If your Child/Young Person has an EHC Plan and is approaching Phase Transfer in 2020, we want to make you aware of an important deadline regarding this transfer.
The Statutory Deadline by when the Local Authority must have reviewed, amended and finalised EHC Plan is 15th February 2020 for children transferring from:
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, for young people transferring from Secondary School to a Post-16 placement, the deadline is 31st March 2020.
This means that you must be in receipt of your child or young person’s final EHC Plan by 15th February or 31st March, specifying what school/college they will be transferring to.
You should have already had your transition review, this is because after the review, your Local Authority have 4 weeks to make a decision, and then a further 8 weeks to finalise the EHC Plan from the date that they provide you with the Draft Amended EHC Plan. Therefore, in order to guarantee that these statutory deadlines are met, the review should have happened by 23rd November 2019 for children, and by the 4th January 2020 for young people moving on to Post-16 placements.
If you are not in receipt of your child’s final EHC Plan by 15th February or 31st March 2020 – do not delay. As this is a legal deadline, we can force the Local Authority to provide you with your EHC Plan from these dates. The Statutory Deadlines are there so that children and young people will have certainty about the placement they will be attending following Phase Transfer. If you do not agree that the school named by the Local Authority can meet your child’s needs, then getting your EHC Plan in February/March allows you enough time to Appeal to the SEND Tribunal before the start of the school year in September 2020.
The Tribunal will get very busy as Appeals are registered. If you leave it too late to appeal should you need to, there is a risk that your Appeal will not be heard by the end of the school term (July 2020) and you will have to send your child to the Local Authority’s placement in September 2020 or keep them at home – which is not an option for many people.
Don’t get stuck at the back of a very long queue!