Assessment and Evidence Gathering
If the local authority have decided that an assessment is necessary they have a 10 week window (week 6-16 of the process) to gather relevant information and evidence from Education, Health and Social Care representatives.
This includes an Educational Psychologist carrying out an assessment of your child or young person, usually within their educational setting.
Read the information from the Council for Disabled Children (CDC) about the requirements for providing Health advice within six weeks.
The SEND Code of Practice says:
"The local authority must gather advice from relevant professionals about the child or young person’s education, health and care needs, desired outcomes and special educational, health and care provision that may be required to meet identified needs and achieve desired outcomes" (9.46)
What can I do if the timescales are not met by the local authority?
These are legal timescales and local authorities are expected to comply, however, our advice is always to keep dialogue open with the local authority.
Ask your Family Services Co-ordinator when you will receive the draft/final plan. If you are unhappy a timescale has not been met you could complain to the local authority (LA) and, if you are unsatisfied with the response to your complaint, to the Local Government Ombudsman.
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 school will need to discuss additional funding with the LA in order to meet the needs.