What Happens if the Local Authority Hasn’t Issued a Phase Transfer Education Health and Care Plan

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Sarah Woosey

Interim Head of Education Law

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The Local Authority is legally required to conduct an Annual Review of your child’s EHCP, prior to their transfer to a new phase of education.

Local Authority’s usually start this process in the Autumn term.

Not all the phases of education will apply to your child; however, the phases of education include:

  • relevant early years education to school;
  • infant school to junior school;
  • primary school to middle school;
  • primary school to secondary school;
  • middle school to secondary school; or
  • secondary school to a post-16 institution.

Following the Annual Review, an amended EHCP must be issued specifying your child’s current school and the school they will attend for the next phase of their education within Section I.

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Deadlines for Issuing an Amended EHCP

There are strict deadlines for issuing the amended EHCP depending upon the transfer taking place.

These deadlines are:

  • 15 February in the calendar year the transfer is due to take place for most transitions
  • 31 March in the calendar year the transfer to post-16 education takes place
  • at least 5-months before the transfers between post-16 education placements takes place

What to do if your Local Authority Failed to Meet the Phase Transfer Deadline

If your Local Authority fails to meet the Phase Transfer deadline, you may wish to speak with the Local Authority to try and ascertain the reason for the delay and when the amended EHCP is likely to be received.

It is important to keep a written record of any conversations you have with the Local Authority as this maybe useful should further action be needed.

Should you be unable to resolve matters yourself, you can challenge the Local Authority’s failure to issue an amended EHCP through a Judicial Review.

A Judicial Review is a review of the lawfulness of an action,decision or a failire of a public body. Once the amended EHCP has been issued, you will be given a right of appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal if you are unhappy with the placement named for your child.

If your Local Authority has failed to issue your child’s amended EHCP by the deadline, do not hesitate to get in contact and we can advise you on your options and the costs of taking further action.

Similarly, if a decision has been made but you do not agree with it, our team of Education Solicitors can advise on appealing that decision to Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.

Action needs to be taken quickly regardless of which route you need to go down.

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