Following an EHC needs assessment, if the LA decides to issue an EHC plan, the first step is for the LA to send the parent or young person a draft version.

The plan will include information on the child or young person’s special educational needs (“SEN”), health and care needs, the provision required to meet each of those needs, and the outcomes that should be achieved. It will also record the child or young person’s aspirations, views and feelings.

This is an opportunity for you to check whether the draft EHC plan contains everything it should. Read our page on what an EHC plan should contain, and in particular our EHC plan checklist, to see whether the draft EHC plan complies with the law.

A draft EHC plan must not include the name of a particular school, college or other educational placement, or what type of placement the child or young person will attend. This is because the EHC plan must reflect the individual’s needs and the provision to meet those needs, not the resources which can be offered in a particular placement. This means that the name and/or type of placement will appear only in the final EHC plan, not the draft plan.

Along with the draft EHC plan, the LA must give notice to the parent or young person that they have 15 days in which to:

  1. make comments – ‘representations’ – about the draft EHC plan;
  2. request a meeting with the LA to discuss the draft;
  3. request that a particular school or other institution is named in the final EHC plan.

The LA are legally required to do this (under section 38 of the Children and Families Act 2014). If you are not happy with any aspect of the draft EHC plan, or the reports attached to it, you can suggest amendments you would like made.

You can also ask for a meeting with the LA to discuss your concerns. If you want a meeting, the LA is legally required to agree to meet you. You should consider taking someone along with you for support. You should also consider writing down the exact points you want to make and the questions you want to ask, so that you can be sure that you don’t miss out anything you want to say at the meeting. You can leave a copy of your points with the LA officer as a reminder to them.

When you make a request for a particular school, college or other institution, the LA must consult with that institution about whether it should be named in the final EHC plan (unless your request is for a wholly independent school). For more information on your rights to request a particular school or other institution, see our page on choosing a school or other setting.

You can use our model letter as a starting point to respond to anything you’re not happy with in the draft EHC plan, to request a meeting, and to request a particular school or other institution is named.

In order to comply with the overall timescale of 20 weeks from the request for assessment to the final EHC plan, the draft EHC plan should be issued within 14 weeks from the request for an EHC needs assessment. If the LA do not send you the draft EHC plan within this time frame, you can use our model letter to complain.

 

If you haven’t been able to find the answer to your question on this page, see our FAQs.

Responding to a draft EHC plan: Model letter 3

Complaining when the LA does not send a draft or final Education, Health and Care Plan on time: Model letter 10