Tania's note: Today I'd like to welcome a new columnist, Marguerite Haye. Marguerite works with local authorities as the lead for transferring 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 a 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.
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 EHC needs assessment is the essential feature of transition and it cannot be avoided or delegated by a local authority. 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 on a method of communication and the frequency of communication. I always kept parents and the young person informed.
- Ensure that an EHC Needs Assessment is completed promptly. No copying and pasting here!!
- I provided examples of documents that were required from parents and the young person.
- At the 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 as well as the needs.
- When writing the EHC plans, I ensured the EHC plan is specifying needs, provision and outcomes.
- Working closely with the Senco or the person responsible at the school for the EHCP. Sharing the workload with them. Being proactive.
- Being flexible with all involved in the process.
- Challenging colleagues when their assessments were vague and not specific.
- I ensured the final EHCP was transparent and clear, legal and reflected what information was gleaned from the assessments.
My next column will address what I faced as challenges and there were days when I was pulling out my hair!
Download this infographic as a text copyable PDF
**NOTE** This infographic is free for you to download, print and share. You don't need to ask us first but do leave a comment about where you plan to use it, so we know it's useful.
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Hi we will be showing this to our NAS Thurrock parents group thank you 🙂
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.
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?
Sally’s reply by email: He is in an Integrated Resource Unit in a mainstream school. The unit
is oversubscribed and was only designed for 20 pupils but has around 30.
They should know about the Code of Practice! Please have faith, the LA’s are there to help. It’s not helpful that there are 2 systems running at the same time. Did the parent receive their EHCP?