There is now a lot of advice available from the Department for Education, along with law and guidance, about how to transition from a Statement of SEN to an EHCP. Despite this, some local authorities are still not following the correct procedure.
In order to make the move from a Statement of SEN to an EHCP, the local authority must conduct an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment. It should also work with parents and the young person in a collaborative way and should accommodate the young person’s special educational needs. The involvement of the local authority must also take into account the family’s commitments and be as unobtrusive as possible.
As part of the EHC needs assessment, the family and young person should be asked about their views, hopes and aspirations. Once this is received an EHCP will be prepared. This will be in draft form for the family to respond to and, once they have, a final EHCP is issued.
It is very important that the EHCP is not just a copy of the Statement of SEN in a different format.
It is very important to make sure that the local authority completes an EHC needs assessment when preparing an EHCP.
If the local authority has not told you about the EHC needs assessment, or refuses to make the assessment, it should be challenged. We can help by ensuring that the local authority understands, and complies with, its legal duties.
Another big concern is that provision is removed when the transition from a Statement to an EHCP happens. We can help by liaising with the local authority to negotiate for the return of these provisions in order to avoid appeals to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST).
It is important to make sure that the EHCP is only finalised when you are happy with it. Whilst there is a deadline for the EHCP to be completed, it may be beneficial to extend it. We can help decide whether to extend the deadline, and support negotiations, in order to obtain a properly prepared EHCP for your child or young person.
If you are unhappy about the content of the final EHCP, it is possible to make an appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST).
If you would like to discuss your case then please contact us at [email protected] or call 0800 884 0723 – our specialist SEN solicitors are here to help.
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