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Statements and EHCPs to be amended by 15 February...
We are fast approaching the 15 February, the date by when local authorities (LAs) must issue a new Statement of Special Educational Needs (SSEN) or Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) for children who are transferring to a new phase of education.
Does this apply to you?
The 15 February deadline applies if your child is moving from:
- Early years education to school
- Infant to junior school
- Primary/first to middle school
- Primary to secondary
- Middle to secondary
What does the LA need to do?
The amended or new Statement/EHCP must name the new school. The LA must issue a new Statement/EHCP for every child going through a phase transfer, even if they attend a ‘through’ school, for example, one that goes from 3 to 19 years.
Working back from 15 February, the LA must first issue a proposed Statement/EHCP (if it is a new one) or an amended proposed Statement/EHCP (if the child already has one) in good time to allow parents 15 days to respond to the draft, and then for the LA to consult with the parents’ preferred placement. What this means is that LAs must issue the proposed Statement/EHCP at least a month before 15 February.
If your LA has not done this, then you probably need to prompt them.
There is good reason for 15 February being the cut-off date. The timings allow sufficient time to resolve issues if parents do not agree with the school named on the Statement/EHCP. This means enough time to go through mediation (for EHCPs), to lodge an appeal and for it to be heard before the start of term in September.
Transferring to post-16 placement
The deadline is slightly different for young people moving to post-16 placements. For young people transferring from secondary to post-16 placement, the Statement/EHCP must be amended by 31 March in the year of transfer.
Not happy with the school/college named on the Statement/EHCP?
You can try mediating with the LA but if this fails you can challenge the LA’s decision by appealing to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. See our factsheet.
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