Specialist Education

What is an Education, Health & Care Plan (EHCP)?

Once you have received a confirmed diagnosis of Autism or other learning disability, an Education, Health & Care plan is a legal document that highlights a child’s special educational needs.


An assessment will be completed to identify your child’s needs and an EHCP will specify diagnosis, level of educational support needed, therapeutic support required and suggest a school.


What does an EHCP do?


An EHCP outlines your child’s special educational needs. It states the diagnosis, level of support, therapeutic needs and  names a school placement.


It is a legal document that will name a school which is able to support your child’s educational needs.


How do I get an assessment for an EHCP?


To get an EHC plan  the current school or parent can request an assessment of needs from the Local Authority.


A request can also be made by your child's GP, health visitors or teachers. If the Local Authority decides to carry out an assessment, you may be asked for reports in relation to your child's diagnosis, assessments from related professionals and a detailed letter addressing your child's needs.


What are the time scales for the EHCP process?


An EHCP can take 20 weeks from when the LA agrees to issue an EHCP. There would be a lot of preparation prior to the start of the EHCP process which should be completed within 16 weeks.


A typical timeline can take: 

6 weeks - for the LA to make a decision as to whether or not to carry out a statutory assessment

16 weeks - for the LA to decide whether to issue an EHCP. There is no set time limit to issue a draft EHCP

20 weeks - for the LA to finalise an EHCP


How do I appeal an EHCP?


There must be grounds for an appeal – you can appeal:


Section B  - The child’s special educational needs

Section F – The SEN provision outlined to meet the child’s educational  needs

Section I -  The named school and if no school is named in section I


You will have 2 months to lodge an appeal from the date of the receipt of the final EHC plan.



LA will send you information on your right to appeal and mediation.


You can obtain appeal forms from the SEND tribunal website.


Where do I go to get support when going through an EHCP tribunal?


Organisations such as IPSEA, SOSSEN and Sunshine Support are a good resource for parents to help support them through the process of securing school placements and appeals, they often offer training and workshops.

Lucy's Story Testimonial Image

"Lucy received support from the Speech & Language and Occupational Therapy team encouraging her through one to one and group sessions which allowed her to become comfortable using her emerging conventional speech as well as using her Makaton to further support her communication."

Lucy's Story

Foster Parent Suitability Questionnaire

Some basics to become a foster parent

Here are a few questions to help you discover whether fostering is right for you and what we need from our foster parents.

1. I have a spare bedroom for a foster child

2. I will be available to care for a child full time

3. I am over 25 years old

4. I have a stable, positive home to offer a child

5. I am a patient, resilient and understanding person

Foster Parent Suitability Questionnaire

Becoming a professional foster parent

We regard fostering as a profession. Therefore we'll treat you as a professional - we'll provide great pay, support and training. In return we expect our foster parents to provide a high standard of care for our children. 

I want a professional career in fostering and am happy to undertake ongoing training

Foster Parent Suitability Questionnaire

The challenges of fostering

Fostering is life changing and rewarding work. It can also be challenging at times but our foster parents tell stories of the great satisfaction they gain with our expert support. 

I understand that some children in fostering may have challenging behaviour due to the experiences they may have had

Foster Parent Suitability Questionnaire

Working as part of a team

As a foster parent we require you to work as part of the By the Bridge team but also with social workers, teachers and health workers to help support the child.

I am able to talk and listen to young people, aswell as working part of a team to help support them