Call our free helpline0808 808 3555
Call our free helpline
0808 808 3555
On 1 September 2014 a new law called The Children and Families
Act was introduced. This changed the way that children and young
people with special educational needs are supported at school and
in further education. These changes are sometimes referred to as
One of the key changes was the introduction of Education, Health
and Care (EHC) plans, which have replaced statements of special
Local authorities have been transferring children who have
existing statements to EHC plans. This process is called the
transfer review. The deadline in law for all statements to be
transferred is 1 April 2018. However some local authorities may not
be able to meet this deadline.
It is important to be aware that your child will not
suddenly lose support on this date if they don't yet have an EHC
plan - read more.
There are things that your local authority must do and deadlines
that they must meet when carrying out transfer reviews.
Your child will not automatically transfer to the new system. If
your child needs or is likely to need an EHC plan, you or the
college must make a formal request for an
EHC needs assessment. Your child also has the right to make
their own request if they want to.
If your child's needs have not changed, they should continue to
receive the same educational help that was written in their
statement. If new needs were identified during the EHC needs
assessment, these will be reflected in the EHC plan.
At the end of the EHC needs assessment, the local authortiy will
decide if they are going to issue an EHC plan for your child.
An EHC needs assessment does not always leads to an EHC plan.
The local authority can refuse to issue an EHC plan if they think
that your child's difficulties are no longer severe enough or if
they think that their school or college can meet their needs
without additional funding.
If your local authority decides not to issue an EHC plan for
your child, they must write to you to let you know and give you the
reasons for their decision.
If your child has been refused an EHC plan, you can appeal this
decision to an independent tribunal.
The Department for Education has issued an assurance that
provision in statements will continue to be made after 1 April and
that local authorities remain responsible for arranging the
provision. There is more detailed information in
If your child still has a statement on 1 April, then the
statement will be treated as if it were an EHCP and will be
enforceable under the Children and Families Act 2014.
The local authority must do the EHC transfer by carrying out and
concluding an EHC needs assessment as soon as reasonably
practicable. We suggest that you ask in writing when this will
happen and if the delay is unreasonable make a formal
If you have a young person about to leave school for college it
is essential that the EHC plan is finalised well before the end of
the school year.
Even if your local authority is behind target and under pressure
to transfer a large number of statements in a short time, they must
not shortcut the legal requirements. An EHC plan should never
just be a rebadged statement.
If you live in Wales, read our information about the
We also support Northern Ireland and Scotland. Give our helpline
a call on 0808 808 3555 and we can provide information or signpost
you to alternative sources of advice in those nations where
appropriate. Find out our local office details in the In your area
Questions about transfer reviews or EHC plans? Queries
about SEN support at school? Call our freephone
helpline and talk to one of our education