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EHCP Transitioning Continues to be Treacherous

View profile for Andrew Barrowclough
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Our specialist education law solicitors at HCB have supported and continue to support a number of parents in transferring from their child’s current statement of SEN to an Education, Health and Care Plan. A petition started some 10 months ago and still gathering pace helps to highlight some of the current concerns regarding the EHCP transition process. 

In July 2014, The Children’s Minister Edward Timpson wrote;

‘No young person will miss out simply because the system is changing; I’ve made it clear that simply switching over to the new system should never be an excuse for children losing the support they currently have.’

As the online petition notes unfortunately the system is not working correctly at all. It may be because Local Authorities are overrun with conversions or simply because their officers have not been given proper training but so far the EHCPs that our specialist education law solicitors have considered are vague, especially when it comes to the provision section (Section F). It is crucially important that parents fight to make sure that their child’s EHCP is as specific as the existing statement of SEN. A more child centered approach to the preparing of the document doesn’t mean it has to suddenly take away quantified therapy or teaching assistant support.

An even more worrying recent case involved a southern Local Authority who decided that at 19 years of age a young person with autism and downs syndrome no longer needed a specialist placement or an EHCP at all so they refused to issue a document. Such a decision was plainly wrong and will be robustly challenged but it is worrying that such an attempt was even made to deny a young person such essential post 19 specialist provision.

The most important advice is that parents need to know their legal rights. Our website attempts to assist in that respect and petitions such as the above link also encourage parents to question what is happening during the EHCP transition process. Our specialist education law solicitors are always happy to help with representation or general advice so feel free to give us a call on 02920 291704.