EHCP Answers

The EHCP Transfer Clinic facility, that ran from 2014-2018, has now ended. However, many of the questions Marguerite and Helen answered may still be useful regarding EHCPs generally so please browse through. 

If they don't help your question, please download our SNJ Helpful links document, which we'll update periodically

Click the + below read the answers on here.... (and share this page to help your SEND parent friends) If you want to ask your own question, use our Ask IPSEA service, but this is NOT for urgent cases

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***EHCP Transfer Clinic - Your Questions, Our Answers***

EHCP Transfer Clinic

Does a statemented child need to transfer to an EHCP before moving to special provision?
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Question from a parent:

I am a parent of a child with SEN and also an independent supporter. Our local authority are saying any child with a statement who wants to move from mainstream to special needs needs to transfer to an EHCP first.

This is upsetting parents because it's often taking them a while to accept that mainstream isn't working and then the change is held up by the EHCP transfer process. The problem is, I've been unable to find it written anywhere to say this is absolutely necessary. We have some children on reduced timetables and literally just being managed in mainstream while this goes ahead and I'm just wondering if this is something I can challenge.

Marguerite replies

 

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Marguerite answers:

It appears the LA is adhering to the Transfer Guidance Sept (2015),

4.12 Between 1 September 2015 and 31 March 2018, local authorities must transfer children and young people with statements of SEN to the new arrangements:

  • in year 9;
  • when leaving youth custody; and
  • prior to them moving from:
    • relevant early years settings to school (including where the child remains at the same institution),
    • infant to junior school,
    • primary to middle school,
    • primary to secondary school,
    • middle to secondary school,
    • school (including school sixth forms) to a post-16 institution or an apprenticeship,
    • mainstream school to special school, or
    • special school to mainstream school.

However, what’s concerning is, if the LA has acknowledged the child or young person requires a special school, they should start the process, consult with parents and allow the child or young person to start the school as soon as possible to reduce the anxiety for all involved.

Reduced timetables are not an option and not a long term solution. In fact, they should be avoided where possible.  We know that LAs are struggling to adhere to the 20-week deadline, keeping a child or young person at home is only going to exacerbate the situation.

Another positive for moving the child or young person within the process is that the new school can contribute to the short and long term outcomes and write a legal and meaningful EHC plan.

As you are an Independent Supporter, I would definitely organise a meeting with the SEN department to share the concerns of the parents as soon as possible.

Does a young person need an EHCP to get extra support in an FE college?
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Parent Question:

Daughter age 21. Statemented since age 5. In residential special college with 139a . Mainstream FE college has offered her a place (requires 1:1 support) and local authority has just turned down EHCP . Given her a My Support Plan. College say they cannot support her without EHCP. She cannot use public transport without support.

EA have said: 

  • Essentially, for young people without an EHCP the funding for post 19 is through the skills Funding Agency, not the EFA & LA. This does not meant that additional support is available. Skills FA do provide additional learner support.
  • So, it should not be the case that the college cannot offer without an EHCP in place. There may be exemptions to charges as a post 19 ‘adult’ course charges will come into play. There are exemptions, and circumstances may be that full charges will not be made. College can explain the criteria.

Will be starting the appeal process next week (whatever that actually means). Can you help or advise?

Many, many thanks for such a superb site. I've stumbled upon it via the power of Google.

Marguerite Hat replies

Marguerite answers:

Firstly, congratulations to your daughter for gaining a place at college. 

Secondly, all young people with a LDA (or a statement) should transfer to an EHC plan unless something has happened which means that their individual needs have changed (so that they no longer need a statement or learning difficulty assessment). The legal test for issuing an EHC plan is no higher than it was for issuing a statement. Additionally, The SEN Minister, Ed Timpson, has stated (on video to SNJ) that no one should lose their statutory support as a result of the changes to the new system. 

The Transition Guidance, 2015 states the following: 

3.15     From 1 September 2016, all young people who had received support as a result of an LDA in further education and training who continue in further education or training beyond that point and who need an EHC plan must have one. 

4.23    Young people in further education or training who receive support to meet their SEN as a result of an LDA and who intend to continue in education beyond 31 August 2016 can choose either to:

  • continue for the time being to receive their support as a result of their LDA (where it is still required); or
  • request an EHC needs assessment at any time.

