You should receive a final EHC plan within a maximum of 20 weeks of the initial request.
Special Needs Jungle have a flowchart (PDF) explaining what you can do if you disagree with the plan, or with a decision taken by the local authority.
What can I do if the legal timescale has been missed?
The local authority are expected to meet this legal timeframe, however our advice is to speak to them initially.
Ask your Family Services Co-ordinator when you will receive the final plan. If you are unhappy a timescale has not been met you could complain to the local authority and if you are unsatisfied with their response, to the Local Government Ombudsman. See our information about ‘ raising concerns‘.
Where an Educational Psychologist or other specialist recommends provision in their report, this could be put in place now ahead of the EHC plan being finalised. There may, however, be instances where a setting will need to discuss help from the local authority to be able to meet the needs.
The headteacher, or principal, of the educational setting named in the EHC plan should ensure that:
- those teaching or working with your child or young person are aware of their needs, and have arrangements in place to meet them;
- interim targets are linked to the outcomes in the EHC plan;
- progress is monitored and reviewed during the course of the year
What if the provision in a plan is not being made?
The local authority has a duty to secure the special educational provision in section F of an EHC plan. Section 42 of the Children & Families Act 2014 contains the legal duty.
The first step will be to raise your concerns with school. There may be reasons why support has been changed or delayed which you are reassured about.
If you have discussed with school and still have some concerns that provision in a plan is not being made, you should let the local authority know by contacting the Family Services Team.
Our raising concerns information takes you through the various steps you can take if you are not happy with the support your child is getting, including complaining to school or the local authority.
IPSEA have some useful guidance including an example letter, if you have been unable to resolve by contacting school/the local authority.
The SEND Code of Practice says:
When an EHC plan is maintained for a child or young person the local authority must secure the special educational provision specified in the plan (9.131)
The Clinical Commissioning Group (or other health commissioners) are responsible for arranging any health care provision specified in section G of the plan.
If the EHC plan specifies social care provision in section H1 for a child under 18, the local authority will have a legal duty to make that social care provision under that Act (but not any other social care provision in section H2).
For a young person over 18, the care element of the plan may be provided by adult services under the Care Act 2014.
Reviewing the plan
The local authority are responsible for carrying out a review annually though, where a child’s SEN have changed significantly, they should hold a review as soon as possible to make sure the outcomes and provision in the plan remain appropriate. Read more about Annual Reviews.