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Councils to miss legal EHCP transfer deadline for thousands of children

Zombie Statements: Councils to miss legal EHCP transfer deadline for thousands of children

After a turbulent 2017, we’re all hoping for better things for the world of SEND this year. But however things pan out, 2018 should be a milestone year for one important reason – it’s supposed to mark the death of the old SEND system.

The SEND reforms became law way back in 2014, but there’s been a lengthy process of transition and we’ve effectively had two SEND systems running in parallel since then.

Most children and young people with SEND these days are on the new system of Education, Health and Care Plans, (EHCP) but there are still thousands of children out there whose provision is backed by statements of special educational need, the forerunner to the EHCP. Statements still come under the previous legal system of the 1996 Education Act, and the 2001 SEND Code of Practice.

Local authorities (LAs) were given three years and seven months to transfer statements over to the new system, and there’s now only a few months to go before they’re supposed to finish the job. And thanks to a civil servant with a sense of humour, the transfer deadline is All Fools Day – 1st April 2018.

So, how are the local authorities in England doing? All told, not well. Buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy ride…

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