5 Key Dates Parents Need To Know For The School Year


Samantha Hale, Associate in Education Law and Community Care, covers some of the most important dates that parents need to keep in mind for the 2017/2018 academic year.

Important Dates For The 2017/2018 School Year

Although there's lots of different dates that parents need to keep in mind whilst their child is at school, such as parents' evenings, here are some of the most important dates you need to know for the school year:

  • 15th February – this is the deadline for primary/secondary phase transfer Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) to be issued
  • 1st March – this is National Allocation Day for secondary school places
  • 31st March – this is the deadline for post-16 phase transfer EHCPs to be issued
  • 1st April –  this is the deadline for all Statements of SEN (SSEN) to be transferred to EHCPs
  • 16th April – this is National Allocation Day for primary school places


Samantha answers some FAQs about what you can do if your Local Authority misses one the of the deadlines or makes a decision that you believe isn't in your child's best interests.

What Can I Do If My Child Doesn't Get An EHCP By The Phase Transfer Deadline?

If your Local Authority fails to meet the phase transfer deadline, you can challenge this through a Judicial Review, which we can help you with.

What Can I Do If My Child Doesn't Get A Place At Their First Choice School?

If you're not happy with the primary or secondary school that has been allocated to your child, you have the option of making an appeal to the Independent Appeal Panel.

Generally, as part of the appeals process the admission authority will explain the rationale behind their decision. You will also have the opportunity to provide reasons as to why your child should be given a place at their preferred school.

After this, the panel will make a decision about whether the school's decision was fair and it followed the right process. Your appeal will normally be successful if the panel discovers that the school didn't follow the right process, and your child would have been offered a place if they had.

Generally, the panel will make a final decision and inform both you and the school of this in 5 working days. If you're unhappy with the panel's decision, keep in mind that it might be possible to challenge this in court through a Judicial Review.

Speak to one of our Education experts on 0808 129 3320 if you'd like to make an appeal or would like some advice on how to handle a decision you don't agree with.

Is There A Different Appeals Process For Children With Special Educational Needs And/Or Disabilities (SEND)?

There are different school admission and appeals processes for children with SEND who have a Statement of SEN or an EHCP.

You can make an appeal to the Special Educational Needs Tribunal (SEND) if you aren't happy with a decision made about your child's school placement or EHCP. We can help you with the entire process, from offering advice to representing you during proceedings.

What Happens When My Child's SSEN Is Transferred To An EHCP?

Since 1st September 2014, Local Authorities have been transferring Statements of SEN to EHCPs for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). This process is taking place under the Children and Families Act 2014 and all local authorities have been given a deadline of 1st April 2018 to have this process completed.

There's a legal obligation for local authorities to meet this deadline. So, if they fail to issue your child's EHCP on time then you should speak to an Education Law expert about your next steps as it might be possible to challenge this in court through a Judicial Review.

How Can Simpson Millar Help Me?

We help countless families seek the best outcome for their children in all circumstances, and if you need legal advice or representation our Education lawyers are ready to help.

If there have been problems with your child's phase transfer, their EHCP doesn't meet their needs or they don't get a place at their preferred choice of school, speak to us as soon as possible on 0808 129 3320.


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