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.