It is expected that the LA will carry out this assessment for all young people with a LDA and then issue them with EHC plans unless there is a particular reason why they think a young person no longer needs the same level of support. Even if you do not trigger an EHC needs assessment, the LA must transfer all LDAs to EHC plans by April 2016. If the LA does not agree with that request, then the decision can be appealed to the SEND Tribunal.

Funding: 

For funding purposes, a high needs student is defined as:

  • a young person aged 16 to 18 who requires additional support costing over £6,000;
  • any young person aged 19 to 25 subject to a Learning Difficulty Assessment (LDA) or an EHC plan who requires additional support costing over £6,000.

 In all instances, a high needs student’s placement must be commissioned by the local authority and include the top-up funding (element 3) to be paid to an institution. An agreement must be in place between the two parties to that effect. The funding system has two aspects which are:

  • place funding known as elements 1 and 2 for post-16 institutions (except special schools and special academies)
  • top-up funding (known as element 3 for post-16 institutions)

 Place funding includes the funding which pupils and students at an institution attract for their core education and basic programmes and funding to meet the first £6,000 of additional support costs. Top-up funding is that which is required over and above place funding, to enable a pupil or student with high needs to participate in education and learning.

 Students aged 19 to 24 without an EHC plan or LDA: 

For students with SEND aged 19 to 24 without an EHC plan or LDA, the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) assumes the responsibility for commissioning provision even when the support costs exceed £6,000. In this situation, learning support funding should be used. Where a young person aged 19 (or over but under 25) arrives at college and, based on the institution’s assessment, is likely to need additional support costing over £6,000, the institution can request a statutory assessment for an EHC plan from the young person’s local authority. In these cases, the local authority has up to 6 weeks to decide whether to conduct an assessment. While the decision to assess or actual assessment period is ongoing, the institution should enrol the learner as an adult learner funded by the SFA. If the learner subsequently goes on to receive an EHC plan, then the institution should make a change to the individual learner record (ILR) and the learner would be funded by EFA. 

I suspect that the College are wanting to claim the top-up funding (element 3) and your LA is stating her needs can be met without an EHCP. Hence, why they’ve issued a “My Support Plan” which is not a legal document.   

You’ve mentioned that you are going to be starting the appeal’s process, you may find the ASK IPSEA page on our website helpful or contact IPSEA.org.uk directly. IPSEA provide free, independent, legally based advice and support to parents who have children that have Special Educational Needs and/ or a disability as they navigate the education system. 

However, you shouldn't need to appeal - the LA are clearly breaking the law and you perhaps should contact your case officer in the first instance and pass on this information above to give them a chance to rectify their error, because there is no way they can win an appeal. If they refuse, then appeal. 

I hope this is useful

How can my son’s statement be transferred to an EHCP if my LA isn’t providing any education?

My son is 18yrs old, has an SEN and my local authority want to start the transfer over to an EHCP even though my son has not been provided ANY education according to his SEN since May 2015.

I want them make provision as per his statement but all my LA want is to meet to begin the transfer process. I read with interest that Ofsted areas where outcomes for children and young people are causing concern or where LAs are failing to complete assessments or EHCPs within statutory timescales.

Helen Gifford replies

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Helen answers:

You are right, the local authority must provide the special education provision that is your son's statement, and you are completely within your rights to insist on that. Whilst your son has a statement and attends school, the local authority must arrange all the provision set out in Part 3 of the existing Statement and arrange for the school placement in Part 4 of the statement under the Education Act 1996.

I think it would be helpful for us to clarify what the issue is - is your son not getting any education at all, or is he attending school but the support set out in the statement is not being provided? If he's not at school, did he leave school in May 2015 with any arrangements in place for his future?

If your son is not in school, I suspect your authority is viewing the statement as 'lapsed' as Statements only apply to young people who are over statutory school age if they are attending a school. However, the raising of the participation age to 18 does mean that the local authority should be ensuring that your son is engaged in education or training, and if he is not, then they are failing in their duties under that requirement as well, so that is another point that you can raise with them.

