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How does a child or young person with an EHCP change school?

Whether your child or young person is changing school because you're moving, they're  too old for their current school or because you want the local authority to consider a special school placement, we will need to consider and organise what support is needed before we agree to the change of school.

Most children or young people change schools at some point but there are additional things to consider for a child or young person with an EHCP

We will need to ensure that the new school knows about your child or young person's additional needs, so that a plan is in place as soon as they start.  

Your child or young persons EHCP will need to be updated before they move school (also known as phase transfer), so that we can plan the right amount of support before they start.

First of all you should speak to the SEND Statutory Services Team. We will work with you to plan how your child or young person's needs can be met in the new school. 

Any changes to an EHCP for a planned change of school as a phase transfer must be made by 15 February in the year they transfer.

Main transfer stages

  • an early years setting to infant/first school
  • infant/first school to junior/middle school
  • junior/middle school to secondary/high school

Helping your child or young person settle into a new school

It's normal to feel worried if your child or young person is changing school. You may find it useful to speak to other parents who have a child or young person with SEND about how you're feeling. 

Your child or young person may also be worried or excited about changing school. 'Ask Sam', is a resource provided by Childline providing advice for children and young people on a range of issues.

You can help your child or young person by:

  • visiting the new school. If your child or young person is shy, even driving past the school may help
  • encouraging your child or young person to keep in touch with friends at their current school
  • looking at the new school's website with your child or young person. Try to get a map of the school to help them work out how to find their way about. There may also be information about clubs and activities that they might like to join.
  • make your child or young person aware of any changes, such as uniform, if they'll have a locker or how they will get to school.  

Moves for young people aged over 16

The EHCP must be updated for young people who are moving from school to college or an apprenticeship by 31 March in the year they transfer.

Talk to the SEND Statutory Services Team. They will work with you to plan how your young person's needs can be met. 

  • if your young person is moving between colleges or training placements in the same academic year we need to do the review by 31 March
  • if your young person is moving outside of the academic year any changes to an EHCP need to be in place before the transfer
  • if your plans for taking up a college place or an Apprenticeship change after 31 March let us know as soon as possible so that we can make new arrangements
  • if your young person is moving from secondary school to a college or an Apprenticeship in September, all changes to your plan have to be done by 31 March in the same year
  • if your young person is not moving until March we need to make changes three months beforehand.