Guidelines for professional EHC reports

Education, health and care needs assessment

Guidelines for professional reports

Professional reports should include

  • the purpose for which the report was written and relevant background information(e.g. Who requested the report, what were their concerns)
  • a description of the assessment process, including any unusual, contradictory or inconsistent features of the case(that the report was based on: observation of the child/young person in the classroom/home/ clinic etc, during unstructured time, working 1-1 / in a group, assessments and observations carried out by the author, discussions with / reading reports from other professionals / staff / parents etc)

Professional reports should be


  • avoiding jargon, and explaining relevant technical terms when it is necessary to use these for clarity or succinctness - consider attaching a glossary of terms
  • easy to read for parents and professionals
  • including test results / descriptions provided as an appendix to the report

Clear and succinct

  • detailing the child’s strengths and needs
  • including a clear summary of the opinions expressed, with the reasons for these - indicating when an opinion is ‘provisional’ or ‘qualified’, explaining the reason for any doubt, and identifying what further information is required to give a firm opinion, (e.g. That a child’s behaviour or emotional state during assessment was such that a test results may not be reliable, that the classroom context wasn’t the usual arrangement, … )
  • showing date and signature


  • including all, but only, relevant information
  • holding to the professional’s own area of expertise (e.g. Medical professionals should not advise on educational outcomes to be achieved and/or support required from an education professional, and vice versa)
  • identifying desired long term outcomes (end of key stage) within the writer’s area of expertise and in consultation with the child/young person and their family (see over for guidance on writing outcomes) and short term outcomes towards these.
  • indicating the facilities, resources and interventions required to enable the child/young person to achieve the desired outcomes

Guidance on outcomes

EHC Plans must be focused on outcomes that will enable children and young people to progress in their learning and, as they get older, to be well prepared for adulthood. An outcome can be defined as the benefit or difference made to an individual as a result of an intervention. Outcomes underpin and inform the detail of EHC Plans.

Determining desired Outcomes should, wherever possible, be carried out in consultation with the young person or the child and their family plus other involved professionals.

  1. Begin by considering what is desired for the child or young person to achieve by the end of the next key stage of education.
  2. Then create the long term outcome, which as far as possible should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely), as follows:
  • Create a ‘stem’ e.g. "By the end of Key stage 1, ‘name’ will be able to . . . "
  • Then add the action to describe the desired achievement e.g.: "copy a sentence, recognise numbers 1 - 10, indicate when needing to use the toilet" etc.
  • When you have a stem and an action, include any further detail/variables e.g. "independently, using visual supports, when prompted" etc.

Next, consider what special educational provisions are required to enable achievement of the outcome. These should include any input from the writer’s own service area and recommended support/interventions from the education setting. Outcomes may need several different special educational provisions to support their achievement.

Please use a table format to provide as much detail as possible for an EHC Plan or SEN Support Plan. The headings in the following example should be used wherever possible (this example is for advice written by a specialist ASD teacher):


Long term outcomes

Special educational provision required

What help is needed to achieve this?

Who will do it?

When will it happen?

Any specialist/

additional resources?


By the end of Key Stage One, ‘name’ will be able to use taught social skills appropriately and independently with his class-based peers

Advice to school staff on supporting children with ASD and responding to any

particular areas of concern





Social Stories

Trained LSA/ASD


Daily/Weekly as required


Socially Speaking

Trained LSA

2 x 30 mins per week


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