Forgotten children - Education Committee Report
Erin Smart | 25.07.2018
05.02.2018 Erin Smart
As many parents may be aware, the Children and Families Act 2014, introduced Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) which were to be an improved, person-centred document to detail children’s special educational needs and provision. They were to replace the old system of Statements which many parents were familiar with.
For those pupils with Statements of SEN, these were to be transferred, through a transfer review. The idea behind these transfer reviews were to be an updated assessment of need and provision in order to identify the needs accurately and to determine whether the child continued to need support. Many parents found, however, that transfer reviews usually consisted of a meeting and discussion about what parts of the Statement should go into which section of the EHCP. Local Authorities have also been using the opportunity to remove provision and change the schools named, which has been a cause for concern for many parents.
The deadline for all Statements to be transferred into EHCPs is fast approaching; 31st March 2018. This means that those Local Authority’s with Statements still in action will need to act fast to ensure that they meet this deadline. Whilst there have been reassurances that any pupil with a Statement after March 2018 will continue to get the support and provision in their Statement, there is a real confusion as to the status of the Statements. It is therefore important to know the deadlines and continue to question and chase the Local Authority.
If a transfer review has been rushed through, as many now are, also be aware that you have a right to appeal to the SEN Tribunal in respect of the description of need, the provision outlined in the EHCP or the school named. Similarly, if the Local Authority has used a transfer review to change the school or remove some of the provision, this can also be appealed to the SEN Tribunal.
If you have any questions in relation to the EHCP transfer process or the SEN Tribunal, please do not hesitate to contact us. Hopefully, the Local Authorities will be able to meet the deadline of 31st March 2018 and we will be watching this closely.