Transferring from Statements to EHCPs: What works for me

Tania's note: Today I'd like to welcome a new columnist, Marguerite Hayes. Marguerite works with local authorities as the lead for converting Statements into EHCPs at a local authority. She has been involved in teaching for over a decade in various positions and sectors. Marguerite is currently studying for an Masters degree in Special Educational Needs and is completing the IPSEA legal training. 

Today Marguerite is talking about what she's found works with transfers from her experience and we have an infographic at the end illustrating her top tips.

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Transfer from Statements to Education Health and Care Plans

I  am currently working in local authorities on the transfer of  statements to EHCPs. I have read articles from parents and different organisations advising parents. Last year we transferred over 200 statements to EHCPs, which was a huge success. The parents and young people were very happy with the services and personal attention I provided. I would like to share with you what worked:

  • I called parents at the start of the process to introduce myself, provided my contact details and a brief discussion about the process. I would also provide parents with the details of the independent supporter.
  • I agreed a method of communication and the frequency of the communication. I always kept parents and young person informed.
  • Sending parents and young person a copy of the pre-populated EHCP before the meeting. Given them the opportunity to view the template and contribute from the start.
  • I provided examples of documents that were required from parents and the young person.
  • At the review meeting, I listened to the parents and the young person and tried to make the process simple. Using clear plain english and explaining any parts they were unsure about. If I didn’t know the answer, I would find out and let them know as soon as possible.
  • When discussing the content of the EHCP ensuring it reflected a positive image of the young person.
  • I discussed what assessments are required. This was difficult at times because the assessments need to provide information to allow the young person to achieve their outcomes. Not assessments just for the sake of it!
  • If assessments were required, then I would often hold another meeting with parents to discuss the content and how this would be included in the EHCP.
  • Once I had written the draft, I would call parents to inform them I would be issuing the formal draft and explain how they could make amendments if required.
  • Quality EHCPs are more important that quantity and we (me and my team) became more experienced we were able to issue more within the 20 weeks.
  • Working closely with the SenCo or the person responsible at the school for the EHCP. Sharing the workload with them. Being proactive. If they sense an assessment is required,making the request early to prevent further delays.
  • Being flexible with all involved in the process.
  • I ensured the final EHCP was transparent and clear and reflected what we discussed at the meeting(s).

My next column will address what I faced as challenges and there were days when I was pulling out my hair!

transition to EHCP infographic

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Marguerite Haye

SEND Advocate at Haye Independent Services
Marguerite Haye joined us as a columnist toward the end of 2015. Marguerite is knowledgeable in the SEND legislation she embraces its ethos at the heart of everything she does, by adopting a child-centred approach to ensure every child receives the right provision.
As a SEND teacher, Faculty Leader and Assistant Head Teacher in the education sector for over 15 years. Marguerite can recognise individual learning abilities and uses her initiative to tailor learning programs to meet individual need.
Marguerite continues working with other agencies, schools and local authorities to promote and support their understanding and implementation of EHCP’s and SEND reforms efficiently. Through effective leadership, Marguerite promotes an appropriate culture, empowers staff and demonstrates high standards.
Marguerite has built a connection with parents, young people and professionals alike in her career and this a huge asset to her current role as SEND advocate.
Marguerite Haye
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  1. Received by email:
    I just wanted to comment on the recent article about good practice re EHCP transfers.

    Currently Sheffield Local Authority are not sharing the pre populated plan with parents/carers before the Transfer Review. In fact they are actively refusing to do this, something that I hope will be addressed and has been brought to the attention of the local Parent Forum.

    I know personally of a parent who only saw the pre populated plan for the first time at the Transfer Review Meeting!!

    The Local Authority appears to be struggling with the number of transfers it has to do. It has passed on some of the work to Sheffield Futures the post 16 careers advisory service. Who it appears have little experience of SEN/EHCP/Statements etc.

    Core Assets, the independent supporter in Sheffield has a contract that ends in March 2016. Leaving SENDIAS as the only supporter, who also appear to be struggling with the higher workload. It appears local services such as Educational Psychology are also struggling. I know personally of one parent who contacted SENDIAS to be told all they could offer was somebody to read the draft EHCP when it was ready they refused to attend the Transfer Review!!

    I have had to drive the whole process myself for my son and have done a lot of groundwork already before we go through this process in a year’s time. I am lucky enough to have SENDIAS supporting me but I suspect only because they have done this on and off for the last 5 years.

    My son’s school appear to have little clue what is required from an EHCP transfer.

    Everything I have mentioned is sadly the stressful reality for many parents/carers who are already overloaded with other complex issues with their child/young person.

    I personally have little faith that just because our statement is transferred to an EHCP that it will improve access to services for my son. We already pay for independent Speech and Language Support at a huge cost as the statutory service is patchy.

    Waiting lists for CAMHS in Sheffield are I understand creeping up again too.

    Sally Gregory

    1. Marguerite Haye

      Hello Sally,
      This is disappointing as the new reforms is to engage parents and young person from the start. I know that their are LAs strugglingwith the capacity to transfer quality information within the timescale. I always ensured we were transparent from the start. Why? It’s important. It won’t work if we don’t have a relationship with parents and young person. Is your son attending a special or mainstream school?

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