In accordance with the Children and Families Act 2014 and the Transition statutory guidance issued August 2014, all statements must be converted to EHC plans by 1st April 2018. (Just over 3 years).
All young people who receive support as a result of an LDA who are continuing in FE or training beyond 1 September 2016 who need an EHC Plan should have one by 1st September 2016.
No statements or LDAs can ‘lapse’ under the new Code. All must be reviewed to be ceased or transferred.
As part of the SEN and Disability reform programme in Southwark, over 400 parents have been actively involved in consultation events about the changes. Parents have been involved in drawing up an information leaflet for parents about the transfer process and this has been sent to every parent of a child with a current statement in September 2014.
All Southwark Schools were invited to sessions in the Summer Term 2014 about the changes where transfers were discussed and sessions have been held for school Governors which are ongoing this term.
Consultation with some young people has taken place and will continue over the course of this year.
Health and social care professionals have had briefings both in the summer term and continuing into the autumn term 2014.
Numbers to be transferred and annual plans
The table below shows the planned number of transfer in each academic year, per group. The year groups that MUST be done each year is explained below in section 4.
How will Southwark LA work with schools to transfer statements to EHCP’s and in what order will these be carried out?
Further statutory guidance was issued by the Department for Education in August 2014 about the transfer process.
In all cases the transfer meeting will take the place of the Annual Review meeting for the year that the transfer review is completed.
Some new regulations have been put in place that apply between September 2014 and September 2015. This means that the LA has to:
- Complete any transfers for young people who receive support as a result of an LDA who request an EHC needs assessment;
- Complete transfers for young people moving into FE or training from school in September 2015 (by May 2015)
In most cases this means that young people in year 11 and school sixth forms moving onto FE are the cases that MUST be transferred this year.
Children moving to secondary school in September 2015 can transfer with a statement.
Other groups that are a focus are:
Any child facing a key transition point:
- Entry to primary school in 2015
- Entry to junior school in 2015
- Year 5 (entry to secondary school in 2016)
- Year 9
- Year 2
- Young people leaving custody
- Children/young people moving in from another LA area
- Young people transferring from a mainstream school to a special school or vise versa.
In addition, any child who had a non statutory plan prior to September 2014 will have their plan issued as a statutory EHCP.
From September 2015 and 2016 the same groups will be the priority. The only change is for young people moving into FE the process must be complete by the end of March each year.
Key transition points will then be the focus in each year as in the table set out in 3 above.
In year 4 (September 2017-March 2018) any cases that have not been transferred in the previous 3 years, for whatever reason, will than be transferred.
How will parents, young people and schools find out when transfers are to take place?
All parents of children with a statement have been sent a leaflet setting out the order of transfer. All schools have also been sent a copy.
All schools will receive a letter setting out their transfer reviews in each year. In addition, the Transfer Team Leads will liaise with schools about the need for up to date reports prior to the transfer reviews being held.
Direct support will be offered to schools in the form of resources to support the process in school, direct training from the LA for the school SENCo and ongoing officer support at the transfer reviews and as needed.
Until a transfer review has taken place, schools should continue with the annual review of a child’s statement. Schools and the LA will be running both processes for the next 3 years.
The distribution of statements is not even across Southwark primary Schools. Some schools have high concentrations of statements whilst others have very few.
The priority groups will be:
Year 5 children in 2014/15
Year 2 children in 2014/15
Year 5 children in 2015/16
Year 2 children in 2015/16
Year 5 children in 2016/17
Year 2 children in 2016/17
Any remaining children in September 2017 must have their statement converted by April 2018
This timetable allows all primary statements to be converted by April 2018.
All secondary schools in Southwark have pupils with statements of SEN.
The priority group will be year 11 over all 3 years of the conversion process. In addition, each secondary school with a sixth form may have young people moving into FE, these must be a priority where these young people are on a school roll. Finally, as many year 9 statement transfers as possible should be carried out over the 3 year timetable. In this way all statements in secondary schools will be converted by April 2018.
At year 9 all cases will transfer to the oversight of the SEN Post 16 Team (to be renamed the Preparation for Adulthood Team). For the next 3 years this team will focus on the conversion of statements to EHC plans for the priority groups stated above.
The process is more intense in special schools as every pupil will require a statement transfer.
The Senior Adviser SEN will be lead officer on special school transfers. The same principles for order of transfer as above should be applied.
The transfer Review process
The LA must undertake an EHC needs assessment. This means:
- If information (advice) already exists that is current (no more than 2 years old) and all parties are in agreement this is sufficient, it is that information/advice that is used for the EHC needs assessment;
- If the information is out of date, new reports need to be requested. The Transfer Team in the LA will organise and arrange for an up to date Educational Psychology report to be carried out. Schools need to work with the LA transfer team closely on this. Reports from other relevant agencies should be requested by the school as for annual reviews;
- Parents/carers will be asked to contribute to the reports by the school. Support is available for this from SIAS (see & below)
- Dates for the transfer reviews need to be set by schools for the year. Dates need to communicated to families and the LA in good time. All parents of children with statements are being sent a simple leaflet about the transfer process. A timetable of actions for the school regarding transfers is already available on the secure website. Link: http://www.southwark.gov.uk/downloads/download/3900/ehcp
- Schools need to ensure that their SENCo books onto an LA transfer review training session;
- Schools collate reports and send to parents, the LA and other relevant professionals at least 2 weeks prior to the meeting;
- Schools need to complete as much of the EHCP as possible from the reports received. SENCo training is available for this;
- • Children and Young People need to be prepared by schools for their transfer meetings. The meeting must be person centered and involve the family as equal partners in the process. The LA will offer training sessions to support schools with this;
- For post 16, the young person is the lead if they have the mental capacity to do so. In some cases, for special school children, the parents will remain the lead but there will be cases, particularly in mainstream, where young people will be able to lead their own input to their plan;
- Schools will hold and Chair the meetings. LA staff will attend as needed;
- The draft EHCP will be sent to the LA, it will be quality assured and issued in draft to the family;
- The final EHCP will be issued once the family have commented on the draft and amendments considered;
- The process should be completed in 14 weeks for statement transfers and 20 weeks for LDA transfers.
The transfer team is being led by:
Hanna Hancock and Emma Pearl for updated EP advice
School SENCo Training and support for primary schools is being led by:
Special School and Resource Base Support is being led by:
Secondary Support and LDA transfers is being led by:
For independent and Non Maintained Schools information and signposting:
The Southwark Information and Advice Service (SIAS) is available to all parents and young people to offer direct advice or signpost to the right service.