Parents should consider all options ahead of further education EHCP deadline 

March, 2022 - Shoosmiths LLP

Parents of children with special educational needs who are moving to further education should consider all options and make sure their local authority sticks to its deadlines, says Shoosmiths’ Guv Samra.


The advice from the education law specialist comes as an important deadline looms for young people with Education, Health and Care plans (EHCPs)who are transitioning to post 16/19 placements.


Local authorities are required to issue an amended final EHCP by March 31, naming the placement, or type of placement the young person should attend from September 2022.


Guv said: “A transition review meeting should have been held within the preceding autumn term, discussing progress made by the young person, and the options available to them going forwards.


“Parents and young people need to ensure that they have considered all of the options available to them in respect of placements. This can include local authority maintained placements and independent specialist placements.


Guv advises that it’s vitally important that parents ensure local authorities adhere to the deadline of March 31.


She added: “If placement is agreed between the local authority and parents, this will allow for transition time to take place whereby the young person will spend time at the new placement in the summer term, prior to moving permanently in September 2022.


“If placement is not agreed between the local authority and parents, then, there will be time for parents to challenge the decision issued within the final EHC plan through a Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Tribunal Appeal.”


Guv added: “In recent years, I have been approached by parents where the local authority has delayed making a decision on post 16/19 placement, and this has resulted in appeals being lodged late, which then has an impact on whether the young person will start their placement on time in September.


“I was able to lodge appeal proceedings and reach a favourable outcome for parents and young people prior to September by negotiating with the local authority.”


If a local authority delays making their decision beyond March 31, legal action can be pursued via judicial review proceedings.


If parents or the young person disagree with the local authority decision on placement, then they can lodge an appeal with the SEND tribunal.


 



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