When a child or young person with an EHC plan moves into a different local authority’s area, the EHC plan will need to transfer to the new local authority (“LA”).

The legal requirement for the new LA to start making the provision in the EHC plan is set out in Regulation 15 of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014. There is also guidance for LAs in the SEN and Disability Code of Practice (the “Code”) at paragraphs 9.157 to 9.161.

Transfer of the EHC plan to the new LA

This will not happen automatically. Under the law, it happens either on the day of the move or within 15 working days of the new LA becoming aware of the move, if later. Therefore it is best for parents or young people to notify the new LA (usually the SEN team within Children’s Services) in advance that they are going to be moving into the area.

The new LA then has six weeks to notify the parent or young person that the EHC plan has been transferred, and to let them know when it is going to review the EHC plan (see below).

As soon as the EHC plan has transferred, the new LA has the same legal duties as if they had issued the EHC plan themselves. The most important duty is to ensure the child or young person receives all of the special educational provision specified in Section F of his EHC plan.

If the child or young person’s EHC plan names a school for which fees must be paid in Section I, “the new authority may not decline to pay the fees or otherwise maintain the child at an independent or non-maintained special school or a boarding school named in an EHC plan unless and until they have amended the EHC plan” (Paragraph 9.159 of the Code).

If it is no longer practicable for the child or young person to attend the school or college named in Section I (perhaps because it is too far away) then the LA must arrange for them to attend another appropriate school until they review and amend the EHC plan.

First review of the EHC plan by the new LA

The new LA must review the EHC plan within either 12 months from the EHC plan being made or last reviewed, or 3 months from the date of the transfer, whichever is the later. They must follow the correct process for an annual review, which is described in more detail here.

If the new LA does not complete a review within this time frame you can make a complaint using our model letter.

If the new LA wants to carry out a new EHC needs assessment it can do so.

Health provision in the EHC plan

A move may mean that the child or young person not only changes LA but also finds themselves under a new commissioning body for their health services.  Where it is not practicable for that new commissioning body to arrange the health care provision specified in the EHC plan, it must, within 15 working days beginning with the date on which it became aware of the move, request that the new LA makes an EHC needs assessment or reviews the EHC plan, and the new LA must comply with such request.

What will happen after the review or re-assessment?

After a review or re-assessment the new LA could decide to:

Whichever decision the LA makes, if you disagree with it you can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) (the “SEND Tribunal”).


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