Confused? Fear Not.
Just when you think all is settled and the last giant stack of paperwork you had to deal with is beginning to fade from your mind, you receive notification of the transfer review meeting moving your child's Statement to an EHCP. A sense of panic begins to spread through your body and you wonder if you have the emotional energy to steel yourself for the next round of local authority negotiations and you now need to understand and negotiate a new process. You shudder. You have heard stories from others of their experiences that adds to your anxiety and fears, but don't panic, there are some great resources out there with guidance and advice on what to expect so you will know all you need to know, phew!
- IPSEA - offers free and independent legally based information, advice and support to help get the right education for children and young people with all kinds of special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities. They have transfer FAQs section of their website and a section on common misconceptions.
- Supportive Parents - is a charity providing information, advice and support to parents, children and young people about any type of special educational need or disability from 0-25 years. There are support meetings held in South Glos and starting 21st of February there are some Parent Courses to find out more about SEND law and where to go for information.
- Special Needs Jungle - creates easy to understand resources, articles and information for parents and carers of children with special needs, disabilities and health conditions to better enable them to navigate the special needs system. They also have a EHC Transfer Clinic section on their website. Handy!
- Our own Really Useful Guide that really is as useful as it's name suggests, has some really great info about EHC Assessments (pages 22 - 26)
There is a lot of information and advice out there. IPSEA have helpfully reduced the process to some simple to understand basic what to expect steps as they understand as we do, it can feel very confusing. These are just the steps broken down into the most simple of terms, 6 steps, but the links above will take you through to resources with more detailed info:
- Child's statement comes up for transition
- Each LA must issue a transition plan detailing how they will move those already in the system. This should have been published on their website in September 2014.
- LA writes to parent giving at least 2 weeks’ notice – ideally more – of the date on which the transition process will begin.
- From that date, the LA will have to start the EHC needs assessment process – see IPSEA briefing on the EHC needs assessment.
- The Local Authority needs to hold a meeting with parents and professionals. It is up to the Local Authority to decide when this happens – some are starting off with a meeting whilst some seem to be holding it to discuss draft plans.
- Local Authority issues EHC plan.
For a transition from a statement to an EHC plan, after the two weeks notice have been given, the overall time limit is 18 weeks to complete the assessment and then finalise the EHC plan.
We hope you feel armed with transition information and where to go for help and advice on this next challenge, but should if you need pointing in another direction for advice. We are here for you, either at the end of the phone or email and even at our coffee mornings, waiting with a cuppa.