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Phase Transfer Deadline for EHCP's - 15 February 2024

The phase transfer deadline for Local Authorities is fast approaching. This means that, if your child has an EHCP and is due to transfer to another phase of education in September 2024, your Local Authority should finalise their decision in respect of your child’s next school placement by 15 February 2024. 

By this date, your Local Authority should have reviewed your child’s EHCP and amended it to name the school placement that they will be attending from September onwards, along with any provision that they will receive. This deadline applies to, for example, children transitioning to Reception class, or from primary to secondary school. 

The exemption to this deadline is for secondary transfer to post-16 education, which is 31 March 2024. 

The phase transfer deadline is an incredibly important time for children with EHCP’s. The Local Authority’s decision will likely have an impact on your child’s future and education.  

The 15 February 2024 is a statutory deadline. If the Local Authority fail to issue the final EHCP by this date then they will have acted unlawfully. It is therefore crucial that Local Authorities are held accountable if they fail to meet the deadline. HCB Solicitors have a team of expert SEND lawyers who will be able to assist you with bringing the necessary action against the Local Authority. It is recommended that you contact us for legal advice as soon as possible if the Local Authority fail to adhere to the deadline. 

The phase transfer deadline is also, understandably, an anxious time for parents. This is when the Local Authority determine the future of your child’s education. However, if the Local Authority finalise your child’s EHCP, naming a school placement in Section I that you do not feel is suitable, you are entitled to submit an appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. You can also appeal the content of Sections B and F of the EHCP, to ensure that your child’s Special Educational Needs are clearly set out within the Plan and that they are receiving the appropriate level of provision. 

An appeal will need to be brought to the Tribunal as soon as possible following the finalising of the EHCP, as there is a small window of time to challenge the school named and have this rectified ahead of when your child is due to start their new placement in September 2024. 

We would recommend that an appeal is issued promptly and that parents are proactive when receiving these decisions from their Local Authority. This is an incredibly busy time for the Tribunal and there will be a large amount of appeals to be dealt with. Therefore, by lodging your appeal with the Tribunal as soon as you have received the Local Authority’s decision and the final EHCP, you will increase your chances of having the appeal heard before September 2024 and the new academic year. Our specialist education lawyers can assist you with preparing and lodging the appeal with the Tribunal as soon as possible to minimise delay. 

Further, there has been an extremely large increase in the amount of appeals being brought to the Tribunal in general and consequently, appeals are currently not being heard until the end of 2024. Although phase transfer cases are treated as priority, there is a risk that an appeal may not be heard ahead of September. This is clearly not suitable for children who are due to transition to a new phase of education, as it will cause disruption to the start of the new academic year. Our SEND lawyers at HCB Solicitors will be able to assist you with lodging an appeal with the Tribunal promptly and making any relevant application to ensure that the appeal is heard ahead of September 2024, to prevent any unnecessary delays.  

If you have any questions regarding the phase transfer deadline, need advice following the Local Authority’s decision regarding your child’s school placement, or would like assistance with an ongoing appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal, please do not hesitate to call our Special Education Law Solicitors on 0333 320 271 75 or send us an email on