person does not realise their outcomes, this does not show that they have been failed by the school or setting, provided that the resources specified in the EHC Plan were all in place. 

Local policies, guidance and legislation