Amended EHC plans for transfer between phases of education

The local authority must issue an amended plan to conclude an annual review when a child or young person is due to move from one phase of education to another:

  • early years education to school
  • infant to junior school
  • primary to middle school
  • primary to secondary school
  • middle to secondary school
  • secondary school to a post 16 setting (further education or training)

When the local authority writes to you with proposed amendments during the annual review, you will have 15 days in which to respond to the draft and request a particular school to be named in the plan. 

This includes requesting a mainstream setting, a special school or a further education or sixth form college (maintained, academy or free school – see SEND Code of Practice chapter 9.78 for the list of school types you can request). The local authority must then consult with that setting, allowing 15 days before considering any response and deciding whether to name it in the plan.

The local authority then considers your request and any response before deciding whether to name the school/setting in the plan. There are very specific lawful reasons they may reject your request and you can read the full description in chapter 9.79 of the SEND Code of Practice.

When will I receive an amended EHC plan?

Our main annual review information explains the process in detail. To allow sufficient time for transition, there are specific legal timescales for an annual review ahead of a child or young person moving into a different phase of education. The final amended EHC plan (including the name of the setting for September) must be issued in the year of transfer by:

15th February

31st March for young people moving from secondary school into further education or training

What if I don’t receive an amended EHC plan within the timescale?

The local authority is expected to follow the lawful process and timescales (outlined from chapter 9.166 in the SEND Code of Practice 2015), however our advice is to contact the Family Services team at the local authority in the first instance, so you can find out what is causing the delay and when you will receive the amended plan.

Let them know how the delay is impacting your child or young person, or for example where it is preventing being able to plan transition to the new school or setting.

If you are unhappy with their response, you could formally complain to the local authority. If this doesn’t resolve things, you can then complain to the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman.

See our information about ‘raising concerns‘ which explain these processes in more detail.

Choosing and naming a school in an EHC plan

SEND Code of Practice 2015 (statutory guidance)

Regulation 18 of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 (contains the legal duty)

IPSEA  model letters (letter 12 is about complaining when a local authority has not completed the review in time for a transfer from one phase of education to another)


How do I name a setting in an EHC plan

Download ‘How do I name a setting in an EHC plan’ factsheet


Annual Review (of an EHC plan)

Download ‘Annual Review of an EHC plan’ leaflet (PDF)