Education, Health & Care Plan Timeline

A step by step guide explaining how long it takes to arrange an Education, Health & Care Plan (EHCP)

We’ve broken the journey up into stages. The whole process can take up to five months from the time you ask us for an EHCP to the point when the plan is ready to begin.

If we make a decision at any point in this process that you don’t agree with you can appeal.

Week 1-4

We get the request for an EHCP needs assessment. This can come from you, your child if they’re over 16 or from their nursery, school or college.  It helps avoid delays if the request comes from the nursery, school or college. Speak to them first and see if they’ll start the ball rolling.

When we get the request we’ll get in touch with you to introduce ourselves and arrange a meeting to discuss the process.

We’ll decide whether your child needs an EHCP needs assessment and give you our decision when we meet.  If we don’t think an EHCP assessment would be right for your child we’ll explain why.

If we think that an EHCP needs assessment would benefit your child we’ll need you to tell us more about your child. We’ll need information from the following people:

  • An educational psychologist
  • A community or consultant paediatrician
  • A social worker
  • Any other professionals that work with your child

You can find out more about the people you might come into contact with during this process in our who's who section.

Week 5-8

Everyone we asked for information about your case must reply within six weeks. It’s important that you keep all the appointments relating to your assessment. If you don't  it could delay the process.

We understand that sometimes things happen and plans change. Make sure you contact the person you're supposed to see as soon as you know you can't make your appointment. They will arrange a new time with you.

Week 9-12

We'll write a draft EHCP using the information provided in the written reports.

We’ll have an Assessment Meeting in week 12 to discuss the draft EHCP. This is to make sure it’s ready to present to the SEN Panel.

Week 13-16

We’ll present the draft to the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) panel. They will decide whether to go ahead with it or not.

We’ll write to you by week 16 to let you know the decision.

If the SEND panel agree to go ahead we’ll send you a copy of the proposed plan. You have 15 days to read it and let us know if you’re happy with it, or if you’d like any changes made.

If the panel doesn’t agree to issue the EHCP we’ll send you a non-statutory plan. Your child’s nursery, school or college will use this to guide the SEN support they provide.

Week 17-20

You’ll get the details of the final EHCP by week 20. The support we’ve arranged in the plan will be put in place to help your child from that point on.