If your son is attending school, and will be moving to college in September 2016, then I think the transfer to the EHCP urgently needs to start now as it should have all been done by the end of last March. If he will be staying at school for another year, then the transfer could wait a bit and the authority concentrate on getting the provision in place that they are required to be making as the truly urgent piece of work for them.

Sorry to be a bit vague, but if you could let me at a bit more detail about the situation you are in, I will get more specific. My contact details are at the bottom of this email, after the forwarded message.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Late EHCP drafts and extensions timescales for amendments

I was told I'd been sent a draft EHCP at the end of July which I'd not received. On 8 August, the day before we went abroad, I emailed asking for another copy and verified my address.

I did not receive a draft until 30 August. I'd already said that I'd like an extension on responding giving me two weeks from the schools returning so I could consult, but I've received this response:

"I can agree a further extension to 16th September but must make you aware that to do so would not be compliant with the Code of Practice; the summer holiday is not an exception to statutory timescales unless we are seeking specific advice from the school, e.g. awaiting a response to a consultation. If this is acceptable to you, I will await your response on or before 16th Sept. "

I can find nothing about asking for an extension not being compliant with the Code of Practice. Are you aware of anything? I feel it's only fair to be able to discuss the draft with my son's current school and transition options for next year - two weeks is such little time anyway.

Helen answers

I think that the problem here is that the local authority has used up all the time in the statutory timescales for issuing a final EHCP by not getting the draft EHCP to you when they should have done.

When they talk about extending your time to comment not being compliant with the CoP, they are thinking about the legislation that allows for the timescales to slip in limited areas over the summer holidays e.g. getting reports from professionals, as so many of the relevant professionals may be term-time only or taking holidays. It is true that there is no provision in the legislation or CoP for this for parents' comments, unless there are exceptional personal circumstances affecting you or your child (and sadly, I don't think that non arrival of a draft EHCP fits this) or you are away for a continuous period of over 4 weeks.

However, as you did not receive the draft EHCP until 30 August, by insisting on sticking to the statutory timescales, the authority is certainly moving against the spirit of the CoP as you now only have limited time to comment, through no fault of your own. If the authority had pulled their finger out and resent the draft EHCP on 8 August, things would be different, but as it took them 3 weeks to do so, I think it's worth putting pressure on them to recognise that this difficulty is due to the authority not taking corrective action (resending the draft) quickly. I'd suggest contacting them emphasising this and saying that you will accept a slight overrun on the statutory timescale in order to allow you time to comment properly. They will be keen to hit the timescales, but there is no actual penalty to a local authority if they don't, whereas in this situation there could be a penalty to you and your child if the EHCP is finalised and it is not right.

If the authority will not agree to this, I would ask them for a meeting to discuss the draft EHCP. The CoP says that the authority must meet with you to discuss the EHCP if you ask, and you can then press the point that you don't have sufficient time to think about the EHCP and hopefully deal with any concerns or questions you may have, or come up with an agreed approach to move forward. For example, the authority could issue the final EHCP by the deadline, but agree to reissue with further tweaks once you have been able to get your thoughts in order.

I hope this helps

My daughter’s draft EHCP is vague
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Parent question:

I have just received my daughters draft EHCP. I have read it and am a bit worried that it is not totally accurate. For example, they have stated the type of school setting she needs under 'non-education health needs'. Should this not be under 'education'? This is just one example of the comments I have noticed which I have flagged up as not quite right.

My main question to you though is, what exactly needs to be in the report, specific words etc. if I want to secure a "special" school for my daughter? I am worried that my current EHCP is not specific enough and a bit vague.

Marguerite replies

Marguerite answers:

 

SEN Reg 13 states that the parent or young person must be given at least 15 days in which to give views and make representations about the content of a draft plan. You also have the right to request a meeting to discuss the content of draft EHC plan (Special Educational Needs Code of Practice 2015 9.77).

 

I am not sure how the LA could have named a type of setting when they issued the draft EHC plan. Within section 38(5) of the Children and Families Act 2014 it makes it clear that when a draft EHC plan is sent to parents or the young person it must not name a school or other institution or specify a type of school or other institution.  Why? Because the EHC plan, especially the provision must reflect the needs of your daughter from the assessment advice gathered during the statutory process.

