Moving to a new Local Authority with an EHC Plan

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).

Transfer of the EHC Plan 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.

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 the EHC plan.

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.

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.

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

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.

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