Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP) for children transferring between phases of education must be amended before 15 February 2021. Who does this apply to?
This applies if your child is moving from:
- 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
What Should the Local Authority be Doing?
Your Local Authority that maintains your child’s Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) must issue a final amended EHCP naming the school that they’re to attend from September 2020 by 15 February 2021 at the latest.
They must do this even if the actual school placement will not change, for instance if your child attends a school that caters right through to secondary education and they are going to remain there from September 2021.
For initial advice get in touch with our Education Law Solicitors.
What to Do if Your Local Authority Hasn’t Done This
If your Local Authority hasn’t issued the final amended EHCP, then you could:
- Make a formal complaint to your Local Authority about the delay. Your Local Authority complaint process should be available on their website or a copy should be given to you on request. If you’re not satisfied with the outcome of the complaint, then you can consider escalating the matter to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO).
- Alternatively, we could seek a Judicial Review claim against the Local Authority. This is a claim to the High Court seeking an Order that the Local Authority issue the final EHCP. Before taking a claim, a letter known as a ‘letter before claim’ is sent to the Local Authority and this usually resolves the matter. This option is usually quicker than making a complaint or going through the LGSCO.
It’s important that Local Authorities comply with the 15th February deadline as if parents disagree with the school named for September or any other part of the EHCP, it allows sufficient time for the issue to be resolved before the end of the academic year through mediation and/or an appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SEND); which our Solicitors can help you with.
If the EHCP is not done in time, parents who want to challenge the school named are at risk of the matter not being resolved before taster days/inductions begin and even the start of the new school year.
If you haven’t received the final EHCP in time and you’re concerned about this, you can contact one of our Education Law Solicitors or Lawyers to discuss your options. It’s advisable to get legal advice on how best to approach the matter before taking any action.
For advice and help join our Education Matters Facebook community group here
For legal advice call our Education Solicitors
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