 

Furthermore, you’ve identified your daughter’s EHC plan is vague. When the LA writes an EHC plan, they must by law ‘specify’ the help your daughter must receive. This means describing it in enough detail so that you and your daughter, among others, can clearly tell what must be delivered, how often, how long for and who by. The duty on an LA to specify is ‘statutory’ as it is required by section 37 of the Children and Families Act 2014.

IPSEA provides an EHC plan checklist you can obtain it from here:

https://www.ipsea.org.uk/what-you-need-to-know/ehc-plans/draft-ehc-plans

This checklist will help you to identify each and every need for provision is there, in the right section and adequately described.  Delete phrases such as ‘access to’, opportunities for’, or ‘up to’ as in ‘up to X hours’.  I would advise you to look through all the assessment advice (section K) attached to the plan and extract any useful advice which actually quantifies provision. If the assessment advice is vague you could contact the professional and ask them to make the amendments.

 

Also, if you want your daughter to attend a special school, the LA has a duty when issuing a draft plan to advise you and your daughter about where they can find information about the schools and colleges that are available for your daughter to attend (SEN Reg 13).

 

If you or daughter want a school or other institution which is listed in Section 38 (3) then you or daughter will be able to make a request for it under the Act.

A school or other institution is within this subsection if it is:

  •  a maintained school;
  • a maintained nursery school;
  • an Academy;
  • an institution within the further education sector in England;
  • a non-maintained special school;
  • an institution approved by the Secretary of State under section 41

 

When the LA receives such a request they must consult the governing body of the school or institution and if it is in another local authority, the other local authority. The LA must secure that the EHC Plan names the school or other institution unless section 39 (4) applies.

Section 39 (4)

This subsection applies where—

  • the school or other institution requested is unsuitable for the age, ability, aptitude or special educational needs of the child or young person concerned, or
  •  the attendance of the child or young person at the requested school or other institution would be incompatible with— the provision of efficient education for others, or
  •  the efficient use of resources.

 

This means that if none of the conditions referred to in Section 39 (4) exist, the school or institution requested by you or daughter must be named in the EHC plan.

 

Our daughter’s school won’t allow access for an independent assessment
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Question from Parent

We have a statement to EHCP transfer review for my 14 year old. Since she entered special schools in 2010, we don't feel she's made much progress especially in language/communication and sensory issues that hinder her educational abilities.
We wanted to commission private assessments for the review process, but the school has disallowed access apart from insufficient time slot of 30 minutes - this was learned at last moment after weeks of requesting access. It makes us feel like this review meeting and subsequent process will not fully take account of her needs and thus open up solutions for provision.

What are our rights in terms of soliciting alternative views to the assessment? Will it be more advantageous to wait to do private assessment till things are more advanced in terms of a draft EHCP to which respond?

Also we still have had little contact with the school's occupational therapist and SALT despite raising concerns in these areas so we will we haven't had any opportunity to input into their assessments if they do submit a report as requested. Shouldn't that normally be expected?

Is it best to escalate these issues above to school leadership or take this to the LA as the school appears in control over both the process and the eventual provision, although I understood it should be with the LA?

Once at the review meting, if any of it appears lacking in rigour or supporting reports and info is there sufficient time to raise this as an issue for the process before a new plan is created by the LA?

Helen Gifford replies

Helen answers:

This is a highly unsatisfactory situation that you find yourself in.

I would be inclined to escalate your concerns to the local authority, copying in the school leadership team. It is the local authority who have the final responsibility for both the transfer to an EHC Plan including the reports gathered as part of that transfer process, and for arranging the provision that is set out in your daughter's statement and EHC Plan when it is written, so they definitely need to be involved.

You are fully within your rights to obtain private reports, and I would ask the local authority to ask the school to allow the people carrying out the reports to have reasonable access. The only time when I am aware of compulsion becoming possible with the school is if you end up appealing to the SEND Tribunal when you could ask the Tribunal to direct the school to allow this access, but you are not there yet. However, it is no-one's interests for the private assessors to have to guess how things are at school so hopefully the local authority will work with you to overcome this.

