Summary of Position
Stoke on Trent Local Authority (LA) was placed under a statutory duty to complete all transfers by 31st March 2018. This has been a challenging task and a great deal of hard work and commitment has gone into it.
Stoke on Trent Local Authority has tried to meet this deadline and to achieve it in a way that has ensured good quality assessments have been undertaken and high quality EHC plans put in place. However, the LA has not met this deadline. At the start of the process, there were 1400 Statements of Special Education Needs in place. There are still 70 Statements in place awaiting transfer. We will now ensure all remaining transfers are completed.
We are contacting all families of children and young people whose transfer review were not completed by the deadline in order to provide reassurance about provision and placement. We will be telling all families what stage they are at in the process and what the next step will be.
All transfers will be completed by 31st August 2018.
It is important to note that where a transfer review was not completed by 31st March 2018, the special educational provision and the placement described in the Statement will continue to remain in force until a transfer review has been completed and a decision is made about future provision.
See Frequently Asked Questions below.
My child has a Statement and is transferring from school to FE in September 2018 but her EHC needs assessment hasn’t been concluded. Will her Statement lapse when she leaves school?
No child or young person with a Statement will lose support because their review has not been completed by the deadline. Stoke on Trent Local Authority will remain responsible for ensuring that the provision and placement in the Statement continues to be made. The Statement cannot lapse in these circumstances.
I have a Statement and will have turned 19 years of age by the end of August. My transfer review is under way but it hasn’t concluded. Will I still be able to access provision and an educational placement in September?
The Local Authority is under a duty to complete the transfer review as quickly as possible. In this scenario, we will plan for the following academic year and ensure that appropriate arrangements are made for September pending completion of the transfer review. No child or young person with a Statement will lose support because their review has not been completed by the deadline.
I’m moving to another area in April and my child’s transfer review has not been completed, which means that he still has a Statement. What will happen and how can I guarantee a new special school place near my new home?
If your child has a Statement and moves to a new Local Authority, the move will be managed under the SEN Code of Practice 2001. This says that that the receiving Local Authority may bring forward the annual review of the Statement or conduct a new assessment but they are not obliged to do so – they may decide to accept and implement the Statement in its current form. If the new Local Authority decides that a new assessment is necessary, it would carry out an EHC needs assessment with a view to issuing an EHC plan.
Where LAs have Statements remaining beyond the end of March, they will be in breach of a statutory duty. There will be follow-up action by the Department for Education (DfE). The DfE wants high quality provision in place for children and young people, underpinned by high quality EHC plans. It wants everyone to benefit from the new system as soon as possible but that cannot come at the cost of quality. The DfE’s actions will be proportionate to, and dependent upon, the position each LA is in. Stoke on Trent has succeeded in transferring 95% of Statements.