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EHC needs assessment and plan timeline

If you request a new education, health and care (EHC) plan, the whole process must take no more than 20 weeks. However there are certain exemptions (opens new window) which could prolong this. Parent carers should be informed of any exemptions. These are the only exemptions that could apply:

  • The child or young person is absent from the area for a period of at least four weeks
  • Exceptional personal circumstances affect the child or the young person, and his/her parent
  • The educational institution is closed for at least four weeks. This may delay the submission of information

The Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 set out the process for assessments.

Stages of the assessment process

Weeks 0-6

  • Request for an EHC needs assessment is made by a place of learning, or a professional, parent carer or young person age 16+ with SEND
  • We gather initial information and evidence that is already available
  • Existing professional advice is requested and considered
  • Progress to EHC needs assessment or notification not to proceed with an EHC needs assessment issued. Feedback is provided, with the right to appeal

Weeks 6-16

By week 14

By week 16

In most cases a child or young person will remain in their current place of learning. Issuing an EHC plan does not mean that a child or young person's place of learning will necessarily change.

An EHC plan simply outlines that the provision required by the child or young person is more than, and different to, the provision that is usually available.

We (the local authority) would expect mainstream places of learning to meet needs with the additional resources and support that the EHC plan identifies, and the use of reasonable adjustments.

We will liaise regularly throughout the assessment process, with the current place of learning on any provision identified in assessment(s) that your child now requires to be in place.

Week 20

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