Sadly, it is not uncommon for school based therapists to have relatively little contact with parents. However, it is not terribly helpful as most therapy interventions are best implemented across both the school and home. The Code of Practice might help here. Section 9.50 requires that the local authority gives anyone who they approach for advice as part of an EHC assessment (which the transfer process to an EHC Plan includes) copies of representations from the child's parents, so I think when you contact the local authority, tell them that you want your concerns shared with the relevant therapists, so that they can then take them into account with their advice. I also recommend asking that the EHC Plan when written includes liaison with parents as part of the therapy provision.

The best time to seek private advice rather depends on the circumstances. Where there is a reasonable chance of thorough advice being supplied from the local authority commissioned sources, I would suggest waiting until those reports have been gathered as you may not need any extra advice or may end up paying for a report that says pretty much the same thing as the local authority one. However, where you do not have faith in the services that the local authority will approach, it is worth considering arranging the private reports sooner and submitting them to the local authority so that they are available for the drafting of the EHC Plan. I must warn you that where the local authority's advice differs from the private advice, the local authority is likely to prefer their advice over yours, but they must be able to give reasons to justify this decision on the basis of your daughter's needs.

Good luck!

Should we ask for new assessments for my son’s EHCP transfer?
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Parent asks

My son has a statement, we are going to transfer to an EHCP. The reports are old: OT, 5 years; Physio 10 years; Ed Psych 6 years. As my son is 17 and he will be transferring to adult services this year, I wanted a clear picture of all of his needs so I asked for new assessments at the beginning of the process so that all of the information would be on the table when all of the professionals met. I was told by SENDAR that this is not what the CoP says, it is not our LA's policy. I was told that the professionals at the Transfer Meeting would decide if reports were needed and that the paperwork from that meeting would trigger the reports.

I could understand if something new came to light during the meeting that that would happen, but these are clearly identified needs including some that led to the LA allowing him to be in an out of county school.
 Is this correct? What DOES the CoP say?

Marguerite replies
Marguerite Haye replies:

The transfer guidance states:
5.6        To transfer a child or young person from a statement of SEN to an EHC plan, a local authority must undertake a Transfer Review. This will require them to undertake an EHC needs assessment under section 36 of the 2014 Act.
5.1        The EHC assessment process will allow local authorities and families to work together to consider existing assessment information within the statement or LDA and what, if any, further assessment information is required.

Further assessments can be from all the professionals working with your son or a service not working with him too. The professionals working with him should be providing written advice unless you, the local authority and the professional agree that the report is current and is appropriate. In seeking advice and information, the local authority should consider with professionals what advice they can contribute to ensure the assessment covers all the relevant education, health and care needs of the child or young person. Please remember that a transition from a statement to a plan always involves an EHC needs assessment. A statement cannot simply be tipped into a plan. The EHC needs assessment is the essential feature of transition and it cannot be avoided or delegated by a local authority.

Article 20 provide that the C & F Act 2014 and the SEN Regs apply to an EHC needs assessment conducted as part of the transition in the same way as they do to an EHC needs assessment under the C & F Act 2014. This means that the law which applies to EHC needs assessments applies equally to transition, for example, the entitlement to ask for additional reports under SEN Reg 6 (1) (h) will apply – as will all of the other rights parents and young people have during an EHC needs assessment. There is an additional right which applies to transition which is the right to attend a meeting with a SEN officer and this is addition to, not instead of, the rights parents and young people have to a meeting in respect of a draft EHC plan.

Have a think about your son’s area of need( Section B) in terms of:

  • Sensory & Physical or Health
  • Cognition & Learning
  • Communication & Interaction
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties.

As he is 17, you would be expect to see the Preparing for Adulthood Outcomes (Section E), in the four areas; Employment, Education, Community Inclusion and Health. Chapter 9 of the CoP states reports older than a year old should not be used and his statement should have been reviewed annually. However, we know that many are not updated, often because, after a long, hard battle, parents do not want to risk having provision removed.

 

What does a good description of needs in the ‘Independence’ section look like?
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Parent asks:

My 18 year old daughter's statement is transferring to an EHC plan. We have waited over 24 weeks, (despite chasing it) to receive a very poor draft. We commented on the draft and were told new assessments would now be sought and included. One week later, a call from the head of young people's service to say they needed to finalise this plan to show to panel. It would be an 'interim' EHC and would they would add in the assessments later but they now needed to finalise it because it was past 20 weeks!  They eventually backed down and we are ensuring the new assessments are included.

