If your child or young person has an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and is due to move from one stage of schooling to another; early years to school, infant to junior school, primary to secondary or secondary to post 16+ then the local authority (LA) has a legal duty to review and amend your child or young person’s EHCP to name the new education setting. This is called ‘Phase Transfer’.
In the autumn term the year before your child or young person is due to move to a new phase of education the LA should start the annual review process. As part of this process you (and the young person) will be asked to state what educational placement you would like to be named in the EHCP.
The LA must name your/young person’s preference for educational placement unless:
- The setting is unsuitable for the age, ability, aptitude or special educational needs (“SEN”) of the child or young person; or
- The attendance of the child or young person would be incompatible with the provision of efficient education for others; or
- The attendance of the child or young person would be incompatible with the efficient use of resources.
- Section 39(4) CAFA 2014
The LA must send you the amended plan and letter that identifies which educational placement your child or young person will attend from September by (the latest) 15th February or 31st March for post 16+ transfers.
If the letter does not name the school you wanted for your child or the post 16+ placement your young person wanted then you or your young person will have the right to appeal this decision to the First Tier Tribunal (SENDIST). We at Norfolk SENDIASS can provide impartial, free, confidential information, advice, and support about how to appeal this decision. We would advise you to make an appointment with us as soon as you receive the phased transfer letter if you are unhappy with the named school.
Keep an eye on our website and social media as we will be advertising our ‘How to appeal a final EHCP’ training in the New Year to coincide with phase transfer.
Norfolk SEND Youth Forum
We have enjoyed meeting up, supporting each other, making friends, and talking to representatives from the Local Authority, to provide the views and experiences of young people with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities).
We are actively seeking new members as we want young people’s voices to be heard and listened to. The Key aim of the Youth Forum is to make real change for young people with SEND. As one of our members said,
“the youth forum is an empowering place to be….people listen to us.”
So, if you are 11 – 15 years, and want to be part of this amazing group of young people, please sign up by completing the online registration form on our website, and we will send you an invite to the next meeting. If you are interested in what we do, but do not want to attend meetings, you can still register, and we will provide you with access to our on-line pin-board where you can still be part of the conversation!
If you would like an informal chat with Bridget, our Children and Young person Adviser, please contact us by phone or contact us on-line to speak with her.
Case Law Update C & C v The Governing Body of a School  UKUT 61 (AAC)
Child L, who has autism, anxiety and pathological demand avoidance received a fixed term exclusion, the reason given by school for the exclusion was L’s aggressive behaviour. The parents decided to take the school to the First Tier Tribunal for Disability Discrimination. The First Tier Tribunal found that L had been involved in a number of incidents over a ten-month period largely involving pushing, pulling and grabbing others. There was one occasion where they hit a teaching assistant with a ruler and on another occasion with a book, pulled her hair and punched her.
The First Tier Tribunal considered that L met the definition of a disabled person for the purposes of section 6 of the Equality Act 2010. However, it dismissed the claim because the exclusion was as a result of L’s tendency to physical abuse which, by virtue of regulation 4(1)(c) of the Equality Act 2010 meant L was treated as not falling within the definition of disabled.
The parents chose to take this to the Upper Tribunal to challenge the First Tier Tribunals decision. The Upper Tribunal agreed with the First Tier Tribunals factual findings that L did have a tendency to behave in a physical manner but found that the interpretation of 4(1)(c) was incompatible with human rights law.
This Upper Tribunal decision means that children will, in the context of education, be protected against discrimination even where they have a need that gives rise to a ‘tendency to physical abuse’. Schools and local authorities will be required to make reasonable adjustments for children where a recognised need leads to a ‘tendency to physical abuse’.
Norfolk SENDIASS updates
Our offices will close for the Christmas period on 23rd December until 4th January. Please ensure if you can no longer attend your booked appointment that you contact us to cancel and we can allocate this to another person. Thanks.
Keep an eye on our social media and website for upcoming training in the new year on 'How to appeal a final Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)' to coincide with phase transfer.