Why Educational Health Care Plans Must be Kept Up to Date


An Education, Health and Social Care Plan (EHCP) outlines the educational, health and social care needs of a young person with Special Educational Needs (SEN), but will only reflect the needs/ provision at the time the document is written. For this reason, it should be reviewed annually to ensure that it’s accurate and up to date and if not, the Local Authority should then amend it.

It’s highly unlikely the needs of a child will stay the same, as they pass from one phase of education to another, such as primary to secondary school and secondary school to a post-16 institution. This is known as a ‘phase transfer’, and means that as the educational phase of a child changes, it’s likely that their EHCPs will need to change too.

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Local Authorities are Legally Required to Review EHCPs

Local Authorities are legally required to review Education, Health and Social Care Plans (EHCP) and issue an amended Final EHCP, before a phase transfer takes place and there are legal deadlines for when this should be done by.

For phase transfers to primary school and secondary school, EHCPs must be reviewed and an amended Final EHCP issued by February 15th in the year of transfer.

For children preparing to phase transfer to a post-16 institution, the deadline for an amended Final EHCP to be issued is March 31st that year. The amended EHCP must name in Section I the name of a particular school/college placement or type of placement that the child will attend from September.

With phase transfers, it’s vital that EHCPs are reviewed, amended and issued by their legal deadlines. By issuing the Final EHCP for phase transfer by the legal deadline, the child’s next school/college will be aware of any additional needs they may have and be able to plan for it. And if necessary, they’ll have time to bring in any extra support or provision that may be needed.

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Furthermore, the parent will have time to pursue an appeal within the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) if they aren’t happy with the contents of the EHCP or the placement named.

Local Authorities are required by law to ensure children with Special Educational Needs have their needs met. This means that if you’re not happy with how an EHCP is worded or whether it’s being implemented fully, there is legal action you can take.

Get in touch with our Education Law Solicitors to find out how we can help you.

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