My question is, do you have any links or examples of what a good description of needs looks like in relation to the independence and self help section? My daughter has had a social care assessment and I know this should be included here but it was in a box ticking format rather than written, for her personal budget.

 

Helen Gifford replies

Helen Gifford answers:

I am pleased to hear that your authority agreed to wait for the extra assessments as, whilst the timescales do matter for efficient and timely completion of EHC Plans, an EHC Plan that doesn't have the necessary detail is not much help for planning or making decisions about your daughter's next placement.

There are two helpful examples of EHC Plans for a young person over school age with complex needs who is going to college on the SEND Pathfinder website. This is a website that collects the learning and resources from the trials before EHC Plans became law and contains example EHC Plans that the Department for Education (DfE) felt were appropriate. You can find this at http://www.sendpathfinder.co.uk/coordinated-assessment-process. You will find a menu of 4 options in red type. Click on the plus by the second one (called 0-25 Co-ordinated Assessment Process and Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan, version 5 October 2014), and the good examples are appendix 1 Portsmouth example EHC Plan (you will need to scroll down over one for a nursery age child first) and appendix 4 Hertfordshire example EHC Plan. To make things easier, I have attached these to this email anyway.

Both of these example EHC Plans have the preparing for adulthood, and developing independence skills running through them for a young person over statutory school age. Your daughter's EHC Plan may look different (and you can see that both these plans looks very different from each other) as every authority is required to develop their own local style of plan in consultation with parents, but they will have the same lettered sections as these are the legal requirements.

I particularly recommend the description of the young person's special education needs (section B) in the Portsmouth example. Developing independence features throughout all the sections here, and it is clear and detailed about the young person's needs.

In both these example EHC Plans, the outcomes in section E are all very focused on preparing for adulthood and developing independence and self help skills, and, whilst set out differently, contain detail of the overall aim, and the smaller steps that will be worked towards to achieve that aim. Outcomes in an EHC Plan are intended to be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound), and to set out the difference or benefit that will be made to your daughter by the provision that is in place. So, rather than saying that she will develop self help skills, the outcomes should be clear about what your daughter will be able to do and when it is anticipated that the support will enable her to do. Each outcome must then have appropriate provision set out in the EHC Plan that will help her to achieve this.

The vast majority of the provision in an EHC Plan that is working towards self help and independence skills will be counted as special educational provision (section F), rather than social care (sections H1 and H2) or health provision (section G), and this is because it is training or educating the young person. This is something to look out for - only the provision in section F has a right of appeal to the SEN Tribunal if you do consider it not to be suitable or sufficient, and that is the only provision that is fully legally enforceable. The provision in section F needs to be specific - a good rule of thumb is to think about whether you can picture your daughter's day in school or college i.e. can you tell from the provision what support and adaptations she will be getting. If you can't, then the provision is probably not sufficiently clear and specific. I think that the Hertfordshire example EHC Plan is the better example of special educational provision in section F as it provides it higher level of detail and specificity.

Don't forget your local Information, Advice and Support (IAS) Service, which used to be known as Parent Partnership. They should be able to help you check that an EHC Plan is sufficiently detailed. IPSEA has a helpful checklist for checking an EHC Plan on the website at: https://www.ipsea.org.uk/file-manager/SENlaw/ipsea-ehc-plan-checklist-2015-april.pdf

What information should we be given at the start of an EHCP transfer?

What information is required at the start of the transfer (old review meeting) all I have be given is a form with just a few details from my son's teachers. Also who needs to be at this meeting?

 

Helen Gifford replies

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Helen answers:

Exactly how the transfer process runs does vary between local authorities, but it seems to be pretty much standard practice for schools to be asked to complete a form that covers both the usual statement review requirements (child's progress, is the provision still correct, have the child's SEN changed etc.) and starts to think about what needs to be in the EHC Plan (more information about your and your child's views, deciding upon outcomes to be worked towards etc.).

