Transfer from Statement or LDA to EHCP
Transfer From Statement and Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDAs) To Education, Health And Care Plans (EHC Plans)
When will the transfer to EHC Plan happen?
Under the new Children and Families Act 2014 which came into force on 1st September 2014 changes are taking place for children with Statements of Special Educational Needs (SEN) and young people with Learning Difficulty Assessments.
These children and young people will go through a process of conversion or Transfer Review which changes their Statements and LDAs to EHC Plans within the new legal framework of the Children and Families Act 2014.
Local authorities are required to inform parents, children and young people about the availability
of impartial Information, Advice and Support Services and about the Independent Supporters in your area. Independent Supporters provide support and advice to parents during this process of transfer.It is helpful if parents and young people are put in touch with these services early in the process.
Statements of SEN will remain in force until the transition to an EHC plan has been completed. The 2001 SEN Code of Practice and the relevant regulations in the Education Act 1996 will continue to apply until the end of the process.
The local authority where the child or young person lives must have completed this process for all children with Statements by 1st April 2018 and for all young people who have an LDA and who will continue in further education or training, by 1 September 2016. The Timetable for Transfer below shows when that transfer or conversion will happen for different groups of children and young people living in Portsmouth Local Authority (PCC) area. This is published on Portsmouth Local Offer website. Advice from the DfE (Department for Education) has required the local authority to prioritise certain groups first.
If a young person has an LDA, they can request an EHC needs assessment at any time. If the local authority does not agree with that request then the decision can be appealed to the SEND Tribunal. The form for a young person living in Portsmouth to use to make this request can be found below.
If your child has a Statement you can ask the local authority to carry out the transition before their intended time but if they do not agree, you cannot appeal against that decision. However, you can still ask for a re-assessment under the Education Act 1996. If the request is refused you can appeal and if you win, the Tribunal has the power to order the local authority to carry out an EHC needs assessment.
The expectation is that all children with a Statement and young people with LDAs, who remain in education or training, will be transitioned to an EHC Plan unless there has been a change in their individual needs which mean they no longer need the same level of support.
What happens during the transfer to EHC Plan?
For a child or young person with a Statement, local authorities must give parents or young people at least 2 weeks’ notice before it starts the Transfer Review.The notification may also invite you to a Transfer Review meeting or it may just notify you of the start of the EHC needs assessment process.
Transfer Review meeting
As part of the Transfer Review, local authorities must ensure that the child and their parents or the young person are invited to a meeting to contribute to the process. The transfer process and the Plan development must be person-centred. The hosting of the meeting may be delegated to a school/college if they agree, but an officer of the local authority, who can make SEN decisions, must attend.This meeting must take place in advance of the EHC plan being finalised and should be near the beginning of the process so that you and your child or young person can input views on the needs, outcomes and provision required and also on whether current assessment information is up to date.
The Transfer Review meeting will follow a similar structure to that of the Annual Review of an EHCP details of which can be found on our page Reviewing an EHC Plan. The meeting structure can be found under the heading 'Your Person-Centred Review' towards the end of the page.
A Transfer Review is an EHC needs assessment and must be carried out in accordance with the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014. The EHC needs assessment must take place before the local authority either finalises the EHC plan or makes a decision not to issue a plan.
During the EHC needs assessment the local authority must gather advice and information as to:
- the child or young person’s needs;
- the provision needed to support those needs; and
- the outcomes that would be expected to result from the provision being put in place.
There are no exceptions to the requirement to carry out an EHC needs assessment, however in certain cases the local authority can use existing evidence. In Portsmouth the Transfer Review is known as a Mini Assessment Process. Early consideration should be given in the process of transfer as to what assessment advice will be needed to inform the EHC needs assessment.You can request that the local authority seek advice from anyone you think they should approach, which might include private tutors, therapists etc.
The Code of Practice makes it clear that the local authority must not seek new assessment advice where they, the parent or young person and the professional who gave the advice are all satisfied that existing advice is sufficient for an EHC needs assessment. In deciding whether existing advice is sufficient, consideration can be given to how long ago the advice was provided, whether the child or young person’s needs have changed since and whether it is sufficiently focused on the outcomes sought for the child or young person.
