From 1 September 2014, Education, Health and Care Plans were introduced across England as part of the SEND Reforms. They are legal documents and are starting to replace Statements of Special Educational Needs. All children who have a statement of special educational needs will be transferred to an Education, Health and Care plan by March 2018.
The Local Authority is now in the process of converting Statements of SEN to the new Education Health Care Plans (EHCPs). The Department for Education identifies which children must have their statements converted to EHCPs and by when. This is done by identifying which year group (for example, Year 1) must be converted to EHCPs and which academic year this must be done in. The process begins by the child or young person’s setting holding a conversion review, seeking further advice if necessary and sending the paperwork to the Local Authority.
The Local Authority advises settings of the names of children/young people within the academic year whose statements need to be converted and all relevant documents are provided. At the same time parents/carers/young people are advised by the Local Authority or the school by letter of their intention to convert the child or young person Statement of SEN to an Education, Health and Care plan.
As part of this review the setting will gather:
- The views of the child/young person
- Parent/carers views
- Suggested outcomes
- Where necessary advice and support maybe sought from the professionals involved with the child/young person such as Educational Psychologists and Occupational Therapists.
‘In seeking advice and information, the local authority should consider with professionals what advice they can contribute to ensure the assessment covers all the relevant education, health and care needs of the child or young person..'
9.49. DfE (2015) Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice
This will enable the Local Authority to produce a quality EHCP that will support the child/ young person needs on transfer to the next phase of education. The EHCP is covered by the Children and Families Act 2014 and Statements will no longer have any legal status beyond March 2018, when all statements will have been converted.
Every child/young person with a Statement of SEN will transfer to an EHCP unless the review recommends that they don’t need the special educational provision specified in the EHCP, or they are post 16, leaving the setting and not continuing in education.
The conversion happens through a statutory Annual Review of the statement (known at that point as a Conversion Review meeting). The Local Authority will not hold another Annual Review within the same academic year, unless it agrees to a request for an early review. The Code of Practice 2015 expects that the EHCP will continue to be reviewed annually and in most cases should not require amending every year, but will last for a Key Stage of Education, with short term outcomes and targets being agreed between parents/carers/ young people and their setting.
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Last Update 1 December 2016 by Findability Team.