Some schools are filling out this form as far as they can before the review meeting and sharing it with parents and then finishing off filling it in at the review meeting. Others are just gathering teachers' views on progress, provision etc. which will be supporting information to the form when it is completed, sending those to parents in advance of the review meeting, and then filling out the form from the meeting. It sounds to me as though you might be in the latter case here. If so, I think it is worth asking the school or the local authority for the form that will be completed by the school following the review meeting so you know what will be covered, and can be prepared to put your views over in the meeting.

At a review meeting, there must be a representative from the local authority, relevant school staff such as the SENCo, class teacher, TA etc., and external professionals who are working with your child e.g. speech and language therapist, occupational therapist, advisory teachers such as literacy or ASD specialists, educational psychologist. All the external professionals may not be able to attend the meeting, but anyone who is currently working with your child should provide a report that you should have at least two weeks before the meeting so that their advice can be discussed at the meeting, even if they are not there.

It is worth remembering that a transfer to an EHC Plan involves an EHC assessment (very like the statutory assessment that was done for the first statement), and so all relevant professionals should be giving written advice, and if they have not done so, they should be asked for it by the local authority unless you, the local authority and the professional in question agree that an already existing report is suitably up to date.

Whose responsibility is it to source my daughter’s provision within her EHCP?

After a long battle, we have now an up to date Educational Psychology and Occupational Therapy (OT) report to inform the EHCP. My daughter is 18 and in her last year at a special school. The OT report has made recommendations that 18 x 1 hr sessions be put in place to train staff to deliver a program and the LA have agreed. I have just found out that the school are now responsible for going out to tender for the OT provision.

I am horrified as the school have not been following the statement nor did they carry the EHCP assessment effectively. I asked for amendments and we now have a robust plan with needs and provision itemised.

However, the problem is making the school carry it out.  In addition, I was notified that the LA did not send the school a copy of the reports. When I challenged the LA on this, they said they were instructed by tribunals to NOT put lots of detail in the EHCP and not to send professional reports to school.

My daughter leaves at the end of May 17 so I need the provision to be put in place immediately.

  1. What leverage do I have on school/LA to make them source the OT
  2. Ensure the school carry out the provision as detailed in the EHCP?
  3. If the EHCP says 1:1 for literacy and numeracy, should I make school fund it or go back to LA to request more funding if they say they do not have sufficient?

Marguerite says:

Section F is where the special educational provision must be set out.

  1. The SEND Code of practice 9.69 provides more detail. Provision must be detailed and specific and should normally be quantified, for example in terms of the type, hours and frequency of support and levels of expertise. Provision must be specified for each and every need specified in section B.s.21(5) Children and Families Act 2014 (the Act) is an important section as it informs you about health care provision or social care provision which educates or trains a child or young person is to be treated as special educational provision (instead of health care provision or social care provision). Provision such as speech and language therapy and occupational therapy, needs to be included in Section F. If included in this section a LA has the legal duty to secure this provision even if the local health care or social care provider delivers it in practice.

Please ensure your daughter’s Occupational Therapy is in Section F!

IPSEA have a EHCP checklist you can use to check the content. You can download it from here:

https://www.ipsea.org.uk/what-you-need-to-know/ehc-plans/draft-ehc-plans

2.The Local Authority has a statutory duty to secure the provision specified in Section F of the EHC Plan s.42 Children and Families 2014 (the Act). Whilst a school or college will often be delivering it in practice, this duty will mean that if the school or college can’t or won’t secure this  provision  then  the  Local  Authority must do so.  This may happen when section F is not adequality specified.    If you feel the school isn’t delivering the provision you can complain to the Local Authority.

You’ll find a model letter from IPSEA here:

https://www.ipsea.org.uk/what-you-need-to-know/ehc-plans/final-ehc-plans-and-enforcement

3. If section F within your daughter’s EHCP states 1:1 literacy and numeracy, then my response above still applies.

Disclaimer: Helen and Marguerite have both completed IPSEA legal training courses. Marguerite is also an IPSEA volunteer. These answers can be used on as general advice about the SEND system. However, please DO NOT rely on this advice for Tribunal or other court appeals. It is vital that, in these cases, you seek your own personalised legal advice. We cannot be held responsible if you use this general advice in a court of law as it was not prepared for you in particular, or with knowledge of your particular case.


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