All current assessment information and other updates used for your child’s Statement should be provided before the Transfer Review meeting. In preparation for the Transfer Review meeting, read the Statement and supporting documentation and consider whether the reports are recent enough and reflect your child's current situation.
For a young person with an LDA there is a six week period at the start of a new EHC needs assessment,during which the local authority decides, in consultation with the young person, whether or not to carry out an EHC needs assessment. This period also provides an opportunity, before the assessment itself starts, to consider whether existing advice is sufficient for an EHC needs assessment.
Information about the assessment can be found at EHC Needs Assessment
Information on how to give your views for the assessment can be found at Parental Contribution
How long should the transfer to EHC Plan take?
Statement to EHCP
At least two weeks notice must be given to parents and/or young person of the date of the start of the EHC needs assessment, from which the transfer process should take 18 weeks. The DfE (Department for Education) makes it clear that all steps must be completed as soon as practicable within this timescale.
At some point during the process local authorities must ensure that the child and their parents or the young person are invited to a Transfer Review meeting. This meeting must take place in advance of the EHC plan being finalised and should ideally be within the first 8 weeks.
At week 12 -14 a draft EHC plan needs to have been produced and sent to the parent or young person. At the same time, the local authority must advise the parent or young person where they can find information about the schools and colleges that are available for the child or young person to attend. The parent or young person then has 15 calendar days, after receipt of the draft plan, in which to:
- make representations to the local authority about the contents of the draft EHC Plan;
- ask for a meeting with an local authority officer to discuss the draft EHC Plan;
- tell the local authority the type of school/college (mainstream or special) and the actual school/college they would like named in the final EHC Plan.
The parent or young person must be notified by week 14 if the local authority has decided not to issue an EHC Plan, having carried out the EHC needs assessment. The parent or young person will have a right of appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal against the decision to refuse to issue a plan and the statement must be maintained pending the resolution of the appeal.The local authority must advise of your rights to appeal.
During weeks 15 and 16 the 15 days the parent or young person has to respond to the Plan with their representations and notify their school choice, will come to an end. This period may end earlier if the draft Plan was issued earlier – the 15 days starts when the draft plan is served.
At week 16 the local authority must consult with the school/college the parent or young person has requested. The school or college should respond within 15 days.
At week 18 the final EHC Plan should be issued by the LA. The child or young person's Statement automatically ceases.
A timeline for the transition process from a statement to an EHC plan can be seen here Timeline-Statement to EHCP.
LDA to EHCP
Different transfer arrangements and timescales apply for young people with a Learning Difficulty Assessment (LDA).
For a young person with an LDA, the transfer is treated as a new request for an EHC needs assessment and the timescales are the same as for a new assessment.
During weeks 1 to 6 the young person must be consulted and the local authority makes the decision whether or not to carry out an EHC needs assessment.
The young person and/or parent must be notified by the end of week 6 if the local authority has decided not to carry out an EHC needs assessment.The young person and/or parent will have a right of appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal against the decision to refuse to assess. The local authority must advise of your rights to appeal.
During weeks 7 to 16 the EHC needs assessment is carried out and the local authority gathers any new assessment advice needed. During this time a co-production meeting is held to discuss the content of the plan.
At week 16 a draft EHC plan needs to have been produced and sent to the young person and/or parent. The young person and/or parent then has 15 calendar days, after receipt of the draft plan, in which to:
- comment to the local authority about the contents of the draft EHC Plan;
- ask for a meeting with an local authority officer to discuss the draft EHC Plan;
- request a particular college or other post-16 institution be named in the final EHC Plan.
The local authority must consult with the requested college and the college should respond within 15 days.
The young person and/or parent must be notified by the end of week 16 if the LA has decided not to issue an EHC Plan, having carried out the EHC needs assessment. The young person and/or parent will have a right of appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal against the decision to refuse to issue a plan. The local authority must advise of your rights to appeal.
At week 20 the final EHC Plan should be issued by the local authority. The young person's LDA automatically ceases.
A timeline for the transition process from an LDA to an EHC plan can be seen here Timeline-LDA to EHCP
There are some exemptions from the timescales which are outlined in The Code of Practice, paragraph 9.42.
A more detailed timeline for transfer from Statement to EHCP can be seen at Transition Timeline