Mrs Anne-Marie Trevelyan – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Education

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Mrs Anne-Marie Trevelyan on 2015-11-09.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent representations she has received from local authorities on the time taken to implement Education Health Care Plans.

Edward Timpson

Special Educational Needs (SEN) advisers within the Department are in regular contact with local authorities, to provide them with support as they implement our reforms to the system for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

These reforms were introduced in September 2014. Since October 2013, local authorities and parents have taken part in termly surveys, to provide their views on the preparation and implementation of these reforms. These surveys asked for feedback on various issues, such as the transition of children and young people with SEN statements; learning difficulty assessments (LDAs); Education, Health, and Care Plans; and the introduction of EHC Plans more generally.

In response to this feedback, the Department announced a change to the transition arrangements on 10 July 2015. From 1 September 2015, a local authority has 18 weeks, following a notice period of two weeks, to conclude a transfer review, when considering whether to replace an SEN statement with an EHC Plan. This maximum time limit has been extended from 14 weeks. The Department has also provided support for local areas in managing this transition process: this support includes a series of regional workshops in September and October 2015, led by DfE SEN advisers.

Local authorities have until 1 April 2018 to conclude transitions from SEN statements to EHC plans for all children in their area. Young people in further education and training who receive support as a result of an LDA can choose to request an EHC needs assessment. All young people who receive support as a result of an LDA, who will continue in further education or training beyond 1 September 2016, must have an EHC plan by that date, where one is needed.

We continue to monitor progress with implementation.