What to Expect at an Annual Review of a Phase Transfer

Author:
Samantha Hale
Partner, Education & Community Care Solicitor
Date:
17/11/2020

The Local Authority will review your child’s Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) when your child transfers into a different phase of their education, to see what their ongoing needs are. This is to make sure your child has the right provision in place to meet those needs, no matter what stage of their education they’re going into.

The Local Authority will also use this review to choose the school placement for the next stage of your child’s education.

The deadline for issuing an amended EHCP for Phase Transfer to a primary or secondary school is 15th February, or 31st March for Post-16. So you should expect the Local Authority to start reviewing your child’s EHCP in the autumn term of the year before they’re due to transfer. This should give them enough time to look at your child’s progress and see what changes their EHCP may need for their future education.

If your Local Authority hasn’t got in touch with you about reviewing and amending your child’s EHCP yet, then you should speak to your child’s school or the Local Authority themselves.

If the Local Authority are refusing or delaying the review of your child’s EHCP then we could help you. Our Education Lawyers are experts at making sure timelines around phase transfers and annual reviews are implemented.

For legal advice call our Education Solicitors and SEND Lawyers and we will help you.

Call us on 08002605010 or request a callback and we will help you.

How Does a Local Authority Review an EHCP?

Your Local Authority will have a document that sets out what information they need from the school to understand your child’s needs.

Your child’s school will normally arrange the review meeting with you, the Local Authority, and anyone else supporting your child, for example their doctor.

The school will ask for some information a couple weeks before the meeting from:

  • You, as the child’s parent
  • The Local Authority
  • Your child’s doctor
  • Any therapists that may have worked with your child
  • Teachers and teaching assistants
  • Anyone other professionals in your child’s life

At the meeting, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss their progress to date, what you think your child needs, and which school you think they should go to.

The schools will compile a report on what you discussed at the meeting, and send it out to everyone who attended the meeting about 2 weeks after it took place.

The Local Authority will then make a decision about whether or not they’re going to change your child’s EHCP. If they are due a Phase Transfer, unless it is possible for them to stay at their current placement, the Local Authority will have to amend the EHCP.

What if I Don’t Agree with the Local Authority’s Decision?

The Local Authority must take your views into consideration before making any changes to your child’s EHCP. If you don’t agree with the school the Local Authority have named in your child’s EHCP or the contents of it, then you can make an appeal to the SEND Tribunal.

While the Local Authority has to consider your views, they could refuse to name the school you have suggested for your child because of the following reasons:

  • The school is not suitable for the age, ability, aptitude or Special Educational Needs of your child
  • You child’s attendance at the school would be incompatible with the provision of efficient education for others
  • Your child’s attendance would be incompatible with the efficient use of resources

These are the only reasons why the Local Authority could name a different school for your child. So if you feel that the Local Authority haven’t got a sufficient enough reason, or you don’t agree with their reasoning, to name a different school to the one you suggested, then you could make an appeal.

Our expert Education and SEND Lawyers can help you lodge an appeal with the SEND Tribunal. We will always handle your case sensitively and can advise you on the evidence you should submit to the SEND Tribunal.

If you would like us to, we can also represent you and your child at the SEND Tribunal Hearing, in the meantime we’ll be happy to discuss your options and your budget with you.

For legal advice call our Education Solicitors

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