Today new requirements came into force that extend the timescales for Transfer Reviews.
It follows the announcement made by the Minister, Edward Timpson at the beginning of the summer.
Transfer Review's are the process by which a child or young person with a statement is transferred to the new process of Education, Health and Care plans, set out in Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014. New guidance issued today states that timescales of Transfer Review's that started on or after 1 September 2015 will be:
- a minimum period of 2 weeks’ notice before the start of a Transfer Review; and
- a maximum of 18 weeks to carry out an EHC needs assessment and issue a final EHC plan.
Local authorities can give more than two weeks’ notice of the start of a Transfer Review; the requirement is to give at least two weeks’ notice. Local authorities are expected to complete a Transfer Review and issue a final plan, where a plan is required, within the 18 week maximum.
In a letter he wrote to Directors of Children’s Services in July the Minister set out his intention to extend the timescales and the rationale for so doing, saying,
Transferring Statements and LDAs to EHC plans is a significant task that needs to be done well. Simply rebadging statements and LDAs as EHC plans isn’t an option. We need to ensure that the needs of children and young people are properly identified and met. … I have heard that the current timescales are putting a strain on the system that risks undermining the quality of person-centred assessment and EHC plans. We need to ensure that the needs of children and young people are properly identified and met through the provision you put in place; and that the processes enable you to undertake the task efficiently and to a high standard.
To help stakeholders understand and implement these changes CDC have produced A briefing on changes to timescales for transfer reviews.