SEND and moving between stages of education
When a child or young person moves from one stage of education to another, this is called a phase transfer.
Phase transfers include moving:
- from early years to infant or primary school
- from infant to junior school
- from junior or primary to secondary school
- from secondary school to a further or higher education setting, such as college or university
- between further education settings or to a traineeship, apprenticeship or supported internship
Phase transfers without an EHC plan
The normal admissions process applies if a child or young person with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND):
- gets special educational needs (SEN) support from their education provider
- does not have an education, health and care (EHC) plan
Read more about local school admissions on the Buckinghamshire Council website.
Young people with SEND can read advice from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) on applying to mainstream colleges and universities.
Phase transfers with an EHC plan
If a child or young person has an EHC plan, they do not need to apply for a place at an education provider through the normal admissions process.
Their requested school or college will be named in their EHC plan.
The phase transfer process for children with an EHC plan begins when they are in:
- their last year at their early years setting (such as a nursery or preschool)
- year 2 if they are transferring to junior school
- year 5 if they are transferring to secondary school
- year 10 when thinking about post 16 options
Timing of phase transfers
A child or young person’s education provider will hold a phase transfer review, which is also an EHC plan annual review, during either the:
- summer term of their second last year
- autumn term of their last year
As well as reviewing a child or young person’s EHC plan, the aim of this review is to talk about moving between education providers and the next phase of independence.
As a part of this review, parents, carers and young people should discuss their request for the education provider they want to go to next.
The council will then talk to the education provider named in the EHC plan, and potentially other providers that may be able to meet a child or young person’s needs.
Deciding which education provider is right for you
To decide which education provider is best for a child or young person, we will take these issues into consideration (this list is not exhaustive):
- the views of parents, carers and the young person themselves, and their school preference
- the child or young person’s SEN and the support required to meet those needs
- the child or young person’s current educational attainment and progress
- responses from education providers we consult with
By law we must name the education provider preferred by parents, carers and the young person themselves, unless:
- the education provider is unsuitable for the age, ability, aptitude or special educational needs of the child or young person
- the attendance of the child or young person would be incompatible with the efficient education of others – and there are no reasonable steps the council can take to avoid this – or the efficient use of council resources (paragraph 9.79, SEND Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years)
The complexity of a child or young person’s needs or disabilities, and the suitability of an education provider, is not a reason in law to refuse a mainstream education.
This applies not just to attending a mainstream education provider, but also to taking mainstream courses.
Naming an education provider in your EHC plan
We will tell you which education provider will be named in your EHC plan.
We will issue an amended final plan by 15 February, before a child or young person changes education provider in September.
If a young person is moving to post 16 education, we will tell you which education provider will be named in the EHC plan. We will issue an amended final plan by 31 March, before the phase transfer in September.