What is Phase Transfer?
If your child has an EHCP, and is in the final year of a ‘phase’ of education (in nursery, primary or secondary school), they will be prepared to change schools or colleges. This change is known as ‘phase transfer.’.
During that academic year, the Local Authority has a duty to conduct an Annual Review of the plan, and update it (by March 31st for Post-16 changes, by 15th Feb in all other cases), naming the new placement in Section I for the child to attend from the following September. You should get a draft EHCP, which you can provide comments on and express a preference for a particular placement, and then, by the dates specified above, a final EHCP, which, if you are not satisfied by, you can challenge by way of an appeal to the SEND Tribunal.
How we helped
When Jamie’s mum received the amended final EHCP, she was confident that the mainstream further education college named in Section I was not right for her son. She felt he needed a highly supportive environment, with small classrooms, a high level of adult support, opportunities to socialise and work with children like himself. She also wanted specialists such as Speech and Language Therapists and Occupational Therapists onsite. Jamie had not flourished at his mainstream secondary school, in part due to difficulties with class sizes and bullying. His mum was concerned that if he was placed in a mainstream environment, he would fail to reach his academic, social and personal potential, so his mental health would suffer. His family had done some research, and had found an independent special college that they (not run by the Local Authority) that they considered could meet need.
Jamie’s mum called Simpson Millar solicitors and instructed Esther Salter, an experienced Education and SEND Law solicitor. We reviewed the plan and noted that in addition to naming a school that the family did not think was suitable, the plan’s descriptions of Jamie’s needs showed he had not been comprehensively assessed for several years. As a result, the contents of other areas of his EHCP, such as Section B (which sets out the description of a child’s special educational needs) and Section F (the SEN provision required to meet those needs) were out of date and unfit for purpose.