August 4, 2022
When a child or young person with an EHC Plan intends to move to another local authority the child’s parent or the young person should inform their existing LA of the intended move and will also need to carry out research and visits to schools that may be able to meet the child or young person’s needs within the new LA area. They may want to review the new LA’s local offer, which should be easily accessible online. Ideally, once a child or young person has a well-worded EHC Plan they would remain in the same LA area.
Where a move is necessary the old LA must transfer the EHC Plan to the new authority on the day of the move, unless the old authority has not been given 15 working days’ notice of the move. Where the old authority has not been provided with 15 working days’ notice of the move, the old authority must transfer the EHCP within 15 working days beginning with the day on which it did become aware of the move.
Once the EHC plan is transferred, the new authority becomes responsible for maintaining the EHC Plan and securing the special educational provision specified in it.
The requirement for the child or young person to attend the educational placement specified in the EHCP continues after the transfer. However, where attendance is impractical the new authority must place the child or young person temporarily at an appropriate educational instruction until the EHCP is formally amended. The new authority cannot refuse to pay the fees or otherwise maintain a child at an independent or non-maintained special school or a boarding school named in an EHCP unless and until they have amended the EHCP.
The new authority may bring forward a review of the plan and may carry out a new EHC needs assessment. The new LA must tell the child’s parent or the young person, within 6 weeks of the date of transfer, when they will review the plan and whether they intend to carry out an EHC needs assessment.
The new authority must review the plan before one of the following, whichever is the later:
- within 12 months of the plan being made or being reviewed by the old authority, or
- within 3 months of the plan being transferred.
Some children move between LA areas while they are being assessed and in these circumstances the new authority should decide whether it needs to carry out an EHC needs assessment, taking into account the fact that the old authority had decided to carry out an EHC needs assessment. If the new authority decides to carry out an EHC needs assessment it should use the information already gathered and this information should help the new authority complete the assessment more quickly.
Where the move between local authority areas also results in a new clinical commissioning group becoming responsible for the child the old CCG must notify the new CCG on the day of the move or where they were not aware of the move for at least 15 working days prior to that move or within 15 working days of becoming aware. Where it is not practicable for the new CCG to secure the health provision specified in the EHCP the new CCG must within 15 working days of becoming aware of the change of CCG, request the new local authority to make an EHC needs assessment or review the EHCP. The new local authority must comply with the request.
Where a child or young person with an EHC plan moves to Northern Ireland, Wales or Scotland, the old authority should send a copy of the EHCP to the new authority or board, although there is no obligation on the new authority or board to continue to maintain it.
At Tayntons we can advise you on the best course of action if you are having difficulties with the local authority over your child’s needs. Our team represents parents of children with a range of SEN.
If you would like to speak to our expert SEN law solicitor, Imelda Brennan, call us on 0800 158 4147, email us at email@example.com or request a call back and a member of our team will be in touch promptly.