In this Edition— POST 16, Phase transfer for children with an EHCP, Exclusions, and SENDIASS updates
Are you in Year 11, and thinking about your options and choices for after you complete your final year in statutory education?
If you are currently receiving SEN support in school, or you have an EHCP, the transition to the next stage of your education or training should be anticipated, discussed and planned for, as much as is possible.
Colleges and sixth forms will be inviting prospective learners to their Open days/evenings from October onwards, where you will have opportunities to visit the establishment, meet current learners and speak to the teaching staff about courses. The September guarantee entitles all 16 and 17 year olds to an offer of a suitable place in education or training.
Colleges provide various provisions for students with Learning Difficulties and can offer a variety of bespoke supported learning courses, including skill based and vocational training.
There have also been reforms in technical education and an expansion of apprenticeship schemes. Apprenticeships provide on the job training, usually with a day release to college, to access relevant vocational qualifications. An apprenticeship is a way to gain skills, knowledge and experience to get into many careers. They combine work, training and study which enables you to “earn while you learn.”
There are other schemes you may want to consider, in Norfolk, which support young people to prepare for work and employment tailored around your individual needs, for example MINT (City College), and the Princes Trust.
Now is the ideal time to start thinking about preparing for leaving school and to research training, education and employment opportunities, in preparation for starting a new phase in your life in September 2020.
Phase transfer for students with an Education health and Care Plan (EHCP)
The Local Authority (LA) must hold a review and amend the EHCP in enough time prior to a child or young person moving between key phases of education. The review and amendments must be completed by 15th February for those of statutory school age transitioning from one phase of education to another or March 31st for those going in to post 16.
The phase transfer procedure
1. The EHCP must be reviewed by the LA in the calendar year of the transfer. This is generally organised by the educational setting and they must invite the child’s parents or young person, a representative of the school or other institution attended, a LA EHCP reviewing officer, a health service representative (if applicable) and a LA social care representative (if applicable).
2. Within 2 weeks of the date of the meeting the educational setting must send the completed review paperwork to the Local Authority.
3. Four weeks after the review meeting the LA must write to the parent/young person to advise them they are amending the plan.
4. ‘Without delay’ the LA will then send out the proposed amendments, a copy of the draft EHCP and any appendices that are applicable to the parent or young person.
5. The parent or young person then has at least 15 days to make comments about the proposed amendments/contents of the EHCP and inform the LA of what educational setting they would like to be named in the EHCP.
A parent or young person can request the following types of school:
- A maintained school or nursery (mainstream or special)
- An Academy or Free School (mainstream or special)
- An institution in the Further Education sector
- A non-maintained special school
- A section 41 school which is an independent school/post 16 which has been approved by the Secretary of State.
A parent or young person can also suggest a non-maintained early years provider, independent school or college but the LA are not under the same duty to name.
6. LA issues a final amended plan, with the right of appeal, before 15th February or 31st March (post 16).
- The LA will be sending parents the ‘Parental preference phase transfer document’ at the beginning of the Autumn term, this is asking them to choose which school they would like their child to go to.
- An Annual review meeting must be held, this is normally done in the Autumn term. A discussion can then be had about any amendments the parents/school would like to make to the plan.
- The LA must then consult with the school that the parents have asked for. The LA may also speak to other schools if they feel they can meet the child’s needs.
- The LA will then send the parents a copy of the EHCP and a notice of amendment, stating the changes they are going to make. The parent will then be given 15 days in which to make any amendments and send back to the LA.
- By the 15th February (or 31st March for post 16 places) the parent must receive the amended final plan, if they still do not agree with the school/post 16+ provision named they will now have the right of appeal to the First Tier Tribunal.
If you would like impartial information and advice on phase transfer, annual reviews, naming a school etc please look at the booklets available on our website and /or call us on 01603 704070 or text us on 07860033614. You may also like to look on IPSEA’s website as they also have impartial information on naming a school.
Exclusions from school - Ages 5-16
Exclusion from schools, both permanent and fixed term, can be a real worry and cause of stress for both children with SEN or disabilities, as well as their parents. Unfortunately, this worry is not unfounded, with government statistics showing that last year 49% of exclusions in Norfolk were children with SEN – which is 2% higher than the national average. Given that only 16% of the school cohort in Norfolk are children with SEN, these numbers are disproportionately high and although children should not be excluded just because a school is failing to meet their needs, it can be an easy solution sought by the school.
As a parent, you should not be being asked to keep your child at home because the school cannot meet their special educational needs or disabilities, or because of an Ofsted inspection. There is statutory guidance available to download on our website that states if a child has SEN, then the school should be taking steps to ensure that any support they may need is in place before exclusion.
If your child has an Education, Health & Care Plan (EHCP) an interim review should be held if they are at risk of being excluded. Particularly in the case of children with SEN, permanent exclusion should always be a last resort and must be carefully looked at as illegal exclusions are not uncommon.
Fortunately, there are many ways that exclusions can be challenged. A case can be put to the Governing Body of the school, who do not always have to meet with you, but must always consider your views. Similarly, if the governors agree with the decision to exclude, an Independent Review Panel (IRP) can direct that the decision be reviewed, and a SEN expert can be called to the IRP if necessary.
If you would like impartial information and advice on exclusions there is a booklet available on our website and /or call us on 01603 704070 or text us on 07860033614.
Face to face advice clinics & SENDIASS updates
We have been successfully running face to face advice clinics giving you the chance to book an hour slot to chat with one of our advisors and get support with paperwork. These sessions run either during the morning, afternoon or evening at various locations over Norfolk. Visit our website to book your place online or contact us for more information.
My name is Phoebe and I studied law at SOAS in London. I graduated last year and moved back from London in January. I have been working as the new Tribunal and Complaints Officer for the SEND Partnership since the beginning of August and I am really enjoying it. I am really glad of the opportunity to use my legal background to offer high level support and advice to those within the SEND community.
Phoebe Craig, Tribunal & Complaints Officer
Hi my name is Bex. I have 4 children, who have varying additional needs. I was a veterinary nurse before having my children. I began helping as a volunteer with Norfolk SEND Partnership in November 2018, before becoming a help line advisor. I’m enjoying working within the team.
Rebecca Alexander, SEND Advisor