How can my son’s statement be transferred to an EHCP if my LA isn’t providing any education?

My son is 18yrs old, has an SEN and my local authority want to start the transfer over to an EHCP even though my son has not been provided ANY education according to his SEN since May 2015.

I want them make provision as per his statement but all my LA want is to meet to begin the transfer process. I read with interest that Ofsted areas where outcomes for children and young people are causing concern or where LAs are failing to complete assessments or EHCPs within statutory timescales.

Helen Gifford replies

Helen answers:

You are right, the local authority must provide the special education provision that is your son's statement, and you are completely within your rights to insist on that. Whilst your son has a statement and attends school, the local authority must arrange all the provision set out in Part 3 of the existing Statement and arrange for the school placement in Part 4 of the statement under the Education Act 1996.

I think it would be helpful for us to clarify what the issue is - is your son not getting any education at all, or is he attending school but the support set out in the statement is not being provided? If he's not at school, did he leave school in May 2015 with any arrangements in place for his future?

If your son is not in school, I suspect your authority is viewing the statement as 'lapsed' as Statements only apply to young people who are over statutory school age if they are attending a school. However, the raising of the participation age to 18 does mean that the local authority should be ensuring that your son is engaged in education or training, and if he is not, then they are failing in their duties under that requirement as well, so that is another point that you can raise with them.

If your son is attending school, and will be moving to college in September 2016, then I think the transfer to the EHCP urgently needs to start now as it should have all been done by the end of last March. If he will be staying at school for another year, then the transfer could wait a bit and the authority concentrate on getting the provision in place that they are required to be making as the truly urgent piece of work for them.

Sorry to be a bit vague, but if you could let me at a bit more detail about the situation you are in, I will get more specific. My contact details are at the bottom of this email, after the forwarded message.

I look forward to hearing from you!