Local authorities must not make children or young people with EHCPs go through the usual schools admissions process. The law sets out a separate process for pupils with EHCPs.

The SEN and Disability Regulations 2014 define this as a transfer from:

(a)  early years education to school
(b)  infant school to junior school
(c)  primary school to middle school
(d)  primary school to secondary school
(e)  middle school to secondary school
(f)   secondary school to a post-16 institution.

The same regulations require that the EHCP must be reviewed and amended before:

(a) 31 March if the transfer is from secondary school to a post-16 institution
(b) 15 February in any other case, or
(c) if a young person is moving from one post-16 institution to another post-16 institution at any other time, at least five months before that transfer takes place.

There must be an annual review before a phase transfer occurs. Practically then, local authorities should start the annual review process in the Autumn term of the year before the pupil is due make the phase transfer.

So, where a pupil is moving to a new phase of their education, the process should be:

  1. Local Authority reviews the EHCP using the annual review process
  2. Local Authority sends proposed amendments as a Draft EHCP (with section I left blank) to the parent or young person
  3. Parent or young person has at least 15 days to make representations about the Draft EHCP and to either request that a particular school (from the list in section 38(3) Children and Families Act 2014) is named or to express a preference for an independent placement
  4. Local Authority issues a final amended EHCP by no later than the relevant deadline listed above.

If you disagree with the Final Plan, you can appeal the educational sections (B, F and I) to the SEN Tribunal.