How long does it take to prepare an IDP?

The time taken to prepare an IDP will depend on the nature and scope of a child or young person’s needs.

Preparing a concise IDP for a child or young person with less severe or complex needs should be a relatively simple and quick process. Such IDPs should form a large majority of those that are prepared.

An IDP for a child or young person with severe, complex or low incidence needs is likely to require specialist input and advice and detail a much wider range of interventions. This will necessarily require greater time and effort to prepare but should only be required in a minority of cases. 

The ALN Code proposes that a school must prepare an IDP promptly, and in any event within 35 schools days from, in the case of a pupil who is a child, it being brought to the attention of or otherwise appearing to the school that person may have ALN, or, in the case of a pupil who is a young person, the pupil consenting to the decision being made.

The equivalent period in the case of a local authority is 12 weeks (or seven weeks where the local authority is reconsidering a school’s decision about whether a child or young person has ALN).

If the child/young person is currently looked after or not in education (providing the child is in the area of the LA), then it is the LA’s responsibility to prepare and maintain the IDP for the pupil if the pupil does have ALN that requires ALP.

The LA have 12 weeks from the date it was brought to their attention that the child/young person may have ALN to prepare the IDP (unless it's impractical do to so due to circumstances beyond their control).